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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 http://www.shopkitchenaid.com/zoom.as...
and an oxo 1045421: http://www.housewaresworld.com/oxo10s...

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.

                      2. I have this one: http://order.tupperware.com/coe/app/t...
                        bought it years ago, and I actually HATE to lug it out to use it, but man it WHIPS - leafy stuff gets so dry- but it's stupid expensive... and sometimes my hand slips off that ball-knobby thing and I say bad words...

                        1. I ♥ my Oxo salad spinner.

                          On the plus side:
                          * The bowl is sturdy enough that I can use it as a salad bathtub. I keep the sieve in there and just lift out my greens, dump the water and spin it twice (once will get out most of the water but for storage purposes I need it fairly dry so I dump water from the first spin and whirl it again).
                          * It’s large enough that I can spin whole Romaine leaves if need be.
                          * The lid stays on when in the cupboard, allowing an easy one-handed grab from the lower shelf.
                          * It’s fun to super-cyclone leafy greens.
                          * It has a stop button.

                          On the downside:
                          * It takes up a fair amount of space in my tiny kitchen.
                          * The grippy rubber ring is coming off after five years of very wet inside and out, solid use. I will glue it back on (or so I’ve been telling myself for months now).

                          I can’t abide bagged salads. Whatever it is they coat the leaves with makes me feel like I’m eating sawdust covered greens. I’ve tried soaking the greens, Heck, I’ve tried everything because lord knows I am lazy and would love to be able to open up a bag and have salad So this lazy girl bags her own salad once or twice a week and I’ve come to truly appreciate the lowly salad spinner.

                          1. I also love the Oxo spinner. My first one died after very heavy usage and bout 7 or 8 years, and I saw a Rosle one with a stainless steel bowl that I thought would be useful for dressing the salad after spinning it dry. It died after less than a month's usage, and it was the kind with the string that you pull in order to activate the spinning mechinism. I returned it to Amazon, and got a full refund. A few days later, I saw the newish Oxo stainless spinner, and have been very, very happy with it. Like my original Oxo, it has the pump mechinism, which is the way to go IMO. Plus I love the stainless bowl, which I wipe out and use to toss the salad.

                            1. Thanks to all -
                              Went with the Oxo over the KA.
                              The KA was definitely nicer looking, taller, more stately looking, and even had a bonus feature: three removable dividers.

                              As for that pesky little obstacle that most ppl with sense refer to as "functionality," however:

                              The Oxo product was FAR easier to use. It was no contest. The KA colander was rubbing against something. For each pump, the KA got about 6 rotations. The Oxo went FAR more. The KA was difficult compared to the Oxo. The Ka spinning mechanism was concealed in a column that stood in the center of the bowl which took up space. The Oxo
                              product spun the bowl from the sides leaving the entire bowl area open. The KA product's button to release the spinning button was a hassle. Had to press it two or three times for the thing to work.

                              Oxo won, hands down.

                              1. I have the oxo in stainless and I really like it. It's heavier than the plastic version and the outer bowl looks nicer. I previously had a plastic oxo and it gave out after many years of use.

                                1. There are several variations on this. I have a Zyliss with a pull string and now a smaller Oxo with the plunger on top. No question, the Oxo is easier on the arm. You can do it with one hand, pretty much, and you get the basket spinning really fast. Can't say for durability, but I think it should hold up fine. Now the Zyliss, I've had that for at least 7 years, so this is the older pull string variant. (I have heard the newer ones may not be as good.) its heaviest use started two summers ago when we started with CSA, and it has held up just fine.

                                  The actions of these two have slightly different theories behind them, it seems. The Oxo gets spinning really fast. It does have a stop button on it, but it won't stop really short. The Zyliass clearly uses the sudden stop after the string is drawn back in as part of its action. This may or may not be more effective, not really sure. One pull of the string would give several turns as the string pulled out then wound back in, then when the pull handle hits the bowl it stops short. Then you do this again and again. You have to hold the bowl in place with your non-pulling hand, and it's notably more work. But it may be slightly more effective than the just spin spin spin of the Oxo.

                                  Our current process is to use the bowl alone to fill up and wash, then dump the greens into the basket to drain, dump the water, then put the basket into the bowl to spin. You may want to wash, spin, then do another wash before doing your final spinning. In the final spin, you'll want to dump water at least once then spin some more. Plus stop to toss the greens around in there a bit and spin some more. Cramming it really full is not as effective. A big lettuce might be two loads worth realistically. Having the smaller one is nice for fresh herbs. They are all a pain to store, can't hang them up , can't stack that well.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: CrazyOne

                                    I had a Zyliss like yours, Crazyone, with the string pull. I just had to pitch it this year after probably 10 years of use because the bowl cracked, and couldn't find another one like it.

                                    I ended up with a "progressive" that I got at BBB with one of those nifty coupons. The spinner has a lever on the lid. I don't like it nearly as well as that Zyliss.

                                  2. I had an Ikea plastic spinner for years and it worked beautifully, cleaned up well and was a lot sturdier than I thought. It's still going though did get sent to a second household when I was given the OXO which also works really nicely. BTW I have tried Sam's pillow case trick and it does actually work. I did it in a 'pinch' situation and I don't think I'd have the patience to do it ( and to wash the pillowcase!) often but it does in fact work.

                                    1. I just got the Oxo and love it. It spins beautifully with little effort. It replaced a $10 Walmart pull-string model that only lasted a couple of years before the string broke. Not bad, but the Oxo is much better.

                                      1. as a total aside, salad spinners are great for entertaining kids as well - cut a piece of paper to fit basket, add a couple drops of food coloring (so it is safe for future use!), and spin - voila, spin art at home. Hmm, now that I think of it, may need to try with flour tortillas for edible spin art . . .

                                        1. I’ve been using an OXO salad spinner with the stainless bowl for about 5 years now. The first one broke first time it was used, took it back, it was exchanged for another o the same model and have never had a problem since.

                                          1. I'm growing my own lettuces now, and have just decided to buy this one, having read on CH and elsehwere: http://www.amazon.com/Guzzini-Latina-...

                                            I'm buying the 11" one to avoid crowding issues. We eat low carb, so for just two of us, it's still a LOT of salad.