Test Kitchen tips: Salad spinners
A salad spinner is one of those items I used to consider a "luxury," meaning I couldn't really justify alotting space for one in my tiny kitchen at home.
But since I've been trying to eat more salads lately (you gotta do something to rein in intake when you work at a diet-hazardous job like a test kitchen), I've kind of fallen in love with them. A salad spinner certainly isn't necessary when it comes to drying cleaned greens, but it sure does make the job a lot easier.
I looked up a "tool department" article we did in 2008 on salad spinners. The spinners we tested may be a bit dated (I don't know that gadget companies come out with new models every year like car companies, though I'd wager there are more current models on the market today), but the criteria used to judge them definitely works for today. We looked for things like how well different models store on a shelf, how they work, and how well they work. We even looked at aesthetics -- is the spinner bowl nice enough to double as a serving bowl for the finished salad?
If you're looking for a salad spinner, they're easy to find at most home and kitchen supply stores, and there's a seemingly infinite variety to be found online. A basic spinner should set you back no more than $20.
Finally, should you worry about washing those "triple-washed" bags o' greens you get at the store? The Health section did a couple of stories earlier this year on how the salad industry is tackling clean greens and whether you should wash packaged greens or not.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times