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Jul 18, 2009 06:20 AM

Salad Spinner

I'd normally say that these things are just worthless, but in the 2nd year of my csa, I'm thinking it might be useful. The salad bags and spinach and kale all need to be cleaned, and I know from previous experience, that I just might not do that, and toss them after they turn in the fridge after neglect. I've vowed to clean the little leafies as soon as I get them, and then repackage for the fridge for easy use during the week. I bought a:
Kitchenaid KG 308
and an oxo 1045421:

Hoping to get opinions on which one will not break after 3 uses or anything else helpful.
Or, should I just save the hassle, and get one with a stainless bowl?
I gotta use one starting today, and the other will go back, or I can take em both back and get a stainless one.

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  1. 1. A clean, dedicated cotton pillow case: put in wet greens, go outside, swing around head.

    2. Sturdy grocery bag with loop handles: put in paper towels and greens, swing around head. No need to go outside.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Sam, you are always just a font of do-it-yourself information. Love the ideas!

      I'm sorry I didn't see you thoughts first. I bought a salad spinner about a month ago. I bought an Oxo spinner. So far it hasn't broken down. Works fine. Was pretty cheap, so I guess I don't feel too bad about it.

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        I think I am getting too old and creaky to try spinning a salad around my head in a pillow case, but it would make for quite a discussion among my dinner guests, helping to reinforce their perceptions of my eccentricity :)

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Ha! That's my old method. Actually I would make a sling out of a kitchen towel and swing it. I prefer a side swing (vertical) vs the over the head method, although I did whack one of my dogs once. I got tired of my girlfriend laughing at my backyard salad dance, so I tried her Oxo spinner and it clearly does a better job. The difference was most obvious with french fries, which should be as dry as possible before dropping into the oil. I played with a couple of pull types at the store, but it felt like trying to start an old lawnmower and I figure that string is going to fray eventually. So I bought an Oxo. My dog approves my choice.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            This is how I picture the posthumous Sam. Slinging the pillowcase as a dynamo centrifuge salad spinner.

          2. We got a plastic one as a wedding gift, and we have been married 11 years. Use it on average 2 times a week and it's still going strong. The brand on the bottom says Per Alimenti. Made in Italy.

            And I know it wasn't expensive as it was part of larger group of items in the gift from someone that wouldn't go crazy on a salad spinner.

            1. What I like about the ones you've chosen is that the bowls are solid so they aren't necessarily one-use-only items. I like mine, though, as it has openings in the bottom of the outer bowl so that when I'm finished pulling that cord and spinning the daylights out of the greens, everything is dry enough to begin using. I really like that but it also means it can't be used as a salad bowl. That doesn't matter to me as I have plenty of bowls. It is emsa brand and is plastic. Have used the heck out of it and it hasn't broken yet. I guess this is the long way of saying I don't think you need stainless, plastic should be just fine. Does one sit still better than the other when you're spinning it? That would matter to me. I have to hold mine in the sink corner while pulling the cord or it bounces all over the place.
              I think you'll love having one, by the way. :)

              3 Replies
              1. re: fern

                Balance. Good point.
                Thanks to all so far. Will choose late this afternoon after farmer's mkts and cleaning kitchen to prepare for the veggie processing, so if there are other suggestions - much appreciated in advance.

                1. re: gordeaux

                  I own the Oxo. Balance comes from center mounted plunge drive. I will never go back to the string centrifuge or the lever drive.

                  Can't speak for the KA, but it looks similar to Oxo as it has center plunge drive.

                  Since you have both on hand:

                  1) compare the "snapping" of the fit when you close the system. Which one feels stronger? Which on seems to transfer power to the spin with less "slap and slop?"

                  2) go thru the manufacturer recommended "cleaning procedure", as this dis-assembly will give you a good feel for which brand is more sturdy. Check for weak points in the plastic gear system, plastic clasps, junction points, etc.

                  My Oxo is great for rinsing home made sprouts, to dehull them, based on the size of the mesh of the spinning basket. The sprouts stay in... the hulls escape. Does the KA have the same size sieve holes?

                  Again, I've never used a stainless steel model, but I enjoy the visibility thru the acrylic bowl... that may be a sprout hull thing where I can judge easily how many hulls have passed out of the seive.

                  Looking forward to your report.

                2. re: fern

                  Just joined Chowhound and noticed this entry. We got the Per Alimenti salad spinner more than 20 years ago, and it's still going strong! Can be taken apart easily to clean every year or so, and it always seems to work a little better than the more familiar brands when I think of getting a new one, so I have stuck with the basic old reliable.

                3. Never tried the KitchenAid, but I'm very happy with my OXO. It's sturdier and easier to use than the two different Copco models I've had in the past (though they all produced decent results). It also has a soft ring on the bottom that keeps it from skittering around too much on the counter while it's spinning. The only other salad spinner I've liked as much was a pull-cord-type Zyliss, but the bowl was made of a more rigid plastic than the OXO bowl, and eventually--after years of frequent use--it cracked.

                  1. Realize that a spinner won't really get the dirt off CSA greens. The best way to do that is to put them in a bowl of water and rinse them in that. The spinner is very good for drying but not so much for cleaning actual dirt, as opposed to the little bit you may find on supermarket stuff.

                    I have no opinion on which model. Personal preferences.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lergnom

                      That's exactly what I'll be using it for. I have a decent tub to fill with water that fits in the sink. I'll swish the asst greens around, and then spin em dry, repackage, and store.

                      1. re: lergnom

                        since the spinner is essentially a bowl, i use the spinner's to wash/rinse greens. i then use the spinner to dry them.