13 Non-Salad Uses for Your Salad Spinner

al62/iStock Via Getty Images Plus
al62/iStock Via Getty Images Plus

The salad spinner is the unsung hero of the kitchen. While some argue they're a waste of space, everyone from The Kitchn to Bon Appetit to professional chefs say they’re essential, and they’re right: Not only can you use a salad spinner to clean and quickly dry your greens and herbs (add water first, then put the greens in the basket; agitate the greens a bit, then let soak; drain the dirty water, and spin and dump until the leaves stop throwing off water) but there are myriads of other uses for a salad spinner, too. Here are a few of them.

1. Removing Seeds From Tomatoes

Tomato seeds can leave a bitter taste in your mouth—but fortunately, you can use a salad spinner to get rid of seeds in both fresh and canned tomatoes.

To remove seeds from whole canned tomatoes, Chowhound member Eric Higgins recommends first draining the juice, then breaking the tomatoes up a bit and placing them in your salad spinner. A few quick spins will throw the seeds away from the tomatoes. All that’s left is to strain the juice with a sieve so it’s seed-free for your sauce.

With fresh tomatoes, you can remove seeds and extra juice by quartering and salting the tomatoes and giving them a spin, which separates excess juice and seeds from the tomato flesh without sacrificing flavor. Now extra tomato juice won’t water down your recipe, and you won’t have to worry about seeds, either. And if you want, you can dry the seeds and plant them!

2. and 3. Get Rid of Moisture in Veggies and Meats

Taste of Home notes that you can also salt vegetables like zucchini and eggplant and give them a spin in your salad spinner to get rid of the very last bit of extra moisture.

You can also use a salad spinner to dry chicken or fish before applying breading so the coating doesn’t fall off, according to Taste of Home. Just make sure to thoroughly clean your salad spinner afterward so it’s not contaminated with bacteria from the meat.

4. Defrosting Frozen Shrimp

The website Chatelaine recommends using your salad spinner to speed up dinner prep—at least, when your dinner involves frozen shrimp. Simply place the shrimp in room temperature water in your salad spinner, and spin to thaw. Then, toss the water and give the shrimp another spin to dry.

5. Cleaning Broccoli

Broccoli can have plenty of dirt hiding in its florets. To get rid of that grime, cut the broccoli (or cauliflower, bok choy, or many other veggies) into equally sized pieces and soak, then spin them dry in your salad spinner.

6. Removing Excess Water From Pasta

There can be a lot of water hidden in the tubes and folds of pasta—which can make for a watery pasta salad where the dressing pools at the bottom rather than sticking to the macaroni. Take the pasta from the colander (don't drain it using the salad spinner's plastic basket; the boiling water could melt it!), toss it in the salad spinner, and give it a whirl until the pasta is dry.

7. and 8. A Cake Dome and Bread Proofer

Good Housekeeping recommends using the bowl of your salad spinner as a cake dome to protect the desserts from everything from bugs to kids—and, as a bonus, a covered treat is a treat that stays moist longer.

You can also use your salad spinner to proof dough. Remove the basket, pop your dough inside, and cover with the lid. The fact that your salad spinner is clear will let you get a glimpse of your dough’s rise, and the lid will keep the dough from drying out.

9. Clean and Drain Beans

If you’re cleaning canned beans, put aside the bowl of the salad spinner at first and dump the beans into the basket. Rinse the beans until the water is clear, then put them into the salad spinner and spin gently until the legumes are dry.

10. Cleaning Berries

Berries, like greens, are delicate and bruise easily. But not when you clean them in your salad spinner! As you would with greens, fill the salad spinner with water, then immerse the berries in the basket. Let them soak for a bit, then remove and drain the water. Raspberries should be dried on a paper towel, but if you’re cleaning blueberries or strawberries, feel free to give them a gentle spin.

11. Make Crispy Seasoned French Fries

Taste of Home recommends using your salad spinner twice in the French fry making process—once after you’ve soaked the potatoes, to get the extra moisture out, and once after frying, to remove excess oil. One commenter on Chowhound said they also use the salad spinner to season their fries. “I chop parsley or rosemary real fine … throw it in the spinner with the fries … a few slow turns distributes it evenly on the fries,” 9lives wrote. “A few fast turns generates centrifugal force and takes most of the excess [oil] off the fries. I find this gets the oil off better than putting them on a paper towel or bag.”

12. Getting Water Out of Swimsuits

It’s probably not a bad idea to pick up a second salad spinner for non-food uses, too. A sodden swimsuit drips everywhere and takes forever to dry. Cut down on drying time by giving your swimsuit a few spins in the salad spinner. According to Taste of Home, you can also dry small kids toys in the spinner.

13. Cleaning Delicate Clothing

Here’s a quick hack that will get you out of hand washing your delicates, whether they’re bras or kitchen linens: Use a salad spinner, instead. Put the delicates in the spinner with enough water to cover them, add a gentle soap, and spin to wash. Dump the water, add some more, and repeat until all the suds are gone; then spin again to get them almost dry before hanging to dry fully.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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6 Fascinating Facts About Vincent Price

There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
Photoshot/Getty Images

It’s basically impossible to talk about classic horror movies without mentioning at least one film starring Vincent Price. With his menacing voice, laugh, and presence, Price easily became a staple in Hollywood horror cinema. The actor may be known for House of Wax (1953), The Last Man on Earth (1964), and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), but he has more than 200 acting credits across film, television, and theater.

Although his contributions to the horror genre are truly unparalleled, few people know that there is much more to him beyond these performances. He once wrote that he is passionate about three things: work, art, and food. Here are six fascinating facts you may not know about Vincent Price.

1. Vincent Price initially studied for a master’s degree in Fine Arts.

Price graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and a minor in Art History. He taught at his alma mater for a year before entering the Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. Although he fully intended to study for a master’s degree in Fine Arts, he was drawn to theater and decided to become an actor instead.

2. A museum in East Los Angeles is named after Vincent Price.

In addition to being an actor, Price was also a well-respected art collector and consultant. In 1957, he and his then-wife Mary Grant donated 90 pieces of art to the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) because they wanted students to have “first-hand experiences with art.” The institution named the art gallery, now the Vincent Price Art Museum, in their honor. Price had recognized art’s significance in education ever since he was a student himself. As he once said, "A picture was worth a thousand words, even if I had to read 10 million words to get to see more pictures.”

3. Vincent Price was a major foodie.

Vincent Price was as talented in the kitchen as he was on the screen.Frank Barratt/Stringer/Getty Images

Price was born into a family of food businessmen, so it's perhaps no surprise that he embarked upon his own culinary adventures. He went on to earn a reputation as a gourmet cook, cementing his culinary legacy by authoring several cookbooks and hosting his own cooking television show, Cooking Price-Wise.

4. Tim Burton’s Vincent Price documentary remains incomplete and unreleased to this day.

Price was Tim Burton’s good friend, frequent collaborator, and childhood idol. During the filming of Edward Scissorhands (1990), Burton approached Price to discuss the idea of an independent documentary about the actor’s life. They shot some interviews at the ELAC, and the project was tentatively titled Conversations with Vincent.

After Price’s death, Burton wanted to complete the documentary, which he then renamed A Visit with Vincent. However, it never happened. Some say the film wasn’t released because it became too personal for Burton, while others believe studios refused to grant any budget for the project.

5. Vincent Price's daughter says he was bisexual.

“I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men,” said his daughter Victoria Price in an exclusive interview with #Boom Magazine. He was also supportive of her when she came out to him. She recalled that he said, “You know, I know just how you feel because I have had these deep, loving relationships with men in my life and all my wives were jealous.”

6. Vincent Price’s voice is featured on a Disneyland attraction.

With a voice as iconic and distinctive as Price had, it’s no wonder Disneyland Paris hired him to record narration for their dark ride attraction, Phantom Manor. However, the audio was shortly replaced by a French narration, so only Price’s evil laugh remained. After a major renovation in 2019, Walt Disney Imagineering brought back his recordings and included previously unused material in the refurbished attraction.