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It's always important to wash and dry your produce before eating it to remove any dirt or impurities, and that's where a salad spinner comes in handy. A salad spinner's job is to remove excess water, leaving you with fresh and crisp ingredients, including lettuce, kale and more. While the purpose of a salad spinner is standard, there are slight variations on the gadget that can impact operation and storage. To help you find the perfect salad spinner to fit your needs, we've pulled together a list of the best salad spinners.
Types of Salad Spinners
Before you give your greens a whirl, it's important to understand the differences in the available models. While they will all achieve the same end result—dry greens—there are three different ways a salad spinner operates and creates circular motion. The three types of spinners are a pump-based spinner, a crank-based spinner and a pull-cord-based spinner.
A pump-based spinner operates like a plunger: the downward movement causes the machine to spin. A crank-based spinner typically includes a handle that needs to be constantly turned to create the motion. Finally, a pull-cord-based spinner works similarly to a lawn mower where you pull a cord out to start the machine.
How to Use a Salad Spinner
Regardless of the type of spinner you choose, salad spinners come with three main components: a lid, a colander and an outer bowl. To use a salad spinner, simply wash the produce in the colander before fitting it into the outer bowl. For greens that just need a quick rinse, you can simply run water over them in the colander. For sandy or dirty greens (looking at you, spinach), put the greens in the colander inside of the outer bowl, fill with water, agitate the greens with your hand, and let the dirt sink to the bottom. Empty and repeat as necessary (You might need to use several changes of water.) Once your greens are clean, attach the lid and, depending on the model, spin the greens with whatever motion is required.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when using and selecting a model. First, does the machine have a brake? Most salad spinners come with a brake, which is a button that can be applied to stop the movement of the machine. A good brake is quick to respond and allows you to control the duration of the spin to avoid damage to the ingredients. Second, what does the outer bowl look like? If you're wanting to dry and serve your salad in one bowl (i.e., less cleanup), the look of the outer bowl might be something to keep in mind.
Best Salad Spinners
This is our list of the best salad spinners to make it easier for you to pick one.
Read on for details on what makes these salad spinners the best.
Best Overall Salad Spinner
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
OXO is known for their sleek and reliable kitchen items (their kitchen scale took the top spot in our reviews) and this salad spinner is no exception. This pump-based salad spinner comes with a nonslip grip on the base of the outer bowl to stabilize the machine as it moves. Not only is the machine easy to use, but in our tests of drying butter lettuce and a mix of delicate salad greens, the OXO spinner left us with the driest greens and zero damage to the leaves. With an affordable price tag and a quick-to-the-touch brake, it's no question that the OXO is the best overall salad spinner.
Buy it: OXO, $30
Best Compact Salad Spinner
Prepworks Collapsible Salad Spinner
If you're short on cabinet space, the Collapsible Salad Spinner by Prepworks is the perfect option as every feature was designed with storage in mind. Both the colander and the outer bowl can be folded down to minimize space, while the lid stands out from other crank-based machines. Instead of a handle that sticks up, the machine has a flat disc that spins like a turntable, which leads to a sleek and slim design. And rather than a traditional brake button, this model stops spinning when you squeeze the sides of the bowl for a unique, fun and functional feature.
Buy it: Walmart, $31
Best Stainless-Steel Salad Spinner (Tie)
Williams Sonoma Stainless-Steel Salad Spinner
The Williams Sonoma salad spinner comes with a stainless-steel colander and a plastic bowl, which is the reverse of the OXO version. The stainless-steel colander was our favorite of the models tested because of the smaller drain holes, which prevented stems from getting caught when spinning. The crank-based model includes a brake button and a nonslip base on the plastic bowl. One unique feature is that the plastic bowl has a divot on each side where utensils could easily rest when serving without worry about them falling into the dish (and forcing you to touch the food to retrieve them). And once you're done spinning and serving, the model is dishwasher safe.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $60
OXO SteeL Salad Spinner
While we love OXO's Good Grips Salad Spinner, we're also fans of this stainless-steel version, which is the reverse of the Williams Sonoma model. The OXO stainless-steel salad spinner includes a stainless-steel bowl and a plastic colander, and we love this combination for one important reason: presentation. The gorgeous stainless-steel bowl makes it easy to use just one bowl for washing, assembling and serving a salad (and who doesn't love fast cleanup?). And speaking of easy cleanup, the lid on the spinner comes apart, which makes drying the lid effortless.
Buy it: OXO, $50
Best 2-in-1 Salad Spinner
Dreamfarm Spina 2-in-1 Collapsible Salad Spinner & Colander
We're always fans of kitchen items that serve a dual purpose, and the Dreamfarm model is both a colander and a salad spinner. Compared to other models, the Dreamfarm consists of just the colander and a handle that turns into a pump-based salad spinner. This salad spinner is designed to be used only in the sink: there is no outer bowl to collect the water as the colander spins. While the absence of a lid may cause greens to go flying in your sink, it also means one less part taking up precious cabinet space. Although there is no brake on this machine, the greens we tested were dried and undamaged so we weren't upset about the missing feature. Plus, the machine was the easiest to clean of all the models we tested.
Buy it: Amazon, $30
Best Salad Spinner on Amazon
Zyliss Easy Spin Salad Spinner
The Zyliss salad spinner is the only one on this list that works with the pull-cord method. While the machine is easy to use (and dare we say it's also fun?), it's just as simple to stop the spinning as the brake button is quick to respond. The nonslip base on the outer bowl ensures a stable machine and can hold up to six servings of salad greens so you'll only have to spin once to get your ingredients clean. And when you're done serving, the machine is easily cleaned thanks to a lid that comes apart.
Buy it: Amazon, $30
Best Large-Capacity Salad Spinner
Farberware Salad Spinner
If you're planning to serve up a lot of leafy greens, the Farberware is a great choice. With a capacity of 5.25 quarts in the colander and 6.65 quarts in the outer bowl, this salad spinner is the largest (and most affordable) option on the list. When it's not in use, the pump locks into place to minimize the height of the lid for easy storage. Although the brake isn't as quick to respond as other models, the greens were undamaged and sufficiently dried in our tests. The Farberware would be a solid selection if you know you'll be washing and drying greens often.
Buy it: Amazon, $20