Buying Guide: The Best Juicers For You

How to Choose a Juicer

How to Choose a Juicer

Pouring yourself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice makes any morning brighter, and creative juice concoctions made with your favorite fruits and vegetables are tasty any time of day. Eschew your local juice bar and make fruity treats in your own kitchen with a handy home juicer that makes extracting juice simple.

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Choosing Which Juicer to Buy

The first step in choosing one of these small kitchen appliances is to determine your particular juicing needs. The right juicer for someone who juices wheatgrass and root vegetables daily isn't the same as the ultimate juicer for a casual user who primarily wants to make fresh orange and grapefruit juice. Some models are specifically designed for individuals with a busy lifestyle and not much time to spend making juice or cleaning up afterwards, while other models are made to extract the maximum amount of juice from everything you put into the machine so there's little waste. There are three main types of juicers on the market. Determining which kind best meets your needs before you buy a juicer is essential.

Centrifugal Juicers

Centrifugal Juicer

Centrifugal juicers work by shredding fruits and vegetables to extract the juice. A centrifugal juicer is typically an upright unit with an enclosed spinning mesh chamber. A disk at the bottom shreds the fruit, and the juice spins outward through the mesh for collection while the pulp is ejected into a separate holding tank. Centrifugal juicers excel at rapidly extracting juice from solid or pulpy fruits and vegetables, including apples, carrots, peaches, watermelon, and cucumber. Leafy greens and grasses can clog up the mesh holes in a centrifugal juicer.

Masticating Juicers

Masticating juicers gently crush fruits and vegetables through a sieve using a powerful auger to extract the juice. Masticating juicers operate more slowly than centrifugal juicers, but they tend to be more efficient at removing juice so you end up with drier pulp and less waste. A masticating juicer can generally handle leafy greens and wheatgrass.

Citrus Juicers

Citrus juicers are designed specifically for juicing oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, so they're great for people who drink or use plenty of citrus, but they won't work with other fruits. The simplest citrus juicers are basic citrus reamers, handheld units with a ridged cone that presses into the citrus flesh and releases the juice when you push down and turn the halved fruit. Electric citrus juicers operate on the same principles, but the motor does the work for you, so no hand-tiring twisting or turning is necessary.

Citrus Juicer

Important Considerations when Buying a Juicer

Once you have narrowed down the type of juicer you plan to buy, there are a few other points you should consider. Compare different brands or models of the same juicer type to find the right one for your needs. Here are a few points to consider when planning to buy a juicer.

How much counter space does the juicer require?

When you're contemplating how to choose kitchen appliances, including stand mixers, food processors and juicers, your available counter space might not be the first thing you consider. However, picking a juicer that physically fits into your kitchen is just as important as choosing one with features that fit into your lifestyle. After all, if your juicer doesn't have a place on your counter, you're much less likely to use it.

How powerful is the motor?

Just like hand mixers and other small kitchen appliances, a machine's power affects its efficiency. The motor in your juicer determines how easily it can break down pulpy or hard fruits and vegetables. This is especially important if you plan to juice frequently because weaker motors typically wear down more rapidly. Choosing a juicer with a 1000-watt motor over one with a 600-watt motor may give you extra months or years of reliable use.

How efficient is the juicer?

The efficiency of a juicer is generally related to type, so if you need to extract every last bit of juice out of each batch of produce, a masticating juicer is essential. Centrifugal juicers just aren't as efficient when you plan to do a juice fast or juice diet, so think about what you'll be using your juicer for when you think about how to choose a juicer.

Which Juicer to Buy

How soon do you want to drink the juice you prepare?

Juice oxidizes quickly and loses nutrients once it has been removed from whole produce. Because centrifugal juicers introduce a lot of air into the juice, this process occurs more quickly than with a masticating juicer, which removes the juice more gently. Juice from a centrifugal juicer should be consumed within a few hours after juicing, while juice from a masticating juicer can be kept in your refrigerator for a day or two after juicing without significant loss of nutrients.

Do the pieces of the juicer come apart easily to make cleanup convenient?

Cleaning your juicer after use helps keep it in top condition, and convenient cleanup can be an important consideration. Look for a juicer with parts that come apart easily so you can clean up quickly.

How do you add produce and remove the juice?

If you want to minimize the need to chop fruits and vegetables before juicing them, look for a juicer with an extra-large chute that lets you put whole produce or large chunks into the machine. Some juicers dispense juice into a separate compartment, while others let it drip directly into your glass, so choose the option that is more convenient for you.

What's your budget for a juicer?

Juicers range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars. Centrifugal juicers tend to be less expensive than masticating juicers, and citrus juicers tend to be the least expensive of all. Make sure you compare features and prices within a category. If you specifically need a juicer to quickly prepare fresh grapefruit juice each morning, a high-end masticating juicer might not have the features you actually need, while an inexpensive citrus juicer does. By balancing your needs and budget, you can find a juicer that helps you achieve your health goals.

Choosing which juicer to buy is a highly individual process because it involves balancing your personal needs with available features. While there's no such thing as the best juicer for every person, understanding how to choose a juicer can help ensure that you choose the best juicer for you.

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