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How squeeze dry spinach

I am VERY new to cooking. Several recipes I have come across say defrost and squeeze dry spinach. What is the best way to do this? I have been microwaving frozen spinach and then using a million paper towels to dry it, but I imagine there is a better way-is the microwave necessary? If I do it with a dish towel the spinach will stain it though.

I appreciate any advice!

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  1. I literally squeeze with my hands.

    2 Replies
    1. re: justagthing

      Same here. Quite often in cooking your hands are your best tools, no need to buy some kind of spinach squeezer (I am sure they exist) from Williams Sonoma.

      1. re: PeterL

        My hands don't really get it dry enough, and little bits of spinach often squish through. I think that the dedicated old towel is the best solution that I've seen.

    2. For most recipes, squeezing through hands or pressing through a mesh strainer would work fine. For doing larger amounts or the absolute driest spinach possible, straining or wringing it through a dish towel is best.......This is the method a commercial kitchen would use....and the way they squeeze dry chopped parsley too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        Yes... a dedicated "spinach towel", gathered up and a tourniquet up top. Bleed into a cup, and drink the juice. Hang discretely to dry for re-use.

        1. re: FoodFuser

          I have a "spinach towel" also...it's a worn out cloth napkin and works beautifully.

      2. I really hope that someone comes into this thread and gives us a revolutionary way to do this, but I've found no better ways than either squeezing with my hands, a dish towel, or lots of paper towels. I think that it's best to just use an old, clean dishtowel, and not worry about the staining, because it does a better job than the paper towels, and takes less time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JasmineG

          I do the towel wringing method, too, and haven't had a problem with permanent staining. I have, however, torn a few towels due to zealous over-wringing. I try not to use older towels for spinach anymore.

        2. I usually use the hand squeeze but if I am doing large amounts I place the spinach in a fine mesh wire basket lined with a triple folded clean kitchen towel, then place a large plate or something similar on top, and add weight - like a couple of gallon jars of anything.
          Then I prep whatever else I need to do while the spinach presses itself.

          1. I find that a bamboo sushi mat is exactly the right tool for the job.

            1 Reply
            1. re: 2m8ohed

              Addendum: I haven't tried this with frozen spinach, but it's great for blanched or steamed fresh spinach.

            2. Just use your hands. No stained towel!

              1. Yep, it's one of those pain-in-the-tush tasks but I thaw it in a colander and just keep pressing and pressing with my fingers to squeeze the moisture out. I've never used paper towels.

                1. Has anyone tried using a salad spinner?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gatorfoodie

                    have not tried a spinner, but think the chopped spinach would spin out with the liquid....

                  2. The Japanese use the sudare - sushi mat for squeezing the water our of blanched bundles of spinach. Makes for an attractive presentation if you cut the squeezed rolled bundle in pieces and top off with a sesame dressing (goma-dare).

                    1. Use your hands for squeezing spinach and grated potatoes; use your fist for pounding meat flat; use a towel and rolling pin to bash up ice or nuts; don't squash empty beercans on your forehead unless you're a college freshman.

                      1. A potato ricer gets it dry as a bone. Or a dedicated linen napkin or flour sack for squeezing dry all sorts of things that stain or lining a strainer. These aren't rare kitchen tasks..

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MakingSense

                          This is my way, works the best for me!

                        2. Is there a reason people don't just buy fresh spinach thats not frozen and use that instead?

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: cook411

                            It still gives up enough water when you cook it that it needs draining. I use a slotted spoon to scoop it up and squeeze it against the side of the bowl.

                            1. re: cook411

                              I use fresh and then just balance out the extra juice with some breadcrumbs in recipes where that is appropriate. No loss of nutrients that way either.

                              1. re: cook411

                                Fresh spinach is still really watery after you cook it, and if you're using it to add to something else, you need to get the water out if you don't want to make your whole dish more watery.

                                1. re: cook411

                                  I overlooked that the OP was using frozen. Why would anyone use frozen spinach?

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      Price. If you're going to cook, chop, or purée it, there's little difference in flavor. It's a good value. Maybe $1 for frozen vs. $2.50 for fresh.

                                        1. re: justagthing

                                          I still prefer to cook raw spinach, or use it raw after washing, but it is more expensive overall. If you cook down a bag of raw spinach you will end up with literally a handful of the cooked green stuff.

                                  1. I squeeze dry with my hands in small amounts or use a kitchen towel. I use all white lint free kitchen towels and have never had an issue with staining as they are washed in hot water with Clorox Advantage.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chelleyd01

                                      I do the same thing, chelley - white kitchen towel that is then bleached. I prefer all my towels (kitchen or otherwise) be white so they can be bleached no matter what, so it works out well.

                                    2. I microwave it with no added water, line a colander with (at least) four paper towels, put the spinach in, top with four more paper towels, and mash with my hands, or with the back of a fork if it's too hot to use my hands, Then I change the paper towels on the top and do it again. That's just the best way I've found, and it does work. I think you do need to use the microwave, or else I guess you'd just have to let it sit out until it was thawed.

                                      1. The potato ricer is tops in my opinion, look for one at a yard sale, best $2.00 I ever spent. They work great for anything that needs to be extremely well drained, as long as its not too soft and will smoosh through the holes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                          Defrost it, place it in a colander with small holes, and press down with the palms of your hands until the water stops running out.