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best salad spinners

The Best Salad Spinners in 2022

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Do you really need a salad spinner? Of course, you can also pack your freshly washed lettuce in a drying towel and whirl it around with momentum. However, you should rather do this outside and not in the direct vicinity of the neighbor’s balcony, because then of course the drops will fly.

It is much more practical to use a special salad spinner, which not only ensures that your environment remains dry, but also can be operated without much effort. In this way, the lettuce conveniently becomes nice and dry again and you can continue with the preparation within a very short time.

It is important to buy a sturdy device, for example, made of solid plastic or even stainless steel. In addition, such a salad spinner may of course also score visually and come up with small but fine technical refinements that make life easier.

In our big salad spinner comparison, we introduce you to salad spinners in more detail and go into their individual features. In our subsequent guide, we provide you with a lot of interesting information on the topic of salad spinners and give you valuable tips on criteria that you should pay attention to when buying.

Farberware Easy to use pro Pump Spinner with Bowl

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Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner

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Frequently Asked Questions: Salad Spinners

Why do I need a salad spinner anyway?

As a rule, a crisp lettuce can be prepared easily and quickly, most of the time of which is taken up by washing and drying beforehand. Especially the more filigree varieties, such as lollo rosso and oak leaf lettuce, store quite a bit of water between their fine leaves. But even arugula is no slouch when it comes to getting the tiny leaves as dry as possible.

What’s so bad about wet lettuce? Quite simply, the dressing largely rolls off the wet leaves, and the lettuce also becomes mushy much more quickly. What’s more, the excess water causes the salad dressing to water down, the flavor is lost, and the lovingly prepared meal tastes nowhere near as good as it should.

Of course, there are other ways to dry a salad than a spinner. Most of them will certainly already be familiar to you:

  • Put wet lettuce in a pasta strainer and let it drain.
  • Blot the lettuce with kitchen towels, one leaf at a time
  • Place the lettuce leaves between dry towels and gently press them down
  • Spin freshly washed lettuce in a dry towel
  • Spin wet lettuce in a special spin bag

All these variants have one thing in common: they take a relatively long time and still remain ineffective. Even more, it is relatively likely that you will damage and crush the lettuce leaves with a cloth. With a high-quality salad spinner, drying works much faster and more thoroughly, and the salad leaves remain undamaged. Centrifugal force is simply the best partner in this matter, especially if there is still a handy tray available that reliably catches the splashing water.

Can I also wash the lettuce in a salad spinner? A few salad spinners even have an additional washing function. This means that you don’t have to clean your lettuce under the tap at all, but simply place the unwashed leaves in the inner basket. Then you add water and put in the manual wash cycle. Then spin dry as usual.

How does a salad spinner work?

This is also easily explained, because a salad spinner is anything but a highly complex device. The products work with a simple mechanism that uses centrifugal force, that is, centrifugal force. The principle works as follows: During rotational and rotational movements, this force always acts outward, so anything loose is flung away.

You place your still-wet lettuce in the basket of the salad spinner, which in turn stands in a closed bowl. A lid is placed on top of the bowl to keep the water from spraying out. By means of a crank, a cable pull or a pump mechanism, you now set the basket into rapid rotation, thereby spraying the water through the meshes of the basket into the outer bowl.

Now, if you still have a salad carousel with a spout, you can easily drain the water that swirls out without your food slipping out. Without a spout, you’ll have to lift the lid to get rid of the moisture. Basically, that’s the whole secret behind a salad spinner.

As you can imagine, relatively strong forces act on the material of your spinner during rapid rotation. This is also the reason why many inferior devices are quickly damaged. Often the basket cracks or the rotating mechanism gives up. As a buyer, you should therefore better pay attention to stable materials and rather spend a few euros more for good quality to be able to use your new acquisition really long time.

Finally, a little candy is waiting to be discovered: The outer bowl of many salad spinners can also be used as a salad bowl, so you don’t have to dirty any more dishes at this point.

What is the best way to clean my salad spinner?

Every utensil that comes into contact with food should always be hygienically perfect. To achieve this, intensive cleaning after each use is essential, even if the respective product only looks wet and not dirty at first glance. The same is true for your salad spinner, which you should clean thoroughly after each use. The good news is that most models are dishwasher safe. The bad news is that this usually only applies to the bowl and the basket; the lid and the drive unit usually have to be cleaned by hand.

If your salad spinner is made of dishwasher-safe plastic, it may still deform at high water temperatures. The party program of the dishwasher should therefore remain taboo, rather rely on the gentle cycle.

At this point, we would like to mitigate the above-mentioned “bad news” a bit. Because the lids of most salad carousels can be disassembled quite easily, so it’s no problem to clean every nook and cranny, no matter how hidden. Sometimes there are two, other times three or four elements that are revealed when disassembled. They are usually attached with a simple click mechanism, which also offers little resistance when reassembled. Manual rinsing works quite simply:

  • Completely disassemble salad spinner
  • Pour warm water into the sink
  • Add a little detergent
  • Immerse the individual parts of the salad spinner in the water
  • Wipe everything with a soft cloth
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water
  • Dry with a dry cloth
  • Reassemble everything

Sometimes the bowl and basket are not allowed in the dishwasher, in which case you should also clean these parts according to the above pattern. Careful drying is always part of the process, so that no ugly lime residues form on the surface.

Does your salad spinner have a rope pull mechanism? The integrated thin rope usually does not tolerate prolonged contact with water. Most defects occur because the cord degrades over time and eventually breaks because it has been wet for too long. Dry this sensitive area particularly well if it comes into contact with water.

Type of Salad Spinner

Perhaps you have already clarified the material question for yourself, but now we will go one step further: The various salad spinners on the market also differ in their drive technology. The crank drive is particularly widespread, the cable mechanism is still used rather rarely today. There is also the pump mechanism and the electrically operated salad spinner. Only a few friends of a vitamin-rich salad allow themselves the latter luxury, and yet this variant is definitely worth mentioning.

In terms of price, you are exactly right with a crank salad spinner, because these products are the cheapest to have. The cable models usually can not compete with these proverbial spinner prices, and the pump mechanism as a comparatively complex system must also fit. Electric salad spinners, on the other hand, are the most expensive, but also provide relaxation in use.

Salad spinner with crank

The crank models are particularly often made of plastic, they are stacked on the shelves of discount household goods stores. Here, the crank is either attached to the side of the spinner or on top of the lid, and the user manually turns it as fast as he or she deems necessary. The salad spinner with crank offers a convenient way to dry lettuce. At the same time, you always maintain control over the spinning process and can easily dose the applied force. Due to the efficient power transmission, the salad basket inside picks up speed quickly.

The advantages at a glance:

  • Cost-effective variant
  • Power can be well dosed
  • Spinning runs in a controlled manner
  • Lettuce is not squashed
  • Can also be used for soft spun goods

In return, you have to invest a bit more time and power for spinning. The torque is rather weak, and some users find their arms go limp: Salad spinners with a crank are therefore not recommended for people with physical problems. The crank can also be a bit of a nuisance if you are trying to store the device in a cupboard.

You have little space available in the kitchen cabinet? Then make sure to buy a salad spinner with a retractable crank. That way, at least you won’t have a bulky drive in the way when you want to stow your new device.

Salad spinner with cable pull

If your salad spinner has a rope pull, then proceed a little differently when you want to set the carousel in motion. Pull the cord out by the handle and release it once you reach the end. The cord will wind back up on its own while the salad basket inside rotates vigorously. The amount of force required is less than with a crank.

The advantages at a glance:

  • Less effort required
  • Easy on arm and wrist
  • Accelerated drying due to fast rotation
  • Rope pull saves space compared to a crank handle

Unfortunately, this drive makes it difficult to meter the force, which increases the risk of crushing the lettuce leaves. Delicate fruits should not even find their way into such a spinner, because they are unlikely to survive the powerful spin cycle. There is hardly any control over the spinning motion for the user, basically it’s just a matter of getting rid of as much moisture as possible as quickly as possible.

If you want to buy a salad spinner with a pulley, then better make sure that the cord is well protected from moisture. It should coil inside the lid to avoid contact with the splashing water in the first place. After all, a permanently wet rope breaks much faster than a dry one, especially if it is as thin as this one.

Salad spinner with pump mechanism

A few suppliers advertise the rather rare pump mechanism, which they tout as particularly practical. Here, there is a button or knob on the lid that the user has to move up and down to make the lettuce rotate underneath.

The advantages at a glance:

  • Centrifugal spinner gains stability through this drive
  • Very easy to use
  • Little effort required

Some buyers note that they find their pump-operated salad spinner unusually noisy. The torque remains inconsistent, so it’s not as easy to maintain precise control.

Despite the aforementioned disadvantages, the demand for these products does not dry up. This shows that many friends of vitamin-rich foods are quite satisfied with the handling.

Electric salad spinner

An electric salad spinner is a real rarity in the kitchens. To operate the manual version is so simple and fast that hardly anyone would like to have a further facilitation of work. And yet, in the trade you can find the motor-driven products that can be set in motion with a single push of a button.

The advantages at a glance:

  • No more effort at all required
  • Very smooth spinning motion
  • Different speed levels can be selected

Some users find the cord annoying, also, of course, there must always be a free outlet nearby to use the good stuff. Some products work alternatively with batteries, but you also have to buy and dispose of them properly. The energy consumption is low, but of course electricity is needed to operate the electrical device: So from an environmental point of view, this is not the best solution.

Only with an electric salad spinner can you adjust the rotational forces exactly to the contents to be dried: If it’s iceberg lettuce, the speed can be a little higher; if you want to spin off the moisture from your frozen berries, set the appliance gently to the lowest setting.

Size of the Salad Spinner

Most of the questions have now been answered, now all that remains is to fill everyone who is eagerly awaiting their delicious salad. Of course, you can also work in portions with a small salad spinner if you have a single household and want to serve guests in between. But if you really care about speedy work to regularly feed four or even six people, there is no way around a larger device.

How big the capacity should be also depends on whether you like to eat salads as a main meal or as a side dish. The portions for side dishes are naturally much smaller, main meals, on the other hand, take up a comparatively large amount of space in the salad spinner. Here is a brief overview of how many main meals fit into spinners of various sizes, assuming that other ingredients are added in addition to the pure salad leaves:

  • 2 liter capacity: about one main meal
  • 3 liters capacity: about one and a half main meals
  • 4 liters capacity: about two main meals
  • 5 liters capacity: a little more than two main meals

So, as you can see, drying lettuce for one to two people is not a problem at all. For larger families, however, and in the event that guests come to visit, you will need to dry your ingredients in portions. But as always, the bigger the spinner, the faster you’ll be done.

The 5-liter salad spinner is just right for a normal private household with two to four people. However, the volume scale does not end here by a long shot; there are even devices with a capacity of more than 20 liters on the market for catering businesses.

Salad Spinner Accessories

A drip tray, a rotating basket, a lid, a drive: Most salad spinners have a very simple design, but many models have practical extras in store. These make daily use easier, protect the spun food inside and also spare the user’s nerves in an emergency. It is worth taking a longer look at the accessories that can make our salad a good deal tastier.

Brake button: Of course, you can simply let your salad spinner rotate out in a relaxed manner at the end of the drying process, but a brake button has proven to be more practical. This allows you to always stop the process at your own discretion, within seconds and with just one finger.

Turbo button: Less common than the brake button is the turbo button on salad spinners. It is used, as the name suggests, for acceleration. For insensitive types of lettuce that simply need to dry very quickly, this extra has proven itself many times over.

Non-slip bottom: A look at the bottom of the salad bowl reveals how firmly it stands on the table. Silicone nubs, a non-slip ring or non-slip feet clearly indicate that this product will not slip so quickly if the spin cycle ever turns out to be more intense.

Heat-resistant basket: should the inner part that contains the lettuce during spinning be extra heat-resistant, this element can possibly also be used for draining pasta and other hot foods. This saves space in the cupboard, because a separate spout is thus no longer necessary.

Spout: A spout in the lid or on the drip tray makes it easier to pour off the water after spinning. A salad carousel without this small but fine detail must first be opened and freed of lettuce, otherwise the good food may end up in the sink with it.

Handle: Not every salad spinner has an extra handle to hold the unit comfortably. Look for it if you place particular importance on your kitchen gadget fitting snugly in your hand during use. In any case, a handle can’t do any harm, because spinning does generate quite strong forces, which you will eventually have to counteract.

Measurements: A transparent bowl with measurements can be used not only as a collection bowl for the water from your salad, but also as a liter measure. This way you kill two birds with one stone and can save yourself an additional measuring cup.

Retractable drive: A crank, but also the handle of a cable pull and the knob of the pump, always protrudes a bit from the surface of the salad spinner. If the drive can be retracted, more space in the cabinet for one or another small kitchen utensil is created all by itself.

Foldable salad spinner: a soft center section in the basket and bowl allows you to fold the spinner before stowing it away. This way, it uses even less storage space; in some cases, the savings is 50 percent. Be sure to purchase a sturdy product that won’t fold during the spin cycle.

If you don’t want a foldable salad spinner, look for products with the small addition “stackable”. This way you get a device without annoying bulges, which can be stacked in the cupboard without any problems.

4.9/5 - (11 votes)

Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate