Meeting the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables can be a challenge, especially for those with busy schedules or an aversion to tough-skinned apples and stringy celery. Fortunately, a juicer can provide a simple solution to this problem. By having a juicer in your kitchen, you can quickly and easily get your daily dose of fruits and veggies.
However, not all juicers are created equal, and it’s important to consider several factors before making a purchase. These factors include the juicer’s capacity, its ability to juice different types of fruits and vegetables, and its juicing speed. It’s also important to understand the differences between masticating and extracting juicers, as well as any additional features, such as mincing and chopping, that the juicer may offer.
What To Consider When Choosing A Juicer?
When choosing a juicer, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you find the right one for your needs. Here are some key considerations:
Type of Juicer
There are several types of juicers available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types of juicers:
Centrifugal juicers, also known as extracting juicers, are the most common type of juicers and are relatively affordable, feature a mesh basket with a grated bottom that spins at high speeds. When fruits and vegetables are added, they are whirled against the grate and shredded, releasing juice that runs out of the spout. The pulp is separated and deposited in a separate basket.
Compared to masticating juicers, centrifugal juicers work much faster, but they also tend to be louder and produce less juice. They are ideal for fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, and carrots, but they may not be the best choice for leafy greens like kale.
The benefits of using an extracting juicer include the ability to cut down on prep time, as there is no need to cut produce into small pieces before juicing. Additionally, they are suitable for most fruits and vegetables and are typically less expensive than masticating juicers. However, they do have some drawbacks, including noise levels and reduced fiber and nutrient content compared to auger juicers.
Masticating juicers are known by several names, including cold-press juicers, auger-style juicers, and slow-masticating juicers. In this type of juicer, an auger grinds the produce, breaking down cell walls and releasing the juice. The juice is then squeezed through a steel screen.
While masticating juicers take longer to produce juice than extractors, they produce less heat, yield more juice, retain more nutrients, and leave drier pulps. This makes them the best choice for green juices containing tough greens and juicing leafy greens like spinach and kale. Additionally, the best masticating juicers can be used to make nut milk, sorbet, and ice cream. However, they are generally more expensive than other juicers. And they take longer to produce juice and can jam when fed with tough greens, so ingredients should be cut into small pieces before juicing.
Citrus juicers are designed specifically for juicing citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. They come in two main types: electric and manual.
Electric citrus juicers are powered by electricity and can quickly extract juice from citrus fruits with minimal effort. They usually come with a range of different size cones to accommodate different types of citrus fruits. They are a good choice for people who need to juice large quantities of citrus fruits regularly.
Manual citrus juicers, on the other hand, require more effort to operate and are powered by hand. They usually have a lever or handle that you need to pull or press to extract the juice. Manual citrus juicers are an affordable option for occasional juicing or for people who prefer to juice by hand.
Both types of citrus juicers are easy to clean and maintain. They also tend to be compact and take up little counter space. When choosing a citrus juicer, consider factors like ease of use, juice yield, and the size of the device.
Twin-gear juicers are also known as triturating juicers. They are designed to extract the maximum amount of juice from fruits and vegetables. Twin-gear juicers use two interlocking gears that rotate inward at a slow speed to crush and press the produce.
The gears in a twin-gear juicer are usually made of stainless steel and have sharp edges that cut through the produce. As the produce is crushed, the juice is squeezed out, and the pulp is pushed through a screen to separate it from the juice.
Twin-gear juicers are known for their high juice yield and ability to juice a wide variety of produce, including leafy greens, wheatgrass, and hard vegetables like carrots and beets. They also produce juice with minimal oxidation, which helps to preserve the nutrients and enzymes in the juice.
However, twin-gear juicers tend to be more expensive than other types of juicers. They also require more preparation time since produce needs to be cut into smaller pieces to fit into the narrow feed chute. Twin-gear juicers are also more complex to clean and maintain than other juicers.
Hydraulic press juicers
Hydraulic press juicers, also known as hydraulic juice presses or cold press juicers, use a two-step process to extract juice from produce. First, the produce is crushed by a grinder or masticator to break down the cells and release the juice. Then, the crushed ingredient is placed in a cloth bag or filter and placed between two plates. The plates are pressed together using hydraulic pressure to extract the juice.
Hydraulic press juicers are known for producing high-quality juice with minimal oxidation, which helps to preserve the nutrients and enzymes in the juice. They can extract juice from a wide variety of produce, including leafy greens, hard vegetables, and fruits.
One of the main advantages of hydraulic press juicers is their high juice yield, which can be up to twice as much as other types of juicers. They also produce very little heat, which helps to preserve the nutrients and enzymes in the juice. Hydraulic press juicers are also quiet and easy to operate.
However, hydraulic press juicers are typically the most expensive type of juicer. They also require more preparation time and produce pulp that is slightly wetter than other types of juicers. Hydraulic press juicers are also more difficult to clean and maintain than other juicers. Hence, they are not very practical for everyday use.
Manual juicers are kitchen appliances designed to extract juice from fruits and vegetables by using manual force. They are typically hand-operated and do not require electricity to function, making them a great option for people who want to juice at home but don’t want to invest in an expensive electric juicer.
There are several different types of manual juicers available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:
- Manual citrus juicers: These juicers are designed specifically for juicing citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. They typically have a cone-shaped reamer that you place the fruit on top of, and then you press down on the reamer to extract the juice.
- Hand-press juicers: These juicers are also called manual press juicers or cold press juicers. They typically have a lever that you pull down to apply pressure to the fruit or vegetable, squeezing out the juice. These are great for juicing harder fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots.
- Manual centrifugal juicers: These juicers work by manually turning a crank, which spins the juicer’s blades or auger. As the blades spin, they extract juice from the fruits and vegetables that you feed into the juicer.
- Hand-held juicers: These juicers are small, handheld devices that you use to manually squeeze the juice out of fruits and vegetables. They are typically used for smaller quantities of juice and are great for on-the-go juicing.
Manual juicers can be a great option for people who are just starting out with juicing or who don’t want to invest in an expensive electric juicer. They are also a great option for people who want to juice while camping or travelling, as they don’t require electricity or a motor to function.
They are usually small and compact, making them ideal for travel or camping. They are also very affordable, but they can be quite time-consuming to use, especially if you are juicing a lot of produce.
Juicer power refers to the amount of electrical power that the juicer uses to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. Typically, juicers range in power from 200 watts to 1500 watts or more.
The power of a juicer can affect the speed and efficiency with which it extracts the juice. Generally, juicers with higher power can extract juice more quickly and efficiently, particularly from harder and more fibrous produce, such as carrots and beets. However, higher-power juicers may also produce more noise and vibration, which can be a consideration for some users.
In addition to affecting the speed and efficiency of juicing, the power of a juicer can also affect its durability and lifespan. Generally, juicers with higher-power motors may be more durable and longer-lasting, particularly if they are designed to handle heavy use.
When considering the power of a juicer, it’s important to consider your own juicing needs and preferences. If you plan to juice harder and more fibrous produce, or if you plan to use your juicer frequently and for large quantities of produce, a higher-power juicer may be a better choice. On the other hand, if you plan to juice softer and less fibrous produce, or if you don’t plan to use your juicer very frequently, a lower-power juicer may be sufficient for your needs.
Juicer speed refers to the rate at which the juicer’s motor or blades rotate while extracting juice from fruits and vegetables. Different juicers have different speed settings, and the speed at which the juicer operates can have an impact on the quality of the juice and the amount of juice extracted.
There are generally two types of juicers when it comes to speed:
- Centrifugal juicers: These juicers typically have high-speed motors that spin the blades or grater at a very high rate of speed, usually around 6,000 to 18,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The high-speed rotation creates a centrifugal force that separates the juice from the pulp. Centrifugal juicers work quickly, but the high-speed operation can create heat, which can destroy some of the nutrients and enzymes in the juice.
- Masticating juicers: These juicers have a slower operating speed, usually around 40 to 120 RPM. They use a slow, grinding motion to extract juice from fruits and vegetables, which helps to preserve more of the nutrients and enzymes in the juice. Masticating juicers are also able to extract more juice from leafy greens and other harder-to-juice fruits and vegetables.
In general, slower juicer speeds are considered better for preserving the nutritional quality of the juice, while higher speeds are better for extracting juice quickly. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the juice also depends on other factors such as the quality of the produce and the juicer’s overall design and performance.
If you plan on juicing regularly, you’ll want to consider a juicer with a fast juicing speed to save time. However, keep in mind that juicers with faster speeds may produce more heat, which can affect the quality of the juice.
A juicer with a large chute refers to a juicer that has a wide opening or feeding tube through which fruits and vegetables can be inserted for juicing. It makes juicing easier and faster by allowing larger pieces of produce to be inserted into the juicer without the need for pre-cutting or chopping.
With a larger chute, you can insert whole fruits and vegetables, or larger pieces of produce, which can save time and effort. Moreover, they tend to be easier to clean. Because the chute is wider, there is less chance of produce getting stuck or jammed, which can make cleaning the juicer faster and less of a hassle.
However, a juicer with large chutes is not always the best option for all types of produce. Some types of fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens or small berries, may not work as well with a large chute, as they may need to be fed through the juicer more slowly and carefully to ensure that they are properly juiced. So, when choosing a juicer with a large chute, it’s important to consider the types of produce you’ll be juicing most often and whether a large chute is the best option for your needs.
Clear Juice Container
Clear juice containers allow you to easily monitor the amount and quality of the juice being produced, especially when the juicer is producing a lot of foam or if there are any impurities in the juice. This can be particularly helpful for people who are new to juicing and want to ensure that they are getting the best quality juice possible.
Clear juice containers are made of clear plastic or glass. They can add a modern and sleek look to your kitchen and can be particularly attractive when filled with colorful and vibrant juices.
Large Pulp Container
A large pulp container is designed for collecting the pulp or fiber that is separated from the juice during the juicing process. Juicers with large pulp containers are designed to allow for longer periods of juicing without the need to frequently stop and empty the container. This can be particularly helpful if you are juicing for a larger group of people or if you want to juice a larger quantity of produce.
And it can help to reduce the mess and hassle of juicing. With a larger container, there is less chance of pulp overflowing or spilling out of the container, which can make the juicing process cleaner and more efficient. A large pulp container is often designed to be easier to clean. So there is less chance of pulp getting stuck in hard-to-reach areas of the juicer, which can make cleaning the juicer faster and less of a hassle.
Juicer capacity refers to the amount of produce that a juicer can process at one time. Juicer capacity can vary widely depending on the type and model of the juicer.
Centrifugal juicers, which are typically the most common and affordable type of juicer, typically have a smaller capacity than other types of juicers. They can typically process a few pieces of produce at a time and produce juice relatively quickly.
Masticating juicers, on the other hand, tend to have a larger capacity and can often process larger quantities of produce at one time. These juicers are also generally slower than centrifugal juicers, but they tend to produce a higher quality juice with more nutrients and less oxidation.
If you plan to make juice for just one or two people at a time, a smaller-capacity juicer may be sufficient. However, if you plan to make larger batches of juice or juice for multiple people at once, a juicer with a larger capacity may be more appropriate.
Juicers with multipurpose functions are designed to perform a variety of tasks beyond just juicing. Some common multipurpose functions include:
- Food processing: Many juicers come with attachments and accessories that allow you to process a variety of foods, such as making nut butter, baby food, and even pasta.
- Grinding and chopping: Some juicers have grinding and chopping functions, which can be used to grind coffee beans, chop herbs and vegetables, and make spice blends.
- Smoothie making: Some juicers come with blending attachments that can be used to make smoothies, milkshakes, and other blended drinks.
- Sorbet making: Some juicers have attachments that can be used to make frozen treats, such as sorbet and frozen yoghurt.
- Food preserving: Some juicers can be used to make purees, sauces, and soups that can be stored for later use.
Multipurpose juicers can be a great option for people who want to maximize the functionality of their kitchen appliances, as they allow you to perform a variety of tasks with just one machine. However, it’s worth noting that multipurpose juicers may not be as effective as specialized machines that are designed specifically for certain tasks, such as grinding coffee or making smoothies.
When considering a multipurpose juicer, it’s important to evaluate the specific functions and attachments that come with the machine, as well as the overall quality and durability of the machine. It’s also important to consider your own needs and preferences, and whether a multipurpose juicer would be a practical and cost-effective choice for your kitchen.
Juicer noise is an important consideration for many people, as some juicers can be quite loud during operation. The noise level of a juicer can be affected by a variety of factors, including the type of juicer, the power of the motor, and the quality of the construction.
Centrifugal juicers, which use a high-speed spinning blade to extract juice from produce, are generally louder than masticating juicers, which use a slower, more gentle crushing action. Additionally, juicers with higher-power motors may produce more noise and vibration than those with lower-power motors.
To reduce juicer noise, there are a few strategies that you can try:
- Choose a masticating juicer: As mentioned, masticating juicers tend to be quieter than centrifugal juicers due to their slower, more gentle extraction process.
- Look for a juicer with a lower decibel rating: Some juicers are designed to produce less noise than others and may have a lower decibel rating as a result. Check the product specifications or reviews to find out the noise level of a particular juicer.
- Place a damp towel under the juicer: This can help to absorb some of the vibrations and reduce the noise produced by the juicer.
- Juice during off-hours: If you’re concerned about disturbing neighbours or family members with your juicing, try to juice during times when noise is less of an issue, such as early in the morning or late at night.
Ultimately, the noise level of a juicer is just one of many factors to consider when choosing a juicer. If you’re particularly sensitive to noise, it may be worth investing in a quieter juicer or using some of the strategies mentioned above to reduce the noise produced by your juicer.
Dishwasher-safe juicers are designed to be easy to clean and maintain, as they can be easily disassembled and washed in a dishwasher. Many juicers have parts that are top-rack dishwasher safe, such as the juice container, pulp container, and some of the removable components of the juicing mechanism.
If you’re looking for a juicer that is dishwasher safe, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that the specific model you’re considering can be safely washed in a dishwasher. Some juicers may have certain components that are not dishwasher safe and may need to be washed by hand.
Keep in mind that even if a juicer is dishwasher safe, it’s a good idea to rinse the components in warm, soapy water before placing them in the dishwasher, as this can help to remove any remaining residue or pulp.
External Pulp Collector
An external juicer pulp collector allows you to collect the pulp that is produced during the juicing process in a separate container that is located outside of the juicer.
With an external pulp collector, you can easily dispose of the pulp once you’re finished juicing, without having to disassemble the juicer or clean out the internal pulp container.
Also, they allow for continuous juicing, meaning that you can juice a large amount of produce without having to stop and empty the pulp container.
An external pulp collector can help to reduce mess and make the juicing process more streamlined, as you can collect the pulp in a separate container that is easier to clean and empty.
What Accessories Do I Need For Using The Juicer?
The accessories you need for using a juicer will depend on the specific type of juicer you have. However, here are some common accessories that you may need:
- Juice container: Most juicers come with a juice container that is used to collect the extracted juice.
- Pulp container: Many juicers also come with a pulp container, which is used to collect the pulp that is left over after juicing.
- Cleaning brush: A cleaning brush can be useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of the juicer, such as the mesh screen or blades.
- Food pusher: Some juicers come with a food pusher, which is used to push produce down into the feed chute to be juiced.
- Citrus juicer attachment: If you plan to juice citrus fruits like oranges or lemons, you may want to consider getting a citrus juicer attachment, which is designed specifically for juicing these types of fruits.
- Strainer: If you prefer your juice to be smooth and pulp-free, you may want to use a strainer to strain the juice before drinking it.
- Juicing recipe book: While not strictly necessary, a juicing recipe book can be a great resource for finding new and creative juice recipes to try.
It’s important to note that not all juicers will require or come with all of these accessories. When choosing a juicer, be sure to check the product specifications to see what accessories are included, and consider whether you will need any additional accessories based on your juicing needs and preferences.
How Can I Clean A Juicer Completely?
Cleaning your juicer completely after every use is important to maintain its performance, prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure that the next time you use it, your juice is fresh and clean. Here are some steps to follow for cleaning your juicer thoroughly:
- Unplug the juicer and disassemble it: Make sure the juicer is unplugged before you start cleaning. Then, disassemble the juicer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, this involves removing the pulp container, juice container, and any other removable parts.
- Rinse the parts: Rinse each part of the juicer under running water to remove any large pieces of pulp or debris.
- Soak the parts: Fill a sink or large bowl with warm, soapy water and soak the juicer parts for a few minutes to loosen any remaining pulp or debris. It’s best to rinse or soak the juicer immediately after use. Otherwise, your juicer will be sticker and harder to clean.
- Scrub the parts: Using a soft-bristled brush or sponge, scrub each part of the juicer, paying particular attention to any hard-to-reach areas, such as the mesh screen or blades.
- Rinse and dry the parts: Rinse each part of the juicer thoroughly under running water to remove any soap residue, then dry the parts completely with a clean towel.
- Clean the exterior: Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the exterior of the juicer, making sure to wipe down any buttons or knobs.
- Reassemble the juicer: Once all of the parts are clean and dry, reassemble the juicer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It’s important to note that some juicers may have specific cleaning instructions or requirements. Before cleaning your juicer, be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how to clean your specific model. Additionally, some parts of the juicer may be dishwasher safe, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure which parts can be safely washed in a dishwasher.
What Can I Make In A Juicer?
You can make a variety of drinks and foods in a juicer, depending on the type of juicer you have. Here are some examples:
- Fruit and vegetable juices: You can make fresh juices from a wide range of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, oranges, carrots, kale, spinach, and more.
- Nut milk: You can make nut milk, such as almond milk, in a juicer by blending soaked nuts with water and straining the mixture through the juicer.
- Smoothies: Some juicers come with a blending attachment, which allows you to make smoothies by blending fruits and vegetables together.
- Sorbets: You can make sorbets by juicing frozen fruits and blending the juice with ice.
- Baby food: You can make homemade baby food by pureeing steamed fruits and vegetables in a juicer.
- Nut butter: Some juicers come with an attachment for making nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter.
- Sauces and dressings: You can make sauces and dressings by juicing herbs and vegetables and blending them with other ingredients, such as olive oil, vinegar, or spices.
It’s important to note that not all juicers are capable of making all of the above items, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions and know the limitations of your juicer. Additionally, some foods may need to be prepped differently before juicing, such as peeling or removing seeds.
Do I Need To Peel Fruits Before Juicing?
Whether or not to peel fruits before juicing depends on the type of fruit and your personal preference.
For some fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes, it’s best to remove the peel before juicing as the peel can be bitter and affect the taste of the juice. However, you can leave the white pith intact as it contains valuable nutrients.
For other fruits, such as apples, pears, and cucumbers, you can juice them with the skin intact as it contains valuable nutrients and fiber. However, it’s important to wash the skin thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticides, or other contaminants.
For fruits with hard skins, such as pineapples or melons, it’s best to remove the skin before juicing as it can be tough and fibrous. However, you can save the skin for use in other recipes, such as smoothies or salads.
It’s important to note that peeling fruits before juicing can also affect the nutrient content of the juice. The peel of some fruits contains valuable nutrients, such as antioxidants and fiber, that can be lost if the fruit is peeled before juicing. Therefore, if you prefer to juice fruits with the skin intact, make sure to wash them thoroughly and use organic produce when possible to reduce your exposure to pesticides.
In summary, whether or not to peel fruits before juicing depends on the type of fruit and your personal preference. For some fruits, it’s best to remove the peel to avoid bitterness, while for others, you can juice them with the skin intact to preserve valuable nutrients and fiber.
Can I Eat The Pulp From My Juicer?
Yes, you can eat the pulp from your juicer. In fact, the pulp is packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial to your health. However, whether or not to eat the pulp depends on your personal preference and the type of juicer you use.
If you use a centrifugal juicer, the pulp is usually dry and less appetizing. In this case, you can use the pulp in recipes, such as muffins or veggie burgers, to add texture and nutrients to your meals.
If you use a masticating juicer, the pulp is usually moist and has a more appealing texture. Some people prefer to drink juice with pulp for added fibre and nutrients. Alternatively, you can use the pulp in recipes, such as soups or smoothies, to add flavour and nutrition.
It’s important to note that if you have any digestive issues or concerns, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding more fibre to your diet.
In summary, eating the pulp from your juicer is a matter of personal preference and depends on the type of juicer you use. The pulp is packed with nutrients and fibre and can be used in a variety of recipes to add flavour and nutrition to your diet.