Ina Garten's Towel Hack For Drying Greens Without A Salad Spinner

Ina Garten smiling
Ina Garten smiling - Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Ina Garten isn't a fan of using kitchen tools that are essentially a one-trick pony, like apple corers and avocado slicers. You'll never find a garlic press in her kitchen and even though she owns an ice cream scoop, she also uses it to scoop other things like fish cakes and cookie dough. But what about a salad spinner? Though Garten admitted that she loves the handy device during a cooking segment on the "Today" show, she shared that there's an equally effective hack.

As she demonstrated on the show, all you need to do is take a large kitchen towel and spread out your washed salad greens on it. Then you gather the edges of the towel so all the greens are contained and swing it around. According to Garten, this mimics the motion of a salad spinner, allowing the towel to quickly absorb the excess wetness from the leaves. It might look silly, but if you don't have a salad spinner, it's definitely more efficient than simply patting the leaves dry with a towel or waiting for them to air dry.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Why It's Important To Dry Salad Greens

Wet salad greens on a wooden table
Wet salad greens on a wooden table - PV productions/Shutterstock

If you don't normally take the time to dry your salad greens, both a salad spinner and Ina Garten's DIY version of it may seem useless. However, the truth is that it's an important step that improves the overall quality of your salad. As she explained on "Today," the drier the leaves are, the easier it will be for the dressing to adhere to it.

The reason this happens is simply because water and oil don't mix. Since oil is a main ingredient in some of the most popular salad dressings around the world, it's important to know that wet leaves will prevent the dressing from sticking to it. Sure it'll make it into the bowl, but only the greens at the bottom of the bowl will be adequately dressed. Perhaps more obviously, wet salad greens also mean watered-down dressing. If your salads are consistently turning out soggy and bland, you'll definitely want to dry them first.

Does It Really Work As Well As A Salad Spinner?

baby spinach inside salad spinner basket
baby spinach inside salad spinner basket - Oceane2508/Getty Images

Both salad spinners and Ina Garten's towel trick both rely on centrifugal force to dry salad greens. The difference is that with the "Barefoot Contessa" host's method, it is activated by hand, not the push of a button, and the water is absorbed by the towel instead of collecting at the bottom of an outer bowl. Both are effective at drying salad, but if you're not careful, the fast motion of a salad spinner can bruise your salad greens, which is less likely to occur if they're wrapped in a towel.

The main advantage to using a towel instead of an actual salad spinner is that it doesn't take up counter space or sink space and if you already own a kitchen towel, it's free as opposed to the $20 to $60 price range of most salad spinners. Even the Salad Sling from "Shark Tank" — a dedicated salad drying towel that essentially does the same thing as a kitchen towel — is still on the pricey side at around $20.

So if you don't have a special salad-drying device, there's no need to go out and buy one because Garten's hack will work just as well.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.