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Need Salad Spinner Recommendations


Shel_B
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A friend of mine, who has little storage space, swears by an old pillow case (well washed, ofcourse) that she places the washed greens in, takes it outside, and swings over her head in a circular motion!

I do the same, indoors, using a clean dry kitchen towel. Underhand, so I don't spray the ceiling. In the shower works well if you're worried about the spray.

Salad spinners are one of those mono-functional semi-disposable needs-washing the-world-got-along-fine-without-them-until-recently bulky kitchen things that I don't want in my life.

Unlike, say, vertical-piston sausage stuffers, which no kitchen is complete without.

Ahem. Minnesota in January, this just won't work unless you want frozen lettuce and a deck or driveway that's slicker than snot. Since we are only a family of five, I opt for some of my bazillion flour sack dish clothes.

I just want to add that my OXO spinner has broken, AGAIN! The first time, it was replaced, in warranty. This time it's out of warranty so I'm going to dismantle it and see what is happening. It is used only once every two weeks, at most, at our vacation house. I now consider it a real piece of junk. I have a pull-to-spin other make at home, used very often, which still works after ten (!) years. I can't believe the enthusiasm some people have for this crapppy product.

Ray

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I've had one for a few years with no problems, but am curious, Ray. In what way did it break?

An update:

I tried to fully dismantle the unit, but it appears to be ultrasonically welded, which would require destruction. Being just short of that point, I removed the pop-out plug at the bottom of the center inside post, and out came some plastic "debris", after I deliberately forced the center column to rotate in the opposite direction of normal. At first glance the bits looked like flash which should have been removed during manufacture, but I dropped that theory after noticing that, although the top again spins when pushed, it has lost some vertical travel. Further examination reveals poor choices of materials, OXO having metal shafts bearing on inadequate plastic followers for the spin motion. I am undecided right now whether to again use it to the next failure, or do a destuctive exam.

Richard, the problem is that the top won't go down when pushed to spin the basket. It all "freezes" up. The plastic debris was jamming it. The bits apparently are coming from its mechanism.

Although many love these units, I have lost all faith in it, after two failures. And I fully expect failure #3 to happen soon, even though it sort of works again with lessened performance. But I cannot depend on it and will replace it with something else for our vacation house.

Ray

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I just bought the OXO from BigTray for cheap ($26).

It's rather spiffy. I don't know how I've gone so long without one. And for that price, who cares if it breaks after a few months. I'll more than make up the cost by spinning my own salads, avoiding the perchlorate-rinsed grocery store, plastic bag salad.

The button brake is neat, but it's more gimmick than anything; it's not like a salad spinner is going to take a finger off or anything. :biggrin:

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Sound suspiciously like a Kitchen Aid mixer.....

Ooooh, don't get me started on @#$% Kitchenaid.

I'll likely pop a gasket.

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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  • 3 months later...
Salad Spinner Review I have only used commercial salad spinners, which are too large, and too expensive for avocational cooks.

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

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  • 4 months later...

I have nothing against OXO, but I really have not liked my OXO salad spinner. I have one of those push-button systems but recently upgraded to a Guzzini. It is better, more stylish, but it still does not perform as good as cheap models I owned while living in Europe. I guess I am a salad spinner snob. Sorry.

OK, the OXO salad spinner is well made and does its job admirably, but it seems too bulky, hard to clean, and strangely doesn't get the greens as dry as cheaper spinners.

I've tried to figure out why the OXO dries greens less, and I have only anecdotal evidence to offer, but here goes my uneducated opinion:

(1) The OXO seems to spin too well. It is so well balanced that if there were a bit more 'wobbling' and agitation, it might shake more water loose. It spins so well they even had to introduce a brake to prevent the spinner from spinning too long. (It would spin for a long time if left on its own.)

(2) The basket has rounded 'slats' -- and a lot of them very compactly too. The spinning basket actually seems to collect water. I am not able to analyze the surface area and tension, but the rounded and very compact basket slats seem to make water adhere to the basket. When I am done spinning, if I shake the basket, it rains water down. The slats just seem too hold water and thus prevent further water from draining. I could be wrong, but if you look carefully at the basket after spinning, it often looks like a bubble maker with thin layers of water filling the gaps. Rougher edges and more space would probably let the water drain more easily.

Essentially, I think the OXO is too well made. It doesn't agitate very well (it just evenly spins) the greens and the basket doesn't allow enough space for water to escape. My cheap European models were inferior and had less basket material, rougher slat edges, and spun less consistently. They also drained water better.

And before you mention it, yes, I know that salad spinners will not actually completely dry greens, but they should get them mostly water-droplet free, and I can't help it that I have used cheaper European spinners that have gotten lettuce much drier than the OXO. I even gave an Italian one away some years ago, arrgggghhh.

I also don't care for all the 'machinery' of the OXO. It is hard to clean as it has a bulky push mechanism with spring, brake, and lock to keep the handle down. Again, cheaper models have done a simpler and better job with a lot less manufacturing.

With that said, I still like my new Guzzini, but for some reason I am still in search of the plain cheap ones that seemed to do a better job. The Guzzini is stylish and I am happy with it -- though it is hard to find it for sale in the US and I don't like how loosely the cover attaches to the bowl.

If someone knows of a great salad spinner, i would be very thankful.

Thanks.

k.

Edited by mr drinkie (log)

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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If it's wobbles you want then try sticking it in the dishwasher ;-) That's what my flatmate did to my salad spinner... it came out kinda wavy and all buckled but with a bit of effort it still spun - but boy did it wobble! But it worked well enough that it wasn't replaced, perhaps the dishwasher experience made it better!

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I've tried to figure out why the OXO dries greens less, and I have only anecdotal evidence to offer, but here goes my uneducated opinion:

(1) The OXO seems to spin too well. It is so well balanced that if there were a bit more 'wobbling' and agitation, it might shake more water loose. It spins so well they even had to introduce a brake to prevent the spinner from spinning too long. (It would spin for a long time if left on its own.)

(2) The basket has rounded 'slats' -- and a lot of them very compactly too. The spinning basket actually seems to collect water. I am not able to analyze the surface area and tension, but the rounded and very compact basket slats seem to make water adhere to the basket. When I am done spinning, if I shake the basket, it rains water down. The slats just seem too hold water and thus prevent further water from draining. I could be wrong, but if you look carefully at the basket after spinning, it often looks like a bubble maker with thin layers of water filling the gaps. Rougher edges and more space would probably let the water drain more easily.

Essentially, I think the OXO is too well made. It doesn't agitate very well (it just evenly spins) the greens and the basket doesn't allow enough space for water to escape. My cheap European models were inferior and had less basket material, rougher slat edges, and spun less consistently. They also drained water better.

And before you mention it, yes, I know that salad spinners will not actually completely dry greens, but they should get them mostly water-droplet free, and I can't help it that I have used cheaper European spinners that have gotten lettuce much drier than the OXO. I even gave an Italian one away some years ago, arrgggghhh.

k.

On the contrary to your experience, I find the OXO to be poorly made. The first unit I had was replaced by the maker, and the second one failed, also.

As far as getting the greens dry, I don't believe the OXO spins fast enough to do the job. My workhorse is an old unit with the pull cord, which reverses direction on each pull (annoying), but it really gets the job done, and it STILL WORKS after about ten years!

Ray

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Those Zyliss ones look interesting. I stayed away from them in the past because I didn't care for the pull cords. The push-lever is interesting but still reminds me of the OXO a bit. There are just so many parts that can eventually break. The push button on my OXO popped out once and it took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to get the spring, locking mechanism and the plastic bits back in place.

I do like the colors on the Zyliss though.

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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I have never had a salad spinner -- from any maker, including OXO and Zyliss -- that lasted more than 6 months or so. I just bought another OXO, and it seems even flimsier than the last one we had a year or two ago. If it lasts through the summer I'll be pleased (also surprised).

I would love to find a professional-quality spinner sized for home use. And frankly, if All-Clad or somebody were to introduce a $200 stainless steel and glass model that looked like it would last several years... all my friends would laugh at me, but I'd buy it.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I have both sizes of the OXO stainless and have used them heavily, for both salads and vegetables (the small one especially for sprouts) as well as for extracting whey from yogurt and soft cheeses, butter, etc.

I bought them to replace the plastic ones that deformed in my old Hobart dishwasher. The baskets in both these have been in the new Bosch dishwasher (top rack only) with no problem.

They get greens as dry as I like, sometimes, will full leaf romaine, I have to remove the lid, rearrange the greens and spin again because the shape of the leaves will not allow the water to escape. I have no problems at all with broken or torn leaves, etc.

At one time I had a commercial washer/spinner for catering jobs. It was similar to this one but a larger size. It worked well but became difficult for me to use because of arthritis and I eventually gave it to the person who "inherited" my business.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I looked at the Rosle before I bought the Oxo - they were selling at a huge discount when Linens 'N Things went out of business, but I didn't like the idea of a separate "hub" in the bottom because if it isn't centered, the spin basket can hang up and damage the lid mechanism.

I also looked at the Polder but the basket seemed a bit flimsy to me.

I don't like the ones with the pull cords because every one I have owned has either broken (the cord that is) or the spring that retracts the cord has detached from the reel which then require that you rewind it by hand. On one the cord attachment broke and the end popped me in the cheek causing a cut - I still have the scar.

The commercial ones are quite sturdy and they work even with a small amount of greens.

I did a quick search and found a Eurodib 2.5 gallon salad spinner for a very competitive price.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have never had a salad spinner -- from any maker, including OXO and Zyliss -- that lasted more than 6 months or so. I just bought another OXO, and it seems even flimsier than the last one we had a year or two ago. If it lasts through the summer I'll be pleased (also surprised).

I would love to find a professional-quality spinner sized for home use. And frankly, if All-Clad or somebody were to introduce a $200 stainless steel and glass model that looked like it would last several years... all my friends would laugh at me, but I'd buy it.

I wouldn't laugh at you John, I'd ask if I could come over and take it for a test spin before I bought it too. :wink:

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just noticed that Muji has an online store for the US now. Apparently, it has been open for about a year now, but I just noticed it.

Anyhow, they have a simple and inexpensive salad spinner for $13.25. It doesn't look all that big, but it reminds me of some of the spinners I had while living in Europe. No push buttons, cords, or other fancy stuff on this product, just Muji simplicity.

http://www.muji.us/store/household/kitchen/salad-spinner.html

I think I might try this one out.

k.

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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