Lettuce can be used in a variety of tasty ways. It’s a great addition to sandwiches, and you can always use it in a delicious salads.
No matter what you use it for, it’s important to take the time to wash and dry it for safety purposes.
Many people use simple gadgets known as “spinners” to dry heads of lettuce. They’re easy to use and pretty convenient to own overall.
If you don’t have a spinner that you can utilize, you might not be sure how to go about getting it dry. Thankfully, it isn’t all that difficult once you know what you’re doing.
Read on to learn about the different ways you can dry lettuce without a spinner.
1 – The Swinging Method
The swinging method requires a clean dish towel of some sort. Make sure that you have a clean dish towel that’s ready to go before getting started.
Find a spot to place the dish towel such as your kitchen counter or a nearby table. Put the wet lettuce leaves on it while trying to keep them in the center.
Bring the four corners of the towel together and then twist it. This is going to capture the leaves inside of the towel so that they can’t go anywhere.
Gather all four ends of the dishtowel in one hand and start swinging it around as if it were a lasso. Pretend you’re trying to rope a bull like people do in old Western movies.
As silly as that might sound, it’s a very easy way to dry lettuce leaves. You’ll be swinging the water off of the lettuce pretty fast just by swinging the towel around as if it was a lasso.
The only problem is that this can cause you to sling water. Some choose to do the actual swinging outside to avoid making a mess.
You could gather the lettuce leaves in the towel and then step outside on your porch or deck to do the swinging portion of the technique. This will make it so that you won’t have to clean up excess water in the kitchen.
When you’re done, take the towel back inside and set it on your kitchen counter or a table. Unwrap it and check out your lettuce leaves.
They should look dry now after you took the time to swing them around. They’ll be ready to use and you can enjoy a tasty meal.
2 – The “Roll-up” Method
The roll-up method is a pretty popular and simple way to dry your lettuce after washing it. Lay down a clean dish towel on your kitchen counter or on a nearby table.
Place the head of lettuce on the towel and shake a bit of the water off of the leaves. You’ll just be keeping the lettuce on the towel in a single layer.
Next, roll the towel so that you’ll roll up the lettuce leaves. You want to be gentle because you’re not trying to squish the lettuce.
Apply some pressure to the towel without going overboard. If you use too much pressure, you could easily bruise the lettuce.
When you’re done, you can unroll the towel and your lettuce should be dry. This won’t take long to do at all once you get used to using this method.
3 – The Shakedown Method
The shakedown method is similar in some ways because you’re going to need a clean dish towel or another type of towel to get started. Place a clean towel out on the counter or the kitchen table so that it will be ready for when you need it.
Wash your lettuce and then use a colander to drain it. Ensure that the lettuce isn’t dripping water by draining it until it’s only wet on the surface.
Grab your clean towel and place it over the colander. Stand over the sink and shake the colander in all different directions.
The towel will catch the water that comes out, and you’ll be drying the lettuce by shaking the water off. You’ll need to ensure that you shake in multiple directions to truly get all of the water off.
Once you’re done, remove the towel and examine your lettuce. If it looks dry enough, you’ll be ready to utilize it in whatever dish you’re planning to make.
4 – Pat the Lettuce Dry
Another common way that people dry lettuce involves patting it down. If you’re washing an entire head of lettuce, this might be the easiest thing to do.
Simply get a clean towel and get ready to use it once you’re done washing the lettuce. Get your lettuce out of the water and place it in a bowl or on top of a sheet pan.
Transfer the lettuce to an area that gives you enough room to work and dry it off. Now pat it down with a clean towel so that you can get rid of the water.
It’ll be necessary to be a bit meticulous if you want to ensure that the lettuce is as dry as it can be. This might take a bit of time, too, but it’s easy to do.
Keep patting the lettuce down and you’ll be able to get it dry. You should be able to look at it and touch it with your fingers to see if it’s still wet.
5 – Lay Lettuce Leaves on a Paper Towel
There are simple, slow ways to dry lettuce that you can look into as well. If you don’t mind waiting a little while, you can wash your lettuce leaves and then place them on a paper towel.
Lay your paper towels out on the kitchen counter or the kitchen table. Then place the lettuce leaves on the paper towels in a single layer so that the air will dry them.
You could line a sheet pan with paper towels and do it that way, too. It doesn’t really matter too much so long as you’re not concerned about the lettuce leaves blowing away.
It’s probably wise to avoid having a fan running near the leaves since you don’t want them to be blown off of the paper towels. That would speed up the process of air-drying the lettuce, but the lettuce leaves are so light that they might blow away.
Every so often, you’re going to want to turn the lettuce leaves to ensure that they’re drying evenly. This isn’t too much of a pain, but it’s good to remember to do it so that you get the best results.
It’ll likely take an hour to dry the lettuce using this method. For some, it might be a bit too slow, but it’s easy enough that you might not mind.
Using a Spinner Is Easier
Truly, using a spinner is going to be the easiest way to dry lettuce in a timely fashion. It allows you to get things done quickly without making a mess.
If you don’t have a salad spinner right now, that’s fine. There are other options available to you, but it might be worth considering purchasing one since they don’t cost much money at all.
Restaurants actually use salad spinners because of how quickly they allow workers to dry greens. They’re simply convenient, and they’re also simple enough to use that they won’t pose a problem to someone who is a novice in the kitchen.
An average spinner that you’d buy for your home will cost $20 or so. If it can make your life a bit simpler, it’s likely worth the small investment.
You place the lettuce leaves in the spinner and then you pull the cord a few times. The spinner will spin around a few times and your salad will dry very quickly.
It should take approximately ninety seconds to get this done. This means that using a spinner is substantially faster than the other methods being presented here.
Even if you don’t need a spinner to dry lettuce, it’s still possible to see that it’d be nice to own one. Now that you have all of the information, you can make your own decision.
There are quite a few options when it comes to drying lettuce. You can use simple methods such as patting it down with a towel if you’d like to go that route.
Another way that you could approach the situation is to lay the lettuce on paper towels and allow the air to dry the leaves. This will take around an hour, but you won’t have to do much.
More complex methods such as swinging the lettuce in a towel or rolling it in a towel will take a bit of skill. These methods aren’t hard, but you do need to do things right to get the best result.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to simply buy a salad spinner. It’s fine if you don’t have one, but using a spinner would save you a good bit of time.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.