salad spinners that have enough clearance so the basket is not in the water!?!

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by siduri, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    I have a huge beef with salad spinners.

    They all have a basket inside a pot or bowl thing, and the basket spins around on a pin sticking up from the pot. 

    My problems is WHY DO THEY MAKE THE PIN SO SHORT that the salad, after having been spun, is sitting in the water!!!!????

    It seems so obvious to me, that you have to have a decent clearance between the basket and the pot, so the salad doesn't end up in the water.  It would take SO LITTLE to do, just a little brain power, make that little stick half an inch longer.  No big technology, not brain surgery, not rocket science. 

    Now i have never owned an expensive salad spinner because it doesn;t seem that they are any better, but I would be willing to buy a good one, an OXO or soimething, if i could be guaranteed that it would have a deeper space between the basket and the bowl. 

    Can anyone tell me if this exists, (and if not, WHY NOT?!)

    i regularly have to spin the salad two or three or more times, and every time, it's sitting in the water - and gets wet again. 
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Take a china cap or steamer basket put greens in it .Go on your patio or your yard and spin it around .You dont need a second container to retain water. Centrivacal force will hold greens in basket, and extrude water out.  I one time worked in a large place that put salad in a clothes dryer that was used for this only (heat coil was disconnected) worked great  dry salad for 400
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Siduri, if that's truly a problem for you I suspect you're not using the spinner correctly.

    Spinners are designed to remove that last bit of water from washed greens. If there's so much water on them that the basket is sitting in water, you started with leaves that were too wet.

    After washing them, put them in a collander to drain. Then finish the job in the spinner. See it that makes a difference.

    FWIW: The pin on my Oxo holds the basket slightly less than a half inch above the bottom. I have never had the basket sitting in water.
     
  4. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    Punch a hole just above the bottom of the spinner, on the side wall.. Seriously. One nickel sized hole.

    When cleaning large amounts of greens, we just didn't have time to be straining it all. We had four holes in our 20 litre spinner. Straight from the water in one sink into the spinner in the other sink... spin, water streams out of the holes, greens are nice and clean and dry. If you do this, just make sure your spinner is in the sink. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    KY, i use a spinner not to waste time - before having a spinner, which was for some 20 of my 40 odd years of cooking - I would vigorously shake handfuls (handsful?) of greens out one by one, and they came dry.  It didn;t take long, but it took longer than i wanted.

    I want to wash them and spin  them - yeah, i could dry them first, but I like my tools to work for me, or i do it by hand.  Letting it sit - how long? a minute? five? I don;t really want to have to wait, which is why i have a spinner.  And if there are lots of crinkles in the leaves, like in nice romaine, the water catches in there anyway and doesn't drain.  The basket is not sitting immersed in water, but it touches the water which clings to the leaves at the bottom.  Even after the second time.  I usually have to spin 3 times to get dry leaves.

    Prairiechef, I use the bowl of the spinner to wash the greens - I fill the pot with water, with the basket full of leaves already in it.  I swish them around with my hands and then lift the basket so the sand goes to the bottom, dump it and repeat.  When i complained about water sitting in the bowl and re-wetting the greens, someone gave me a spinner that had a hole at the bottom.  But then i had to use another bowl to wash them, without the convenience of the basket to lift out, so it just extended the time of salad washing. 

    Once, my sister in law in the states had one that had a very deep channel all around the bottom of the base (bowl) that caught quite a lot of water - i asked her for one like that but she got me the one with the holes.  It was a no-name brand.  Never saw another like it.  The oxos that i;ve seen were sealed in a box or had an opaque bowl so i couldn;t see the clearance. 

    You might say i'm fussy, but the problem is very simply solved by the manufacturer, make the &%*[email protected] pin a little longer.  It's not rocket science.  And you save time washing and drying the salad.  So, yeah, i could let it drain first, but why shouldn't a spinner be made that actually leaves the lettuce dry?  I wanted to know what spinner that might be

    (Speed is of utmost for me - i often get home at 8:30 and have to start cooking.  Eating at 9 is already late for me - the idea of leisurely draining the greens would require too much advanced thought and/or time.)
     
  6. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    Long post.

    Ok... after reading all that you have three options:

    -Source a better (for you) spinner.

    -create a better spinner.

    -Suck it up.

    and...umm.. "leisurely draining" enough greens to feed 1 or 2 people... by the time you bend over to get the salad dressing, you should be fine. Maybe you're Steve Jobs and your life is scheduled down to the nanosecond... fair enough. But if you can't spare the extra 10 seconds it takes to shake your lettuce dry before dumping it in your spinner, you might wanna reevaluate your daily duties. if you wash them in the bowl... fair enough... then put the spinner in the other sink and use it as a colander. Or use your sink to wash your greens. Or hold them in your hands and let water run over them. Or put them in the basket and hold it under running water.

    Just for fun, maybe put a stopwatch next to you the next time you wash greens. Start to finish. I'd be surprised if it passes a minute and half.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  7. siduri

    siduri

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    Why the sarcasm Prariechef?  Have i offended you? 

    I like things that work, things that are well-designed.  If they are labor saving devices, they should actually save labor. And if they can do it with very little effort on the manufacturer's part (well, a little mental effort but no added expense), why are they so poorly designed?  People have a million idiotic and wasteful gadgets in the house, like electric can openers, that require no less time or effort than crank operated ones.  People have food processors that occupy half a kitchen counter, and bread makers and every possible convenience contraption. I bet if i were asking for an ELECTRIC salad spinner noone would bat an eye. 

    I am asking if anyone happens to know of a brand of spinner that has a very simple thing - a higher distance between the basket and the bowl.  I;ve bought five different types over the years and none of them have it.  I haven't tried an oxo, or the other expensive german brand (can't remember the name) but maybe someone has and can tell me if they have the characteristic I'm looking for.  That's not much to ask.  If it;s not a problem for you, it happens to be for me.  And if i have to SHAKE the water out, then i don't NEED a salad spinner - i did it like that for years. 
     
  8. gunnar

    gunnar

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  9. chefross

    chefross

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    I use the salad spinner whenever I am drying greens. I take the approach that I will drain as much water from the basket as possible before I place it in the spinner, as has been offered.

    Try placing a sheet of paper toweling in the spinner with the greens. It helps take out some of the last bit of liquid and it works.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    There is a salad spinner that is sold  commercial only. It is called The Green Machine. It does a great job of drying greens.
     
  11. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Is this the Green Machine you are referring to?
     
     
  12. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks for your suggestions, but i guess it's not clear,  I'm a home cook.  I don't do 6 liters of greens, I don;t have anybody washing up for me, I certainly don;t have a thousand dollars to spend to wash my salad!  

    I just want to know a very simple thing, is there a salad spinner out there that keeps the basket a reasonable distance from the water.  I'd pay a little more, if i knew that there was a more reasonable clearance than the slightly more than half centimeter that my current one has.

    The kind with the hole that drains the water out is not an advantage for me, because salad spinners take up a lot of room in a small city kitchen so i want it to do more than one job.  I like to use the basket to wash all kinds of greens, even those that don't need to be spun (spinach to boil) because you can swish it around in the water and then lift it out all at once so the sand stays behind).  If it has a hole, it means getting some other pot out, and then pulling out the greens by handfuls, and that's no easier than spinning it three times when i do salad.  There is no saving of time.  And as i said, i HAD one like that, and didn;t like it.  

    I guess i'm the only one who has this problem, or the only people who read this forum on equipment are professionals.  
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    All of them made for as you say "'The Home Cook"""have a bottom on them therefore none of them are any good. So after spinning, blot with paper towls
     
  14. siduri

    siduri

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    No, actually, I've seen plenty that have holes in the bottom, and a hole in the top where water is supposed to run in so supposedly you can wash the salad that way.  I don't find that a good way to wash greens, unless they're already clean - not when they're full of sand or snail droppings, as they often are here. 

    There is no reason they can't have a bottom with a pin that holds the basket higher, however. In fact i did see one in someone's house, except the brand was not written on it.   Does anyone know the height of the oxo basket?  Or any other brand?  

    I know i can dry with towels, but what is the point of a spinner, if i have to do it again by hand?  I did it all by hand in the past, so at that point, what is the advantage?  It would be like a dishwasher that you have to take the dishes out and rinse them a last time, or a food processor that only half chops the food, but you have to finish doing it with a knife! Or an electric mixer that only mixes the top half of the batter, and leaves the last half inch untouched.  Does anyone see my point? 
     
  15. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    There is no sarcasm... none. I'm giving you the opinion of  guy (like many, many others on this site) who has cleaned a massive amount of salad greens in his career. You have been told many very very simple solutions to solve your problem as it stands. We see your point, but we don't see why the extra 3 seconds to lift the basket and dump the bowl before respinning the greens is a huge issue.  

    So, to answer the only question you have, I guess...

    No, I don't know of a home salad spinner with a longer pin.
     
  16. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Siduri, I've never seen a salad spinner with a longer pin.  I don't use the bowl of mine for washing the greens, I do that in under running water then dry them in the spinner.  You definitely do get home late in the evening and I can understand how you would want to make your dinner prep as efficient as possible.  Before we had the kids I didn't get home until 7pm most nights and if we were lucky I'd have dinner on the table by 8.  To save myself time I would on Sunday prep and wash a few days worth of salad greens just to save myself that little bit of extra time. 
     
  17. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks, Leeniek, 

    I know there are many solutions, and even if I had all the leisure in the world, there are some tasks that i just find irritating because i know they could be simpler.  And because sometimes industries spend incredible amounts of time and money developing idiotic gadgets that save no time at all (electric can openers, for instance, which, unless you have only one hand, or terrible arthritis, really only take up space) but none on the simplest gadgets. 

    If anyone should come across one that doesn't require spinning several times, please tell me.  I will run to buy it.  Like the better mousetrap, I'll beat a path to your door. 

    As to a professional chef's opinions, I can understand if your job is to cook all day, you will do all sorts of things. You're being paid for it.  But I bet you definitely would NOT want to cut with a dull knife.  Not that it's impossible to cut and cook if you don;t have the best knife, but you wouldn't want to, and no one will say there are other solutions (like pressing harder, sliding the knife back and forth as you slice, etc).    Think of this as my dull knife. 
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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     Invent your own, patent it-  maybe you will make a lot of $
     
  19. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Siduri, having been the recipient of many lousy can openers, my late mother's electric one is a blessing.. it works perfectly all the time and sits on the counter beside the toaster, but I do get what you are saying when it comes to gadgets taking up so much space.  

    My salad spinner has bit the dust so at some point I need to get a new one... if I find one that has a decent lenghth pin I'll let you know.  My spinner was 22 years old and I am sure things have changed since it was first made...
     
  20. siduri

    siduri

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    Good luck, leeniek.  My feeling is that things have indeed changed, and usually for the worse!  Everyday stuff used to be made well and made to last, but today's stuff tends to be more and more crappy.  I think it's entropy!