Preparation time is one of the most challenging things that people have to face when trying to stay healthy by eating salads and raw vegetables.
For instance, some find washing lettuce and other green vegetables time-consuming and inconvenient. Add to that the need to put them in paper towels to dry them up. This is where a salad spinner could be of great help.
With a salad spinner, it would be quicker to make fresh, nutritious salads especially in just a short period of time. All you have to do is rinse your leafy greens with cold water, throw them in the spinner, and let it do its magic.
A spinner’s primary purpose is to make salad preparation quick, easy, and convenient. Meaning, a good salad spinner would let you take advantage of all those vegetable nutrients every day without consuming too much of your time.
What is a Salad Spinner?
If you’re just starting out your journey towards a healthy lifestyle, you might be wondering what a salad spinner is. For starters, a salad spinner is a plastic or stainless container of a particular size that has a removable strainer and a lid that securely fits on the top. This allows the strainer to spin while inside the container. Many consider the salad spinner to be a real blessing during those moments when washing and drying veggies could be too tedious.
Salad Spinner 101
It was way back in the 70s when the first ever salad spinner hit the market. The first spinner was said to be highly efficient and fast when it comes to drying leafy vegetables that it was able to dismiss criticisms that it’s just another kitchen gadget.
Salad spinners have a basic design and contain simple parts which include an inner basket called colander that usually sits in on a hinge in the core of a much bigger bowl or container. It also has a lid capable of holding the mechanism for spinning and grabbing the colander.
The centrifugal force made by the device tugs the lettuce or leafy veggies to the edges of the strainer, where the water is being drained through the holes and into the outer container for collection and removal.
Manual models of salad spinners rely on a push button, hand crank, pull cord, or pump lever to be moved. The hand crank works through a gear system that generates speed, the push button or lever utilizes a pump to create the required movement, while the pull cord relies on friction.
Here are some excellent tips that you can follow when you are in the market hunting for a new salad spinner that best suits your needs:
- Always ensure that you select a salad spinner that meets your requirements. When determining the size, it’s best that you take note of the following rations: 2 quarts of container fits a small salad good for two persons, 3 quarts is large enough to make around 4 to 6 salads, and 4 to 5 quarts container is just enough to make 6 to 8 salad servings.
- Always choose a salad spinner with a tight-fitting lid to ensure that the lid mechanism has proper engagement.
- A salad spinner’s centrifugal force could produce lots of speed on some containers. That is why it is important that the unit has a secure locking lid. Otherwise, you might end up having lettuces and leafy greenies flying everywhere.
- Most kitchen utensils today are BPA-free plastic. It is highly advisable that you select a salad spinner that doesn’t contain any harmful substances like plastic which can jeopardize the freshness of your salad.
- Depending on your personal preferences, it is still best to choose the salad spinner that suits your needs. That said, always take into consideration the kind of spinning mechanism you want your spinner to have. You may opt for a hand crank, push button, and lever spinning mechanism.
- Some models of salad spinner have their containers or bowls serve dual purposes. Aside from spinning, there are outer bowls designed to serve as serving bowls as well. You might want to check on spinners with this feature.
- Most manufacturers of salad spinners nowadays advertise their devices as dishwasher safe on the top rack. However, always make it a point to read product reviews for both positive and negative feedbacks about this feature. While some products are indeed dishwasher safe, there are some that tend to warp. Be vigilant.
OXO Good Grips is Amazon’s number 1 best-selling spinner to date. It is a 5-quart container that features quick and easy single-handed operation. It also has a pump mechanism with brake button and is made of plastic that is guaranteed to be BPA-free and food safe.
The product also has a non-slip knob that could be locked down for storage plus a non-slip ring on its wide base to keep the unit steady while being used. Aside from that, the colander can also be used separately while its elegant bowl doubles as a serving bowl.
You can easily disassemble its flat lid when cleaning the unit. This feature also makes OXO highly convenient for storing and stacking when not being used. It is dishwasher safe for the top rack.
As I mentioned in most of my reviews, customers are happy with how easy OXO can be used because of its simple push-button mechanism. Its versatile, attractive design enables users to wash, spin, store, and serve leafy greenies without any hassle.
Users also scored the product high for its durability and sturdy built.
However, some users complain about OXO’s lack of speed to completely dry a lettuce. There are also a few reports concerning broken pieced in the mechanism.
- Simple push button
- Attractive design
- Lack of speed
The Brieftons Salad Spinner is one of the largest salad spinners in the market available today. Its reportedly made from heavy-duty BPA-free plastic that is guaranteed to be food safe and durable.
Its handle could be locked down, making this 7.3-quart container suitable for storing. Aside from that, it’s lid could also be turned upside down for a space-friendly storage.
It’s virtually suitable for all kinds of people because its pump mechanism makes it easier to use. The products alleged ergonomic pump handle only needs around 2 to 3 pumps to meet the required maximum velocity.
The device sports a high-speed centrifugal technology that offers frictionless rotation which could be stopped by a simple push of a button. It could dry leafy greens in mere seconds.
Customers are particularly happy with the product’s easy hand pump action and its large capacity that could make around 6 or more salad servings. It could also remove water efficiently and easy to store.
However, there are some reported complaints regarding the product’s alleged flimsy material. Some customers claim that they received damaged product while a few said the salad spinner broke down after first use.
- Easy hand pump action
- Large capacity
- Removes water more efficiently
- Flimsy material
- Easily damaged after a couple of use
With its high-quality, BPA-free plastic materials and robust feature, the Culina Space Saving Salad Spinner is definitely a top contender in this list. The unit has three parts which include a clear bowl, colander, and a tight-fitted lid with its stop brake button.
This salad spinner could eliminate excess water with its powerful centrifugal force produced by its non-slip side action hand crank. The latter has been ergonomically designed to provide comfort. The product is highly recommended for rinsing and drying leafy greenies, as well as, serving salads and storing in the refrigerator.
The bowl and colander are guaranteed to be dishwasher safe. However, it is suggested that the lid is hand washed only. The Culina measures 9 x 10 x 11 inches and also comes in a smaller size of 3-quartz size.
Salad makers are particularly happy with the product’s durable materials and sturdy texture together with its efficiency in drying up lettuce. Also, many patrons find the side hand crank sits well with the push button model, making it more effective and easier to use.
- Sturdy texture
- Drying efficiency
- Damage parts upon delivery
The Easy Spin Salad Spinner is a 4-quart unit manufactured by Zyliss. It has an easy-to-pull cord coupled with an advanced glide wheel for smoother motion and consistent, faster rotation to produce fluffy, dry, leafy greens. Like other salad spinners, Easy Spin is also equipped with quick braking action for motion stoppage.
The products inner basket could be utilized as a separate colander, while the elegant transparent bowl could alternatively be used as a serving bowl. It has a see-through lid and non-slip bottom to provide stability while in use. All parts of the spinner are made from BPA-free plastic. While most spinners are dishwasher safe, it is recommended for Easy Spin to be hand washed.
Happy customers rated the product high for its fast spinning action. Apparently, the more you pull the cord, the faster it spins. It is convenient to clean, dries leafy greens, and has a sturdy cord for smoother action.
Critics are not particularly happy with the lid as it is said to be difficult to clean while the there have been reported issues about the cord not recoiling properly.
- Fast spinning action
- Sturdy cord
- Not easy to clean lid
- Cord not recoiling properly
Designed in Switzerland, the Ozeri Freshspin offers frictionless action for smoother, fast rotations. It has an instant stop button coupled with its ergonomic pump handle design that only needs two to three pumps to reach maximum velocity.
It also has a unique two-in-one BPA-free design that features a removable colander and a bowl that could also be used as serving the dish. The product’s base is non-slip and it sports locked down handle for quicker storage.
Freshspin’s colander could accommodate 4-quarts of leafy vegetables suitable for 3 to 4 servings.
Most of the customers who reviewed the product have reportedly received it for free in exchange for an impartial review. However, many of them were satisfied with the pump action of the mechanism together with the product’s high-quality material and design. Despite the good reviews, there are still complaints about vegetables not drying up after numerous rotations.
- Fast rotations
- Ergonomic pump
- Greens bot dried up after rotations
Starfrit Salad Spinner has a 4-quart capacity enough to serve salad for two persons. It has an ergonomic handle on the side that makes turning the inner basket quickly and easily through its flywheel design. Like all other salad spinners, this relatively small spinner contains a stop button found on its lid for quick braking.
The colander could be used separately while the bowl doubles as a serving dish. It has a non-slip base for extra stability while in use. It measures 11.5 x 8.5 x 11 inches and is guaranteed to be BPA-free.
The only complaint about this product is that it’s not dishwasher safe and may tend to break if accidentally dropped.
- Ergonomic handle
- Not dishwasher safe
- Could easily break when dropped accidentally
If you prefer a smaller sized salad spinner, look no further because Prepworks Progressive Salad Spinner is the best choice for you. At 2.5-quarts, this spinner is ideal for preparing salat good for a person or two. It has a long handle designed for easier control. There are also pour spouts on either side of the spinner for left or right-handed users’ convenience.
It also has a large knob that is specifically designed for comfort with the basket revolving in either direction. The unit only measures 11.5 x 9 x6 inches, is BPA-free and is dishwasher safe.
Happy customers are satisfied with the product’s compact size, the amount of centrifugal force it produces to dry leafy vegetables, plus the smooth, easy action, and high-quality materials used to manufacture the product.
The only significant negative feedback the product received was about its small size and the flying vegetables if ever the lid was opened just before the rotation stops.
- Compact size
- Strong rotation
- High-quality materials
- Nothing major except for flying vegetables when the lid was accidentally opened when the rotation is yet done
Another compact salad spinner in our list comes from the Xtraordinary Home Products. The company’s spinner has a 2-quart load capacity. It sports a dressing pour hole conveniently placed on the cover. Aside from that, the product also has high-speed action, and an immensely strong lock-down clip that keeps the cover secured while in use.
Happy customers are reportedly satisfied with the unit’s fast rotation for the greenies, the lock-down feature that compliments the colander’s high-speed, and the compact size that is ideal for two persons.
Complaints about the product only include issues with the screw being too short and the inner lid not being secure enough.
- Fast rotations
- Compact design
- Issues with short screws
- Lid not secure enough
The Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner by Prepworks is perfect on the go salad spinner. The 3-quart unit is made of BPA-free plastic that collapses to half of the containers’ size, so it could be stored easily. Its inner basket could be used as a separate colander while the bowl doubles as a serving dish.
The product has a comfortable handle that could rotate the basket in either direction. A user can just squeeze the sides of the basket for braking and stoppage. This dishwasher-safe salad spinner also has a non-slip base to keep it securely in place while being used.
Satisfied customers are happy with the unit’s durability and the convenience it offers. Add to that the fact that it’s a great space saver.
However, the salad spinner received some negative feedback concerning its parts separating after just a couple of use.
- Convenient to use
- Space Saver
- Parts easily separated while being use or after a couple of usages
By combining the centrifugal force and drying action technology of a centripetal fan, Dexas was able to come up with the Turbo Fan Collapsible Salad Spinner. This product reportedly pulls air in and out of the container while spinning the water out.
The unit has a 3-quart large capacity container, vented bowl for draining water, and a single touch push button for braking and stopping the rotation.
Dexas’ collapsible salad spinner measures 11 x 11 4.5 inches in full size and 5 inches when collapsed. The fan blade below the lid could be removed for cleaning and dishwasher safe.
The product has no review on Amazon yet, but some shopping sites reported that customers are happy with its drying capacity while it’s inferior to other products.
Some negative feedback involves issues with its vented bow. Apparently, its design requires the spinner to be used in the sink or on a towel to prevent water spillage.
- Drying capacity
- No negative feedbacks yet
The Salad Spinner Criteria
When judging the quality of salad spinners, here are some of the criteria that I used:
To begin with, a good salad spinner must be able to make leafy vegetables good and dry efficiently. It should not let you spin the greens over and over again only to have still damp when they come out. It should be convenient and you shouldn’t have to put too much effort into spinning it. Furthermore, its geared mechanism must allow you to spin the inner basket without applying too much force.
If you want to test just how good salad spinners are in drying greens, try drying a box of mixed greens in each one of them. Weight the greens straight from the box then after they were rinsed and are still wet. Throw in the wet vegetables in each spinner and spun until they appeared dry. Weight the vegetables after. Use the collected data to calculate just how efficient each spinner in drying the leafy greens and how fast they were dried.
In essence, the more vegetable you put in a salad spinner, the harder it would be to dry all of them. This is because water remains in between the leaves that are tightly packed together inside the container. It lessens the centrifugal force in the middle of the bowl. A salad spinner must have enough capacity to accommodate the leafy vegetables, leaving enough room to dry them. Apparently, if you can’t dry the amount of vegetable you need for your salad in one go on your spinner, you may need a bigger one.
You need to consider the capacity of the salad spinner especially if you love inviting people to come over to your place or if you regularly throw parties.
- Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning and storage could become a bit challenging when it comes to salad spinners since they are normally comprised of three parts: the bowl, basket, and the lid. At times, bits of leaves could get stuck in the mesh of the basket and they could Finbe hard to remove. Even multipart leaves could trap lettuce bits in hard to reach areas. Plus, not all spinners have dishwasher-safe parts. However, there are still some baskets that could be easily cleaned because of their holes’ size and shape. There are also lids that could be easily disassembled. All these things have to be taken into consideration when testing a salad spinner.
Furthermore, most salad spinners are bulky because of their capacity. For instance, nearly all spinner bowls hold at least 5 quarts and could use up a lot of space in the cupboard. However, there are salad spinners that try to reduce their size while others increase their sizes with poking handles and domed lids. The former should be given more priority.
Other Salad Spinner Criteria
While salad spinners are meant to provide convenience, it could be frustrating to use at times especially if it’s hard to steady on the countertop. For this issue, it is best to choose a spinner that has a non-slip base to keep it from sliding off the counter. Nowadays, spinners that could be single-handedly managed is already a common thing. However, it is best to note that a good spinner must have an easy handhold to ensure that you would be able to grip the bowl with one hand while using the other to spin it. Spinners with geared mechanism work by pumping the spinner up and down which usually keep the machine steady on the countertop. That is contrary to other mechanisms that will require users to pull a cord or spin a crank, resulting to spinner being off balanced. It is also important that the lid is kept securely in place.
There should also be a braking mechanism, usually seen in the form of a push button at the top of the lid that immediately stop the basket from spinning. While it’s totally fine not to have them, nearly all salad spinners today have a brake included in their products. When testing salad spinners, you would notice that there are brakes that actually work better than others.
Some salad spinners may come with a grate or hole at one edge of the lid. This will allow you to pour water from the bowl while the lettuce or leafy vegetables are still inside the basket. While This can be considered convenient, it is not entirely necessary because it is often poorly designed. Pouring the water out of the basket could also result in pouring the gritty water back into the basket, and eventually into the lettuce. Also, if the lid fails to be clipped in place, it would be highly likely that you’ll drop it together with all the greens in it, right into the sink while you are trying to drain the water.
If a spinner appears to be too powerful, there’s a high risk that it would damage the tender greens and herbs, or the berries you want to dry in your salad spinner. During salad spinner testing, it has been observed that a bunch of tender cilantro came out bruised and damaged after being dried in the spinner. To prevent this from happening, you may want to line the inside of your spinner with paper towels to lessen the damaging effect of the spin.
Lastly, it is important that you choose a salad spinner that would last for a long time. Normally, spinners depend on many breakable plastic parts like bowls that could be easily cracked, gears that could quickly slip. You need to consider this and make sure that you check the spinner for, particularly fragile and unreliable parts. You might also refer to some reviews on Amazon so you can have better ideas on what parts to watch out for when shopping for a salad spinner.
Manual vs. Spinning?
While the manual way is the most common choice among salad enthusiasts, we want you to see the huge difference between the manual procedure of drying greens and using a salad spinner. Let’s begin with the most favorite salad ingredient: the lettuce.
Begin by removing the lettuce head from the root using a sharp knife. After that, pull the leaves apart using your hands.
For iceberg lettuce, you may remove its core by using a paring knife. There are iceberg lettuces that have firmer heads, so you may need to get your hands ready to break one apart. Fill a clean bowl with cold water then gently give each lettuce head a once-over swish as you drop them into the water. Let the lettuce leaves float to rinse the dirt, grime, and other unwanted particles away.
Using the Salad Spinner
Shake the water gently off the leaves. Then, place them gently on paper towels or a clean dishcloth one after another time and pat each dry. If that appears to be too much work for you, we may use the salad spinner. To date, most salad spinners are reasonably priced, usually just below $50. You may consider buying one as a good investment especially if you are on your way to embracing a healthier lifestyle. This is because salad spinners are best at removing any excess water from the leaves of lettuces and leafy greens.
Instead of spending that much time manually washing your greens, a salad spinner could just remove the excess water off of them without consuming too much time. You may do the same procedure as cutting off the root and segregating the leaves. However, after this, all you have to do is thrown in the leafy greens in the spinner.
How Salad Spinners Work
Salad spinners work by filling it in with the right amount of water to remove the dirt, debris, sand, and other unwanted particles from the lettuce leaves, which should be sinking at the bottom of the spinner. Just lift the basket that holds the vegetables out of the spinner bowl, then remove the water. Put the strainer basket back into the bowl then close the lid securely. Start spinning the leaves as per the spinning mechanism used by the spinner.
The spinning will remove the water from the leafy greens which will eventually dry them. It should be noted that if not properly rinsed and dried, vegetables could potentially be harmful due to the existence of E. coli, listeria, and other harmful bacteria. This could lead to food poisoning. It is said that the growing demand and popularity of salad spinners are partly due to the rise in foodborne diseases.
Sticking to a healthy diet like salad should not be a tedious task. While manual preparation appears to be a viable choice to ensure that your greens are safe and clean before consumption, it could take up much of your time. Instead of spending much time preparing your food, you can use devices like a salad spinner to make things quicker and easier for you.
There is a lot to choose from in the market. However, of the ten salad spinners on our list, we highly recommend that you try OXO Good Grips. Not only is it the number 1 top-selling salad spinner on Amazon, it has all the things that you need to prepare a healthy and delicious salad meal in no time.
OXO is guaranteed to be BPA-free and food safe. It has a non-slip knob for quick storage plus a colander that doubles as a serving dish. Most customers who bought this product is highly satisfied with its design, versatility, and mechanism that offers nothing but great convenience.