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Draining frozen spinach?!

HOW is this done without a salad spinner?!
I love spinach and would love to cook with the frozen, chopped variety more often but I have NO idea how to drain it without making a huge mess. Usually, I thaw it in a colander and then press it with my hands, but that squeezes some out of the colander and gets my hands all spinachy. Plus, it's still wet enough to add a substantial amount of water to whatever I'm preparing. I've even gone as far as to spin it through a freaking pillowcase but that made a giant mess and left spinach all over the inside (look, I was desperate.)

There has got to be a trick to this. HELP!

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  1. My only trick is copious amounts of paper towels or a towel. I don't mean a little kitchen towel, I mean a big towel that I don't mind being stained green. I roll it up (like a jelly roll) and press with all my might.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Violatp

      I've tried paper towels, but they break apart when they get wet - even if you used several layers at a time.

    2. Well, my way will still get your hands "all spinachy" but it's the best I've come up with. I squeeze a handful at a time over a colander (to catch the bits that inevitably drop). Then when I've squeezed as much as I can that way, I press all the handfuls onto several sheets of paper towels, folding the edges over the top to blot up the remaining liquid. This gets about as much liquid out as possible.

      I have seen Rachel Ray wrap it in a kitchen towel and wring it out but then you've got a spinachy towel.

      1. I leave the package of unopened frozen spinach out on the counter overnight. Once it's thawed I take SMALL handfuls and squeeze them out one by one over the kitchen sink and drop it into a bowl. It takes a while, but it's really not that messy. :)

        1. If you like creamed spinach, check out Pam Anderson's version at ThreeManyCooks.com. She uses frozen spinach, but you don't have to drain off any of the liquid. It is delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MrsJonesey

            Thanks for mentioning this - I'm going to try it.

          2. I use my ricer to squeeze it.

              1. how about two nested mixing bowls, spinach in the middle?

                1 Reply
                1. re: jaykayen

                  That is my approach, too, unless I just go for it with my hands instead.

                  I can't imagine using a wringing towel and then having to clean that...

                2. not a perfect solution, but I tried something new recently. I always bought frozen chopped spinach, thinking it would save me a step when making calzones. but it seemed so wasteful because flecks of it would wind up in the colander, sink, my hands, etc. now I buy the whole leaf, thaw in colander, squeeze with my hands, and then chop. it seems there is significantly less waste.
                  my friend loves to use her ricer to squeeze the spinach, like
                  sarahendipity suggested.

                  1. um.. maybe i'm missing something here but i just cut the top off the bag, twist it a couple of times, turn it upside down in the sink, and start to squeeze (and squeeze, and squeeze)... gets the job done for me! maybe i've got some sort of technique i'm not aware of, but seems pretty straight forward!

                    1. Thaw it, draining as much as possible from the box/bag by making a small hole in the bottom. Then spread in a ring on a large plate and microwave on low to medium power, checking frequently, until dry enough.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: greygarious

                        "Thaw it, draining as much as possible from the box/bag by making a small hole in the bottom."


                        i do this, but don't always have access to a micro, so after squishing out as much liquid from the bag as i can, i dump the contents into a colander and then squeeze bunches by hand. very little waste.

                      2. I use a clean kitchen towel. Works like a champ.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                          I also use a clean kitchen towel. I have a few that I reserve for just such tasks, as obviously the towel will get stained. I find using a cotton towel works much better than either cheesecloth or just my hands, and takes less time to wring the maximum amount of water out of the spinach.

                          1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                            I use a kitchen towel too - the spinach juice washes out of the towel without staining.

                          2. I use a natural muslin bag with natural tie. The contents of the frozen spinach goes in the bag. I let the spinach defrost in the bag inside a small colander. Then I squeeze out all the liquid and dump the spinach out. I rinse the empty, but now stained, muslin bag well with hot water, turn it inside out and wash it in the next dishwasher cycle on the top shelf.

                            1. I thaw it and squeeze with my hands.

                              1. Easy...just thaw it out for a few hours if it's in a box like another answer said...then I press it with my hands into my metal colander that I use to strain pasta or rice or noodles with...ok, it IS sort of a pain but I've never used paper towels...yikes, it would stick to the paper!

                                1. I thaw and drain as much as I can through the holes in the box. Then I take paper towels and wring the water out. I know some people have mentioned the towels shred, but this doesn't happen if a) you have the expensive, thick paper towels and b) you use only a small amount for each towel. I generally have to use 5 or 6 towels for a box of spinach.

                                  1. I've used this method for years....I first thaw spinach in a mesh-style colander. Next, squeeze out as much water as possible by hand. Line a cotton kitchen towel with 2 or 3 paper towels (still connected). Spread spinach over paper towel. Roll up and squeeze. Gets all of the water out, and the only "mess" left, stays on the paper towel. I make many appetizers where it is crucial to get the water out. Works like a charm!