Why is this device an "essential"? Because you can't make a decent salad without one. Dressings adhere well to dry greens, not at all to wet greens. They are also great for spinning various small vegetables after washing and especially for drying spinach after the necessary float wash.
Fortunately those horrid things from France with toy top mechanisms or chains with which to swing them around are no longer to be seen. We now have a choice of spinners that actually work.
More on Kitchen Equipment.
There are many brands and sizes of salad spinner other than the two shown here, but these are the market leaders. I have no experience with any of the others and their listings on Amazon show too few reviews to be statistically reliable.
Oxo Salad Spinner
Clearly this is the spinner to beat - and nobody's beating it. On Amazon
this spinner has 445 reviews with a 4-1/2 star rating (out of 5). I have used
mine for years and have never been less than fully satisfied with its
performance. Good Grips
Large 32480CL, Small 1045409CL, Softworks Large 1045421, Small 1045409CL.
Zyliss Salad Spinner
On Amazon this spinner has 47 reviews with a rating a shade below
4 stars (combining the green and white models). The models on Amazon are,
for the 4-6 serving size, 15721 (green), 15103 (white) and for the 2-3
serving size 15612 (green), but these are different from the model numbers
on Zyliss' Web site. Photo ©