Lettuce – Spinning like a Great Chef

Knowing we loved lettuce, a friend gave us a salad spinner as a gift years ago. I guess just about everybody knew what a salad spinner was but me.  So, I was a bit surprised to see this fancy plastic contraption for drying lettuce.

You put the lettuce in the plastic colander basket inside the plastic container and turn the crank.  The basket spins and the water falls through the holes in the basket to the larger container.  When you take the top off, your lettuce is a lot drier and you just empty the excess water and dry the spinner.

It worked great.  Until the plastic part broke from lots of use.

That was about 25 years ago.  I never bought another one and thank goodness no one gave me one.

The Plastic Bag Method

I went back to my method of using a plastic bag. You know – like the ones they put your food in at the grocery store.

Washed lettuce being placed in the plastic bag.

I fill the bag with my just-washed-lettuce and step out my back door.  Then I twirl (fling) the bag around for about 30 seconds.  After that I hold the bag so the water drains to one corner. Then I tear a hole in it to let the water drain out.

Twirling the bag gets the water to leave the lettuce leaves.

When Bill positioned himself to take this picture of me flinging the bag around, you can imagine our surprise to discover the bag already had a hole in it. As centrifugal force kicked in — it was Bill who got wet.  There wasn’t much water left to drain out after that.  But you get the idea.

Just a drip of water remains.

Another Option

Last year a friend discovered that the same ease and results could be obtained from using a lingerie bag you can pick up at Wal Mart for a dollar. He gave me one.

Zipping the lingerie bag with the lettuce in it.

You don’t have to tear a hole in it to drain the water, but you do have to take it outside with a bowl under it or the water will drip on the floor.

The Great Chefs of the World

After using the plastic bag method for years I read someplace that some of the great chefs of the world use the same method!  How about that!  Boy, was I in good company.

And it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them haven’t turned to using the lingerie bag method. (Just in the interest of being up-town you understand.) 🙂


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  • What an ingenious idea! Never thought of it. I have a spinner but it is too much trouble and takes up too much room in my pantry.

  • Too funny! And I thought I was the only one spinning around my lettuce in the backyard. We use a pillow case and make a game out of it for my 2 year old. The bag becomes a sprinkler as you sling it around in circles. We both delight in the fun of it. I just love the lingerie bag method! What a great idea!

  • Beppy, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to bother with a spinner.

    The bag is sooo easy!


  • Takes having a two year old to really get the most fun out of this, Farming Bear.

    Bill didn’t think it was too much fun when he got sprinkled. 8)


  • I recieved a salad spinner as a Christmas gift. I put it away and just remembered about it this spring. So I got it out and it took me a while to figure what the big deal about it was. I used it once and put it back. I think I’ll go find a mesh bag. Now the spinner has to have some kind of use, don’t you think?

  • Maybe you could use the inside basket as a colander, Don. And the outside part as a bowl for something or other. No idea what to do with the top.

    Thanks for commenting. Makes it fun!


  • I wrap my lettuce in a towel and spin it outside. The water flies off. Sounds like the pillow case method. I had a salad spiner but it was cheap and didn’t work well. The towel works for me but I wonder what the neighbors think 🙂

  • Hi Theresa. Got an update for you. With your help, we have the largest harvest of lettuce we’ve ever had! We’re getting a minimum of 8 PACKED cups every other day. The wintersown method was certainly a wonderful way to go this year with the lettuce. I used to use a pillow case but with all this gorgeous lettuce, we went out and bought a fancy salad spinner to celebrate! Probably didn’t need it but WOW are we happy with this harvest! Much gratitude from me and my husband for such great advice on the lettuce! 🙂

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