When you are looking at buying a juicer, one of the considerations is cost. Unfortunately, the most expensive does not always mean better. As with any purchase, it is good to read reviews and weigh up the pros and cons. However, if you will be juicing long term, it is advisable to do your research and spend a little more. Make sure the juicer will give plenty of juice and will last. Individual juicers cannot be discussed here, but the following information should be considered when thinking about buying a juicer.
There are three types of juicer. The first type is a centrifugal juicer. This kind of juicer is the most popular, especially for beginners. They also tend to be the cheapest. Although this doesn’t mean it is the most economical. Produce is put into a large funnel on top of the machine. This feeds into a fine metal cutter that spins very fast. This cuts the produce and forces the juice out.
The leftover pulp goes into a separate part, and the juice is pumped out of a nozzle, usually into a jug. The pulp tends to be quite moist, which shows that there is still a fair amount of juice left in it. This is one of the reasons this type of juicer is not the most economical. When juicing, it is best to invest in organic produce. But if you are not getting all the juice out of it, then it can prove costly.
Centrifugal juicers are also not very efficient at extracting the juice from leafy vegetables such as spinach. A little trick to help get more juice out of leafy vegetables is to roll them up tightly before putting them in the juicer.
If you are juicing vegetables, you can always use the pulp to make soup or blend the pulp and then sieve it. This will get out a little bit more juice. But this is often more work than it is worth.
The other problem with centrifugal juicers is that the fast-spinning produces heat. This heat can destroy delicate nutrients, especially vitamins. One of the main reasons people juice raw fruit and vegetables is to benefit from the nutrients that are lost by cooking, so you want as many kept intact as possible. This speed also creates a froth on the juice. That froth is caused by oxygen. Now oxygen is good in one respect as it can make the juice taste nicer. However, it also causes the juice to ‘go off’ much faster. This doesn’t matter if you are going to drink the juice immediately. But it means you cannot keep the juice for more than a day as it will not taste as nice, will lose nutrients, and can also start to ferment. The juice also separates when it is left to stand. This is sorted out by just stirring the juice, but it can make it look less appetizing.
The centrifugal juicer is ideal if you are juicing hard fruits and vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, ginger, apples, and pears. It is not very good at juicing soft fruits such as berries.
The next type of juicer is a masticating juicer, sometimes called a cold press juicer. From that description alone, you realize that it extracts the juice without heat. This means the vitamins and minerals are preserved. Unlike the centrifugal juicer, this one does not cause a froth or oxygen to be added to the juice. This juice can be stored and will not go off as fast.
Masticating juicers extract juice by crushing it, which is a slower process, but this is why more juice is extracted. Fruits and vegetables need to be chopped up. This is because the tube that feeds into the juicer is narrower than a centrifugal juicer. The pulp is separated into one part of the machine. The juice passes through a fine mesh, so all the fiber is removed.
A disadvantage with masticating juicers is that they are more expensive than centrifugal ones. They extract a lot more juice, and the pulp left behind is much dryer. Masticating juicers are also much more efficient at extracting the juice from softer fruit and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables. You can, therefore, add spinach and kale to your juices and benefit from the huge amount of nutrients that they contain.
If you use your masticating juicer regularly, it can work out more economical in the long term than a centrifugal juicer. This is because when you consider the cost of the produce and the fact that you get more juice and there is much less waste.
Masticating juicers work much slower than centrifugal ones and can also be much louder. Unfortunately, they can also take longer to take apart, clean, and put back together. The more expensive models are marketed based on the fact that they are easier to take apart, clean, and reassemble and are also quieter. These more expensive models can also be used to grind nuts and seeds.
The last type of juicer is a triturating juicer. These are the top-of-the-range juicers that have the benefits of both the other two types. They look good on the kitchen counter but can cost hundreds, even thousands, of pounds/dollars. Because of this, these juicers are mostly used commercially, in juice bars, for instance. The produce must be chopped up before being put into the machine, but every drop of juice will be squeezed out. This is done by two gears that rotate. This crushes and grinds the produce. This juicer is the most efficient – but at a cost.
Entry-level pricing – cheaper
Best for hard fruits and vegetables
The addition of oxygen improves flavor
Can juice whole fruits and vegetables
Juice cannot be stored longer than a day
Vitamin and mineral loss
A large amount of juice is extracted
Can juice all fruits and vegetables
More expensive yes (but can be more economical if used a lot)
Produce must be peeled (if the skin is bitter) and chopped up first
Difficult to clean
Extract juice from all fruits and vegetables
Extracts the maximum amount of juice from vegetables
Produce must be chopped quite small first
It takes a long time to clean
It can be very large
It can be quite heavy