How To Use a Salad Spinner
Lots of people resist buying a salad spinner because they perceive it to be a waste of money. After all, it is a bulky tool that only has one purpose, right? Wrong. This humble tool, beyond just serving the purpose of spinning salad to dry as its name suggests, can do much more. In fact, this is a handy thing to have at home. Below you will understand the many uses your salad spinner has.
What Is A Salad Spinner?
Sometimes the simplest tools can also be very useful. One of these cases is the salad spinner, which is really nothing advanced or complex. It has 3 main parts, the bowl, usually made of plastic; the strainer basket, which can be removed; and the cover, where the lever or a push button can be found. This button or lever allows you to spin the contents of the basket, using this centrifugal force to remove any excess water from your greens.
The water removed from the salad gets strained and settles at the bottom of the bowl, ready to be poured out. In the end, you get dry lettuce ready to be served. By drying them, you keep the salad from becoming limp and you make it possible for the dressing to stick to the greens.
Salad spinners can be found in different sizes and designs but all follow the same basic principle. While it is undoubtedly useful, it might also be quite bulky and take up a bit of space on your kitchen cabinet.
- Washing and Drying Salads
The most common use of your salad spinner is to wash and dry lettuce and other leafy green vegetables. This is very easy and uncomplicated, starting with tearing the greens into smaller pieces. You can then opt to either remove the strainer basket and wash the lettuce under running water or to fill the whole spinner with cold water and leave the dirt to settle at the bottom. You might be required to wash a few times, especially when the salad is especially dirty.
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The key is to wait until the water is clean, meaning the salad is also clean. You might also opt to use some white vinegar or vegetable wash, just make sure you rinse them afterward a couple of times. Once you are finished washing, you need to remove all water inside and start spinning any extra water out. If you still see some dirt or if the water is not clear, you might need to wash the greens again. Continue the washing and spinning process until your greens are ready to be served.
Other Uses Of Your Salad Spinner
Although this tool is called a salad spinner, it can definitely wash and dry more than just lettuce. Here are some ideas on how you can maximize your spinner.
- Wash And Dry Herbs And Vegetables
Your salad spinner can also be used to clean and spin other kinds of vegetables. Herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro, as well as veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, can also be tossed inside this tool. Just make sure that the cauliflower and broccoli are chopped into smaller pieces.
- Wash And Dry Berries
If you have some berries like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries to wash and dry, then you can use your salad spinner for this purpose. The steps are the same as cleaning salad. However, if you have delicate ones like raspberries, it is better to dry them in a piece of kitchen towel.
- Rinse And Drain Canned Vegetables And Beans
When you remove the strainer basket, it can be used like any ordinary colander or sieve. You can drain the liquid from canned beans or vegetables and rinse them until they are clean. To dry them, put the strainer back into the bowl and spin.
- Clean Leeks
Leeks are notorious for being difficult to dry after they are rinsed and chopped. If you already have a salad spinner at home, then use it to serve this purpose and get your leeks ready for cooking.
- Remove Excess Moisture From Grated Vegetables
Several recipes require grated vegetables, like hash browns. However, they should not have any excess moisture as it will not turn out well. Instead of squeezing the liquid out of your grated potatoes or zucchini, whip out the salad spinner and let it do all the work for you. It is also faster.
- Defrost Shrimp
One of the lesser known uses of a salad spinner is to defrost frozen shrimp. All you need to do is to put the shrimp into the spinner, fill the whole bowl with room-temp water until it covers the shrimp, and spin it to thaw. Once it is thawed, drain all the water and spin again to dry the shrimp.
- Remove Seeds From Canned Tomatoes
If you do not like the bitter seeds, put the whole canned tomatoes and break them with your hands. Spin it and see all the seeds being strained out.
- Drain Pasta
Another handy use of your salad spinner is to drain and dry cooked pasta, especially if you need it for pasta salad. However, make sure to drain it first in a different colander as the very hot water might melt your spinner’s strainer basket. You can also run some cold water on the pasta to cool it down before drying them in your salad spinner.
- Hand Washing Delicates
Beyond cooking, you may also use this humble tool to wash your underwear and bras. You need to first wash them in a different bowl, or the sink with some detergent and rinse until there is no soap left. Use the spinner to dry them without the risk of destroying them. Hang the underwear to dry afterward. You might, however, want to invest in a different salad spinner for this purpose.
The handiest tools can also be quite simple, like your humble salad spinner. It is, indeed, a useful thing for drying a lot of food items (except for tiny grains like rice). With just a little bit of spinning, you can speed up the drying process and start cooking your main dish or preparing your salad.