Use a salad spinner to help extend the life of your freshly cut lettuce. It’s affordable, easy to use, and gets the job done.
How often have you bought a head of lettuce just for it to go bad before you can finish it all? If you’re like me, you had that happen way too often. Maybe it’s because I am not very big on eating green stuff. Or maybe because I would forget it’s in the fridge. Maybe because I wasn’t storing it properly.
Or maybe, D: all of the above. For me, it was definitely all of the above.
That was, until my mother-in-law showed me the amazing salad spinner! It’s a wonderful tool that every kitchen should have if you use fresh greens.
The one currently available is slightly different than the one I have. It looks like they updated them to have a stainless steel bowl. But the color doesn’t matter as long as it still gets the job done. And let me tell you, this little thing is incredible! Anyone who knows my mom can tell you that she does not eat anything green. So we didn’t have salads often when I was growing up. I first saw one of these when visiting my in-laws and knew it was just what we needed.
The salad spinner has a way to clean, dry, and store your lettuce all in one. I used to cut up my lettuce and run it in water in a colander. Then I would lay paper towels out on the counter and let the lettuce dry there for a while. Sometimes it would take getting another paper towel out to pat the tops dry as well. Then I would transfer it to a bowl to store it, usually ending up at the back of the refrigerator until it was forgotten.
Originally Published On: March 6, 2018
Last Updated On: April 19, 2020
How to Use a Salad Spinner
Step 1: Clean the Lettuce
The OXO salad spinner comes in three pieces. The inner basket doubles as a colander. After chopping my lettuce, I use this to run water over the lettuce in the sink to clean it off.
Step 2: Spin the Lettuce
Now here’s where the “spinner” part of this comes into play. Once you have the lettuce washed, it’s full of water. If you leave it soaked, then the lettuce will get soggy and gross pretty quickly. So put the colander backset back into the bowl and put the lid on. Press on the pump to start spinning the inner basket, and you can watch the water flying off the lettuce and hitting the side.
Step 3: Drain the Water
The spinner gets most of the water off the lettuce, and it is held in the serving bowl. Then just remove the lid and pull the basket out to dump the water in the sink. This is how much I usually get off the lettuce during the first spin:
Step 4: Spin Again
I like to spin the lettuce a few times to make sure to get as much water off as possible. If there is a lot of lettuce in there, then it helps to mix it up a bit in between spins so different pieces make it to the outside to have the water pulled off of them. After I’ve gotten as much of the moisture out as I can, I like to quickly wipe down the bowl, so it’s dry. Then I add a piece of paper towel to the top of the lettuce to help absorb any remaining water before putting it in the refrigerator.
Step 5: Store the Lettuce
The salad spinner is great for storing the lettuce because you can lock the spinning pump down so that the top is flat, making it easy to stack other foods on top. Because it is see-through, you can easily see how much lettuce you have, and the container is big enough that you won’t miss it and forget about it.
When you are serving up your salad or other meals with lettuce, you can also use the outer bowl as an excellent serving dish by removing the lid and dumping the lettuce out of the basket into the bowl.
We have gotten so much use out of our salad spinner. We’ve had it for years and have had no issues with it. The boys love to help with the salad, too, because they find it fun to push the spinner. This had solved our constant battle of lettuce getting spoiled because we either lost it in the refrigerator or more often because it was still wet when it went in and got moldy very quickly.
While I can’t tell you how to like it better, since that depends on your tastes, I can tell you that there may be ways you can work on incorporating more lettuce and greens into your diet through new recipes. Here are some of my favorite recipes that use lettuce:
Where to Purchase
You can find a salad spinner in a variety of places. I believe ours was a wedding gift, so I’m not sure where it was purchased. They are available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, at Walmart, Target, and Amazon to name a few.
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