I cannot stand a soggy salad; when the vegetables are limp and wet I immediately lose my appetite however tempting the ingredients are. That’s why salad spinners are a must in my kitchen. Over the years I’ve had quite a few – some good and some not so good.
If you’re new to cooking (or to salads, for that matter), you may wonder what I’m going on about. Not everyone knows about salad spinners; I’ve had friends in my kitchen marvel when they see me using one. Granted, they are not exactly seasoned chefs, but I feel like everyone should know about salad spinners because they make life so much easier and salads so much tastier.
So, what are salad spinners and what do you use them for?
After you wash salads it’s impossible to dry out all the water, which makes them soggy. It also stops dressings from adhering and all those delicious oils sink to the bottom of the salad bowl. Some people pat leaves down with paper towels but that’s hardly ideal.
A salad spinner eliminates this problem; it uses centrifugal force to dry out salad ingredients, leaving them crisp, and allows dressings to coat them perfectly. Over the years I have found that I can use salad spinners for other things; I can soak and rinse beans and peas, clean bean sprouts and spin noodles. One of my favourite uses for them is keeping my homemade slaws crunchy and delicious. Spinners also make excellent serving and storage bowls.
My Top 4 Salad Spinner Picks
I’ve had mixed experiences with salad spinners. Some work really well but break down after a short time. Some look really cool sitting on my kitchen counter but give sub-par performance. Then there are those that look good and work perfectly for years. I’ve chosen 4 of my best ones to review today. I’ll talk about what I love about each, and what I don’t like so much. All 4 are available on Amazon US.
I found this one as I was shopping for an OXO peeler and I decided to give it a try. I love it, and it’s the one I’m using right now. There’s a lot that’s impressive about this small salad spinner. The OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner is by far the most convenient model I’ve ever trialled.
I say small because many of the spinners I used in the past had the disadvantage of being large; they would take up so much space on the counter that after use I’d have to clean them and keep them away immediately. Also, I couldn’t use them to store salads in the fridge.
Here’s what I loved about the OXO salad spinner:
- It’s very easy to use; you only need to push a button to dry your veggies.
- The gadget has a non-slip ring at the bottom that keeps it firmly on the counter-top.
- The lid also has a non-slip ring that keeps it on; you don’t have to hold it down with one hand as you push the button with the other.
- The bowl is nice enough to serve salads in, and I use the basket as a colander.
What don’t I like?
Just one thing; you have to dry your salads in the sink, otherwise the spinner will spray water all over the kitchen counter.
This one is small, not as small as OXO but small enough. I bought it because the design appealed to me (it looks quite sleek) and was happily surprised when it did the job quite well. The Andcolors Deluxe Salad Spinner is better suited to habitual hosts who tend to cater to more guests, or anyone with a big family.
Here’s why I highly recommend it:
- It feels very sturdy in the hands.
- The bowl is nice enough to use to serve salads even for guests.
- It’s durable (I had mine for years).
- It works fast.
What didn’t I like?
Honestly, there isn’t much about this gadget that I didn’t like. The only reason I decided to buy an OXO was that it was smaller.
Don’t let the word “large” dissuade you from buying this salad spinner. Although it is bigger than the previous two it is a nifty gadget. If you’re a professional caterer (or just feel like one!), the Mueller Large Salad Spinner is a winning choice.
If you have enough space on your kitchen counter I recommend it and here’s why:
- Its large size makes it perfect for making salads for the family and also when preparing meals for guests.
- A handy button makes it very easy to use.
- It has a smart-lock lid so you don’t have to hold it down while you spin.
- It doesn’t wobble while it spins, a common problem with salad spinners.
- It is very well made and the bowl is nice enough to use for serving.
What didn’t I like?
My only problem with this spinner was that it didn’t dry lettuce as well as I would have liked it to. Don’t get me wrong; it does a pretty decent job, but if you want your veggies really dry you may want to try OXO or Andcolours.
An excellent salad spinner, and I loved mine while I had it. It was great for preparing large amounts of salad. If you’re pressed for time, the Gourmia Jumbo Salad Spinner doubles as a serving bowl and doesn’t look out of place on a dining table.
There are a few things I really like about Gourmia:
- It is heavy and feels very durable.
- You can lock the lid down to keep ingredients in the bowl.
- Instead of taking off the lid to fill the spinner you can use the convenient spout located at the top.
- You can use the bowl to serve salads.
- I read somewhere that you can use this salad spinner to store lettuce for up to three weeks. I didn’t try it myself, but if you don’t have access to fresh lettuce every few days this would be a perfect addition to your kitchen.
What didn’t I like?
After having this salad spinner for about a year the bowl broke. I tried to get in touch with the manufacturer to get a replacement but they didn’t get back to me.
My final thoughts on salad spinners…
While these are my best salad spinners, there are lots of others on Amazon that do quick work of drying vegetables, are ergonomic, long-lasting and affordable. If you try any of the ones I’ve talked about here you will find that they work very well, but I encourage you to try others that have 4 or 5-star reviews.