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Fresh, crisp, cool salad is not only healthy but also delicious. But before you can enjoy the salad, you have to wash and prepare it.
Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. When you tried to drain the lettuce in a colander, it didn’t get dry.
If the lettuce is prepared too wet, it will not stay as crisp. When washing the lettuce, a salad spinner can help. It helps you to wash the lettuce and remove the water from the lettuce leaves again so that the lettuce stays crisp.
If you are thinking about buying a salad spinner, our big salad spinner test 2023 will help you make the right choice. We have tested different salad spinners for you and compiled extensive background information on salad spinners.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best Salad Spinner: Our Picks
- 3 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a salad spinner
- 4 Decision: What types of salad dryers are there and which is the right one for you?
- 4.1 How does a crank salad spinner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 4.2 How does a cable salad spinner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 4.3 How does a salad spinner with a ratchet lever or pump mechanism work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 4.4 How does an electric salad spinner with motor drive work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5 Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate salad spinners based on these factors
- 6 Facts worth knowing about the salad spinner
- A salad spinner allows you to separate the washed salad from the excess water. This means that the taste of the dressing is not affected and the salad stays fresh and crisp for longer.
- In general, there are three hand-operated types of salad spinner. The crank and the cable are the most common drives, but recently there are also spinners with a pump mechanism.
- Pulley-driven salad spinners achieve a high torque and work particularly thoroughly. With the crank version, you have it in your own hands, while the pump mechanism is not only easy to operate, but also fun.
The Best Salad Spinner: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a salad spinner
To make your purchase decision easier, you will find more helpful information in the following sections. You will learn everything you need to know about prices, design and alternatives to salad spinners.
Even though you now know which types of salad spinners are on the market, which spinning techniques they use and what materials they are made of, you should also consider the following:
- Why do you need a salad spinner?
- How are they constructed?
- How much do they cost?
- What alternatives exist?
After you have dealt with these questions in detail, it will be easy for you to decide on a salad spinner.
Why do you need a salad spinner?
The aim of a salad spinner is to dry the washed lettuce using centrifugal force. To do this, the spinner is set in rotation and the centrifugal force pushes the water to the edge of the container. There, the water runs down and is then drained off. The centrifuge thus functions as a centrifuge.
Spinning the lettuce dries it as gently as possible and thus prevents the wet lettuce from watering down the salad dressing. In addition, the lettuce stays fresh and crispfor longer in this way.
How is a salad spinner constructed?
A salad spinner usually consists of several individual parts. As a rule, these are a bowl, a strainer and the lid, in which the respective spinning mechanism is integrated.
These components should be dishwasher-safe so that the salad carousel is easy to clean. It is very important that the individual parts fit into each other and close off so that the spinner is leak-proof. Because nothing is more annoying than a leaking salad spinner.
Often, lids of cable-operated salad driers cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher, whereas this can be done without any problems with the remaining components. In addition, not every strainer is heat-resistant and therefore not automatically suitable for pouring hot food.
Where there is a drive, there must also be a brake mechanism, otherwise the salad spinner will overspeed. This can cause you to lose control of it. In this case, the lettuce may be torn to shreds.
A rubberised base and a comfortable handle are also recommended so that the spinner does not slip and can be held without problems. In addition, the sieve of some salad spinners can also be used to drain hot food such as pasta or potatoes.
What are the advantages of a salad spinner compared to a colander or salad spinner bag?
In addition to a salad spinner, you can also use a colander, towel or salad spinner bag to remove water from the washed salad so that it stays fresh longer and does not adulterate the taste of the salad dressing.
|Salad spinner||The salad spinner is a round kitchen utensil with a crank on the lid. The rotating movement during cranking removes water from wet lettuce leaves||best dry result, leaves are not crushed, lettuce stays crisp fresh|
|Colander||A colander or strainer can also be used to wash lettuce leaves.||Water gets stuck in the leaves, hand squeezing is necessary|
|Salad spinner bag||Salad spinner bags are designed in such a way that the residual water can escape outwards through fine pores due to the oscillating movement and can be poured off through an opening||good drying result, lettuce is squeezed together and lettuce is let down, drying of the bag is necessary|
|Towel||lettuce can also be dried very simply with a towel||lettuce is let down by squeezing together, drying of the towel is necessary|
It is true that lettuce can be dried with a spin bag or towel. However, this is very strenuous, requires strength, stamina and, in addition to overcoming obstacles, above all space. There must be enough space for spinning the bag or container, which is not always the case in smaller kitchens.
In addition, there is the risk that the lettuce will be compressed by the pressure. This can cause it to lose its structure and become flabby. Depending on how wet the lettuce is, spinning can be a damp affair. The bag or towel must be dried again afterwards.
In some cases, the spinning bag is also improvised by placing the lettuce in a freezer bag lined with kitchen paper. Even this method does not guarantee that the lettuce will be dry afterwards. If anything, it is not advisable because the kitchen paper can dissolve depending on the quality and thickness as well as the degree of wetness of the lettuce. This contaminates the already washed lettuce.
Another method is the colander. The washed lettuce is poured into this and acts more like a water drain or sieve. However, the fluted surface and the water-repellent lettuce skin prevent the lettuce from becoming completely dry.
It is possible to hold the lettuce from above – you can also put a bowl of the same size over the colander or strainer and shake the lettuce back and forth. However, you will splash yourself and your surroundings. You will probably not be really satisfied with this result, especially as a certain amount of residual moisture is unavoidable.
Compared to the alternatives mentioned, the salad spinner is the only solution that dries the lettuce completely. The kitchen also stays dry and the lettuce is protected. Furthermore, the salad spinner combines several kitchen appliances in one and can therefore be used in many ways.
What does a salad spinner cost?
Inexpensive models made of plastic and with a smaller volume are already available from around 5 euros – some even come with various plastic attachments for grating vegetables.
In addition, models made of stainless steel are available from 20 euros, depending on the quality level. Models with a larger volume cost up to 70 euros.
|Salad spinner with crank||from 4 euros|
|Salad spinner with cable||from 12 euros|
|Salad spinner with ratchet lever or pump mechanism||from 15 euros|
Electric salad spinners with pump drive should be considered individually and are often priced in the three-digit range, depending on the design and additional functions.
Decision: What types of salad dryers are there and which is the right one for you?
There are many different types of salad spinners. They differ in terms of drive technology, diameter and material. In any case, you will find exactly the right spinner for you here.
In general, these types exist:
- Salad spinner with crank
- Salad spinner with cable
- Salad spinner with pump mechanism and the
- Electric salad spinner with motor drive
In addition, salad dryers differ in the size of their capacity and in the different materials (stainless steel, plastic) they are made of.
- How active and fit you are
- What materials you like to work with in the kitchen and
- How much lettuce you want to wash or how much space you have for a salad spinner in the kitchen
Depending on this, there should be exactly the right salad spinner for you here. You can find out how the individual spinners work and what advantages and disadvantages they have in the next sections.
If you are only concerned about the price, then salad spinners with a crank drive are usually cheaper than the cable-driven versions. The pump mechanism is more expensive due to the innovative drive technology. Electric salad spinners are the price ringleader.
How does a crank salad spinner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The crank salad spinner is a convenient way to dry lettuce. You have control over the spinning process at all times and can easily control the amount of force applied.
Salad spinners with a crank are usually made of plastic and are quite inexpensive. The crank is attached to the lid or the side and is turned by hand. It is very easy to determine how fast the salad carousel rotates, as it reacts directly to the circular movements of the hand.
This gives you very good control over the speed of the rotation and makes it easier to control. This means there is relatively little risk of breaking the lettuce.
However, the spinner with crank can be quite cumbersome. This can be a problem for older, sick or weak people. However, the torque is lower than with other drives.
In addition, the crank is often unwieldy and bulky, which means that more space is needed for a salad spinner with a crank. However, there are also salad spinners with a retractable crank, which thus take up less space in the cupboard. You can even stack other kitchen utensils on top of it.
How does a cable salad spinner work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The cable pull requires less effort to operate than the crank and gives this spinner a very high torque. This speeds up the drying process, but too much of a good thing can damage the lettuce.
The salad spinner with rope also works by hand. The rope must be pulled by hand – similar to starting a petrol lawnmower – so that the spinner starts rotating. Depending on how fast you want it to rotate, you have to pull the rope more or less strongly. However, it is difficult to guess the correct dosage.
First of all, a cable pull is more space-saving than a crank, which is relatively bulky in comparison. This makes the cable salad spinner suitable for smaller kitchens with less space. In addition, the spinner with cable is easier on the wrist, as you have to use less force than with the crank-operated salad spinner.
However, you also get a better result. The torque is considerably higher, which simplifies and speeds up the drying process.
However, you have less control over how fast the salad spinner spins. If you pull too hard, it is difficult to stop the spinner again and the risk of damaging the lettuce is increased.
How does a salad spinner with a ratchet lever or pump mechanism work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The salad spinner with ratchet lever or pump mechanism is in no way inferior to its predecessors. The spinner can be operated by shifting its own weight, but is considered noisy.
The salad spinner with ratchet lever or pump mechanism has a knob, lever or button that is embedded in the lid. The lever on the lid is moved up and down. This sets the spinner in motion and the lettuce is separated from the water.
This variant also requires little force, but is particularly loud because the lever hits the lid. Uniform torque is difficult to achieve.
How does an electric salad spinner with motor drive work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The luxury version combines modern design with technology. Manual operation is taken away from you by a motor. Nevertheless, some people are bothered not only by the higher price, but also by the wiring. If you can bear to spin your lettuce by hand, you should go for the comparatively cheaper alternatives.
The electronic version is the most pleasant way to dry lettuce, but it is also quite a luxury. All you have to do is press a button and it starts spinning at the desired speed. For this purpose, the spinner is equipped with a motor drive, which must be connected to the power supply via a connecting cable or operated by batteries.
This means you can lean back and don’t have to set the crank in motion yourself. This is why this variant is ideal for old, sick and weak people who are not able to operate a crank or a cable pull.
If you simply don’t want to drive your salad spinner by hand, this is also a worthwhile alternative. The motor drive makes the spinner rotate evenly at different speeds, which your salad will thank you for.
However, in order to supply the motor with power, the salad spinner must be plugged into a socket by cable or batteries must be used. Accordingly, this salad spinner not only consumes electricity, but some people also feel uncomfortable working with electricity and water.
In addition, the spinner appears bulky due to the wiring and is more susceptible to water damage than its hand-operated alternatives. Another problem can be cleaning the salad spinner, as not every motor can tolerate the dishwasher.
Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate salad spinners based on these factors
Salad spinners can be compared on the basis of various functions. These have an impact on both the quality and the manageability of the product. This gives you a good overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the product and you can decide which salad spinner suits you best.
In summary, these factors – in addition to the price – are decisive:
- Drive technology
- Size / capacity
- Ease of cleaning
- Extra equipment / functions
In the following paragraphs, we will go into detail about the respective purchase criteria. This will give you a comprehensive insight and enable you to decide for yourself which of these factors have priority for you. This way you will definitely make a good choice!
The various drive technologies have marginal advantages and disadvantages. These mainly affect the amount of power required, the torque and the possibility of accommodating the salad spinner in the kitchen in a space-saving way. Each drive technology is unique and recommended.
The drive technology has already been discussed in detail. Therefore, the main features are summarised here once again. The compared salad spinners have the following drive technologies:
- Salad spinner with crank drive
- Salad spinner with cable drive
- Salad spinner with ratchet lever or pump mechanism
The salad spinner with a crank is the most common. It is easy to operate and the rotation can be easily controlled by hand. Some cranks are very small and awkward to grip. Due to the pressure that has to be exerted on the crank, it is particularly important that this type of drive is non-slip.
In addition, depending on how grippy the crank is and how it is geared, it can sometimes be turned with more or less effort. In addition, the crank usually takes up a large part of the lid, so that the salad spinner cannot be stored in a space-saving way.
Salad spinners with a cable have the advantage that they achieve a high torque without a great deal of effort. This means that the lettuce dries more quickly. Often the lids are flat so that the devices can be stacked and take up less space.
A disadvantage, on the other hand, is that the spinners are difficult to stop if the torque is too high – unless a brake button is fitted. Some even have a turbo button that increases the rotation even more. Therefore, it is possible to spin the lettuce “broken”.
Spinners with a ratchet lever or pump mechanism are also space-saving, as this can usually be retracted into the lid. This drive technology also requires relatively little effort, as you work with your own body weight.
The electric version was left out of the comparison because the procurement costs are in the three-digit range. Thus, this is more a purchase for professionals and not for everyday private use.
Depending on your preference, each of these drive technologies is appropriate. It also depends to a large extent on your personal fitness. Whether you are left- or right-handed is almost irrelevant. Most salad spinners can be used with either hand.
Various types of salad spinners are available. However, the materials they are made of are relatively straightforward. Besides metal and plastic, there are spinners made of silicone, with rubber feet or with a glass lid.
Choosing a salad spinner according to the material is more a matter of taste and depends on the respective design. The most important thing here is:
- How your kitchen is equipped
- Which colours and materials you already use in your kitchen and
- Whether you have any incompatibilities with certain materials
Basically, salad spinners are offered in metal (stainless steel) and plastic. Many manufacturers also offer transparent lids made of either plastic or glass. This allows you to watch the salad as it rotates and, above all, to see better when it is dry. In addition to plastic, cheaper versions also use silicone, which is elastic, dishwasher-safe and easy to grip.
Salad spinners made of stainless steel naturally look classy and are a real eye-catcher. They can be cleaned quickly and easily. What’s more, the stainless steel bowl is suitable for hot dishes and can also be used as a salad bowl or as a mixing bowl for making dough.
In contrast, plastic salad spinners are less expensive. However, the lifespan of these spinners is shorter. Nevertheless, there are also models with heat-resistant components, for example ABS. Hot food can be poured into these or the spinner can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Of course, health reasons can also play a role in the choice. In the case of intolerance to certain materials, e.g. silicones, it is of course advisable to avoid these materials. Likewise, if you want to avoid plasticisers in plastic, for example, it is advisable to choose a product that is bpa-free.
Size / capacity
On the one hand, the diameter and height of the salad spinner affect how much space it takes up. On the other hand, it depends on how much lettuce you want to dry in one wash. Generally speaking, salad dryers are available in almost every size and therefore for almost every situation, regardless of whether it is a single household, a large family or a catering business.
In general, salad spinners are available in almost all heights and diameters. In general, it is important to know:
- How much space do you have in your kitchen to store the salad spinner?
- How many people would you like to wash lettuce for on a regular basis?
There is the right size for every kitchen and every situation. Common diameters are 20 to 28 cm with a capacity of three to five litres. It only depends on your current living situation, so it’s important whether you have a kitchen or a dining room:
- You live in a shared flat and have to share your kitchen with several people
- You have a small kitchen for a single person
- have your own house with a large kitchen
- You work in a restaurant
A volume of three litres is often sufficient for singles. Two-person households should opt for a spin dryer with a volume of four to five litres. There are even foldable versions for kitchens with little storage space. In the catering sector and for professional kitchens, salad spinners with a capacity of up to 25 litres are also available.
If you can answer these questions, then you know which size to choose.
Design is primarily a matter of taste. Depending on how you have decorated your kitchen, you can choose modern stainless steel salad spinners or plastic models in the colour of your choice. Often, the spinners also have transparent lids or sides so that you can watch the salad swirl.
The appearance and price of salad dryers depend to a large extent on the material they are made of. Among them are the solid stainless steel versions, which impress in noble black and silver, as well as the colourful plastic models. It is noticeable that most stainless steel models also have plastic elements. Some even have impressive glass lids.
The plastic salad spinners are made of various plastics, including rubber and silicone. These are usually dishwasher-safe and bpa-free and available in many bright colours. your favourite colour is sure to be there!
In addition, the appearance and design of the salad spinner bowl is the deciding factor, especially to what extent it can also be used as a serving bowl. If you have a modern kitchen with darker colours, metal salad spinners would be more suitable than colourful plastic ones. If you are more concerned with the manageability of your salad spinner than the design, a plastic spinner is recommended.
Ease of cleaning
It is true that most salad spinners are very easy to clean. The lid of many can be disassembled and most are even dishwasher safe. However, this does not apply to every spinner. In particular, not every salad spinner lid is suitable for the dishwasher.
Cleaning is relatively uncomplicated with most salad spinners these days. The lids can be opened and taken apart. This was not always possible with older models. Since the lid was closed in itself, not all impurities could be removed.
Moreover, almost all spinners are dishwasher-safe, regardless of the material. The stainless steel versions are safe, but the plastic models can usually also be cleaned by machine. However, it is important to note that not all lids can be cleaned in the dishwasher. This is due to the respective drive technology. For example, this can cause problems with salad spinners with a cable pull. The cord and its suspension can be damaged by the hot water in the dishwasher.
Extra features / functions
Salad spinners are not only versatile, there is even a wide range of add-ons to get the most out of your spinner. These range from features that improve manageability, such as a non-slip base, spout and brake button, to extensions of your salad dryer as a salad bowl or freshness box.
Features that make a salad spinner particularly user-friendly include:
- Brake button
- Water drain
- Non-slip base
In most cases, a brake mechanism is built in so that the salad carousel does not overspeed and destroy the lettuce. In addition, there are developments that improve the manageability of your spinner, such as a handle, water drain or non-slip rubber feet.
There is no limit to the accessories for salad spinners and many can be expanded as desired. For example, some salad spinners can also be used as a fresh-keeping box for the salad. Some products are also suitable as colanders or serving bowls. It is not uncommon for the spinner to be used as a strainer for hot dishes and other foods such as fruit. In addition, grating attachments are also offered with which other vegetables can be prepared for salads.
Facts worth knowing about the salad spinner
Who invented the salad spinner?
“Who invented it? – The Swiss!”
It is true that the principle of drying lettuce is relatively old. Nevertheless, the salad spinner was only made socially acceptable at a late stage. The Swiss kitchen utensil manufacturer “Zyliss AG”, founded in the 1950s, brought the first salad spinner onto the market. The company is also the inventor of the onion chopper and the garlic press.
Can a salad spinner also be used for washing clothes?
The washing machine is amazed! In fact, some advisors recommend this method for small amounts of delicate and cold laundry. What is certain is that both machines use the same power to clean laundry: centrifugal force.
In fact, it is not uncommon for some people to wash special laundry with the salad spinner. However, due to the small capacity, these are usually smaller quantities. Clothes that you don’t want to wash in the washing machine with your other clothes, such as bras or fine lingerie, get nice and clean this way. Afterwards, you can even use the spin dryer as a tumble dryer and spin dry your delicates.
Art with the salad spinner: How do you paint with salad spinners?
The salad spinner as a paint spinner – with the Spin Art technique you can create cool pictures in no time at all. A creative activity for young and old and certainly the hit at every children’s birthday party!
all you need are pens, scissors, paper, acrylic paints and, of course, a cheap salad spinner. You’re ready to go and you’ll have colourful runny artwork with a spin art look. This is a super easy and creative activity for kids and all young at heart adults. Not only is it fun, but you’ll have unique pictures to hang up afterwards.
Image source: unsplash.com