Test Kitchen Tips
9 Ways to Use a Salad Spinner That Have Nothing to Do With Salad
Your salad spinner is not a one trick pony! Find out how you can put this tool to good use when you're not washing greens.
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You might think that salad spinner in the back of your cabinet is one of those classic kitchen uni-taskers—you know tools that serve only one purpose. Though it’s great for giving some of our freshest salad recipes a quick rinse, we can assure you that a spinner can be used for much more than leafy greens.
Haven’t purchased this nifty gadget yet? Try this model from Cuisinart. ($18)
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Making a picnic-ready pasta salad or just a hearty weeknight dinner? Think twice before pouring your pasta through a colander and calling it a day. To get your homemade sauces to stick to your pasta and aren’t watered down, give your noodles a quick run through the salad spinner. (Just remember to save a portion of the pasta water!)
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When recipes call for salting veggies like eggplant or zucchini to extract the extra moisture, finishing the process with a quick spin will remove those last drops. This step is key to our grilled eggplant parmesan stacks.
Taste of Home
Chicken and fish
When you’re making fried chicken for the next family picnic, the recipe will call for patting each piece chicken dry before seasoning or breading. Many chicken and fish recipes add this step to make sure the tasty coatings don’t fall off the meat. Get the job done in a flash by spinning all the pieces at once.
Cleaning all sorts of veggies (not just leafy greens)
Some veggies like broccoli, leeks or cauliflower have nooks and crannies that hide bits of dirt—especially if they’re from a farmer’s market or your own garden. So after you cut the florets for zesty garlic broccoli, giving them a thorough wash in the spinner will clean them gently and completely. Then just drain the dirty water and spin your veggies dry.
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Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and more all need a thorough washing and drying before they’re added to salads, pies, amazing desserts—even your bowl of cereal! These beauties are easily bruised, so the salad spinner is the perfect tool to pamper them. Just as with the veggies, cut them up as needed and give them a thorough, gentle wash. Then drain the dirty water and finish with a delicate spin.
Pro tip: Don’t wash your strawberries until you’re ready to eat them. Here’s why.
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No actual spinning involved with this one, but if your spinner has a clear bowl, it’s a perfect cover for rising dough. Making Mom’s Italian bread recipe takes a bit longer than just going to the store—but the results are heavenly! Using the clear spinner bowl allows you to watch how the dough is progressing without disturbing it or drying it out.
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With dried beans, you usually have to rise and soak them—and make sure you don’t have any tiny stones in the mix. The spinner will take care of all of this in no time. Are you using canned beans for a slow-cooked beans recipe? Drain the liquid and rinse and dry them the same way.
Homemade french fries are usually a rare indulgence, so taking a few extra steps to make them as deliciously crispy as possible is well worth it. Use the salad spinner to take out the last bit of moisture after soaking the potatoes. Then pop them back in after cooking to remove the excess oil.
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No food involved here—but so much convenience! Reproduce the magic of the locker room swimsuit spinner and rinse and dry the kids sopping suits between washings. Of course, the spinner should be thoroughly washed before and after this extracurricular activity.
PS: This will also works on their tiny toys!