Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
Well, Summer should be here by now, but we all wait in hope, and with the summer comes the opportunity to make healthy, crisp salads from the abundance of fresh produce available.
I was recently sent a set of OXO salad preparation products to review. All of the items were from their Good Grips range.
RRP: £26 | Capacity: 6.2l bowl, 4.2l basket | Dimensions: 26.6 x 26.6 x 15.2cm
I never manage to make leaf-based salads which taste the same as shop-bought ready prepared products; my attempts always end up limp and watery. I also feel a bit guilty when I read about the amount of water wasted in shop-bought salad products. I’d never considered buying a salad spinner, but this has been quite a revelation. The result was a clean, crisp salad, and, of course, you know exactly what selection of ingredients have gone into it.
The outer bowl and lid are made from hard wearing clear plastic, with the inner basket made from an opaque plastic mesh. The overall ‘feel’ of the item is robust and sturdy – it did not feel cheap and passed my personal ‘click’ test.
Using the spinner could not have been easier. Load the inner basket with rinsed ingredients, place the basket in the bowl, fit the lid, and press the pump action button several times and, voilà, the spinner starts to operate. If you cannot wait for the spinning drum to come to a natural stop (or you are spinning very delicate items, fruit/berries, etc.), a brake is also built into the lid.
The outer bowl doubles as a serving bowl, and if required the inner basket can be used as a colander for washing items that do not need spinning.
The instruction manual states that lettuce will stay fresh if stored in the basket inside the bowl and covered and refrigerated. This idea seems good however I didn’t have any leftover salad to try this out.
The pump action button fits flush to the lid; this helps with storage as items can be placed on top of it (in or out of the fridge). All of the parts are dishwasher-safe, however, there were no fiddly bits, therefore I suspect I will always be hand-washing this item.
RRP: £15 | Dimensions: 8.8cm x 7.6cm x 7.6cm
Spiralizing vegetables is a good way of adding hard vegetables to your salads (it’s also a different and fun way to prepare vegetables for non-salad based recipes – courgette ‘noodles’ are delicious).
This product can produce ‘noodle’ style threads from carrots, courgettes, beetroot, etc. (I also spiralized potatoes to make oven-baked ‘crisps’).
It is an open-blade design, so like any similar product should be handled with care.
The item is made of sturdy, durable plastic, and was incredibly easy to use.
The product is dishwasher safe, and during storage, the part used to hold the food while using the spiralizer doubles as a lid to protect the blade (and owner).
While not as versatile as surface mounted spiralizers (it only has one type of blade), I suspect this item may be used more often due to its ease of use, ease of cleaning and easy accessibility, etc.
Salad Dressing Shaker
RRP: £12 | Capacity: 350ml | Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.3 x 22cm
All salads deserve a good dressing, and this salad shaker is ideal for making them.
Like the rest of the Good Grips range, this is made from very sturdy plastic. When open, the item is like a wide necked flask so all the ingredients can be easily added.
If you are following a recipe which requires precise measurement of ingredients, the shaker is graduated in Ml, Oz and cups.
I made a dressing of olive oil, red-wine vinegar, crushed garlic, hot-pepper sauce, a pinch of cumin, salt, and black pepper. All of the ingredients were added to the flask, the water-tight lid screwed on, and then vigorously shaken. The dressing can then be poured onto your salad using the flipped lever in the lid.
The item is dishwasher safe, but because the top separates at the widest part of the flask it is very easy to hand-wash.
An excellent product.
2-in-1 Salad Servers
RRP: £8 | Dimensions: Spoon 28.5 x 5.7 x 1cm, Fork 28.5 x 5.7 x 2.5cm
There can’t be anything very different about salad serving spoons can there? Well, this product is very original.
The hard wearing, stain resistant, plastic ‘forked’ spoons can be used separately to toss or mix dressing into salads. The individual parts can then be clipped together, to use as single-handed serving tongs. Ingenious.
Covered Silicone Ice Cube Tray
RRP: £12 | Capacity: 48 Cubes | Dimensions: 13 x 18.4 x 6.35cm
Like the salad spoons I didn’t expect anything different from a humble ice cube tray, and again I was proved wrong.
Within the small box are two, stacked, silicon ice cube moulds. Each contains 24 ice cubes (48 total). The flexible trays are easily filled with water and then placed in the solid plastic box (or frame) to be stored in the freezer. This makes for efficient use of storage space. The silicone trays also make removing the individual ice cubes extremely easy. The cover keeps out odours and allows for stacking of multiple trays.
This type of design is ideal if you want to take the ice cubes on a picnic in a cool bag (obviously, they won’t remain frozen forever though).
Another well thought out lateral and practical design.
In conclusion, I considered any or all of the OXO Good Grips products would be great addition to any cook’s armoury of gadgets – however unlike many kitchen gadgets I can’t imagine many of these migrating, and disappearing into the back of your cupboards.
A highly recommended 5 out of 5 for all items.
For more information or to buy visit www.oxouk.com.