This Wacky-Looking Tool Will Change How You Make Salad *and* Pasta
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of specialty kitchen tools or unnecessary new takes on classic cooking utensils. Call me the anti-Inspector Gadget, but my sauté pans, chef’s knives, and boring old spatulas work just fine. So I was not expecting to like the Dreamfarm Spina In-Sink Salad Spinner. Not one bit. I’m happy to report I was wrong; this tool is awesome.
The Dreamfarm Spina is a plastic colander made with a unique design. To start, its handle extends off to the side, making the basket part useful for draining pasta. But push that handle in toward the center of the basket, and it rotates to sit on top of the basket. The result looks like a hanging plant basket, but this feature is about more than aesthetics: On the bottom of the basket is a small gasket that can suction to the surface of your sink. Press down on that movable handle, and the basket rapidly spins, flinging out excess water from your greens or veggies.
When my editor here at Kitchn asked if I’d like to try this newfangled salad spinner, I said yes with the intention of writing a diatribe against modern takes on traditional cooking tools. But after a week of testing it, I’m a convert: The Spina is efficient, easy to use, and cleverly made.
The best part about this tool is its simplicity. Although it may sound complicated, it’s a lot easier to use (and wash) than my traditional three-component salad spinner. It’s more compact, too, and takes up less space in my already jam-packed cupboards. Plus it means I don’t need a colander and salad spinner. I can just have this. I’ve noticed that since owning the Spina, I’ve eaten greens more regularly, because I don’t have to go through the *drama* of using, washing, and drying my old salad spinner.
There are two things to know if you’re planning on buying a Dreamfarm Spina. First, it is a little smaller than most spinners. The 3-quart basket is ideal for rinsing enough lettuce for a hefty salad, but it’s not going to tackle your week of meal-prepped kale in one go. The second minor pitfall is that it performs best on an entirely flat surface. I have a 2-bay sink (Remind me to write about the annoyance of that another time), so the Spina is always attached to the bottom at a slight angle. This makes it slightly awkward to use. I much prefer to spin away in my boyfriend’s giant single-bay sink, where there’s a larger flat surface to play with.
But don’t let anything stop you from getting one of these ultra-techy gadgets. It’s $29.95, which honestly seems like a bargain for a tool that’s both efficient and more fun to use than a pop it toy. While I still don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel, it turns out the salad spinner was due for a makeover.
Do you have a salad spinner you love?