Juicers + Juices Juicers 101

Published on September 21st, 2012 | by Jennifer Kaplan

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Juicers 101

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Juicers 101

Are you interested in drinking your daily intake of fruits and vegetables? Finding a good juicer can make or break your plans to introduce juice into your diet. As we’ve mentioned in this blog before, juicing will help your body feel rejuvenated, refreshed and will improve your health and energy level generally. Here is a primer on buying a juicer.

Juicers 101

“I know of no better way to receive more consistent micronutrient variety and maximum micronutrient density than daily green juicing.” - Kristen Suzanne, author of Raw Awakening: Your Ultimate Guide to the Raw Food Diet

The first place I turn to for information on products is always Consumer Reports. And, as expected, CR is a great place to go to find comprehensive juicer reviews. Not only do the CR juicer reviews provide you with recommended models based on the combination of price and performance, but subscribers can also see Juicer ratings for a variety of features such as noise, convenience and “juice performance.” CR also has juicer blogs featuring info on new models and juicer news their experts think will help you make the best purchase. Interestingly, Overstock.com also has a good juicer buying guide.

Juicer Types

CR breakers juicers down into three types: Citrus juicers, juice extractors and combo appliances. The type of juicer you choose depends on the type of juice you like to drink. If you plan to make only citrus juice, then a juicer is sufficient. If you want to make your own juice made out of fruits and vegetables, then an extractor is the better choice.

The CR Buyers Guide says this about Citrus Juicers:

With a citrus juicer, you press cut halves of fruit onto a motorized reamer that extracts the juice. A trough around the reamer, depending on the model, may strain the juice as it flows into a container. Compared with a juice extractor, juicers we’ve tested have been a breeze to clean. They have fewer parts and don’t accumulate pulp in hard-to-clean corners and crevices. For this reason, we recommend them over extractors for anyone who just wants a glass of fresh-squeezed juice with breakfast

The CR Buyers Guide says this about Juice Extractors:

Juice extractors use a rapidly whirling disk to cut fruit or vegetables into tiny pieces that are then spun to separate juice from pulp. Once separated from the pulp, the juice flows through a strainer and into a container. Whatever you put in still needs to be cleaned and prepared first. Fruits with waxed or hard peels, for example, need to be peeled–with any large pits removed. Vegetables must be cleaned and, in some cases, scrubbed with a brush. And some extractors, especially those that require full dismantling, can be a bother to clean.

Overstock.com provide this advice:

There are two main types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating. Masticating juicers knead and grind the fruit or vegetables until the juice is released. Centrifugal juicers take anything you place down a chute and grind it up by spinning it quickly over sharp blades. Although both have their pros and cons, masticating juicers tend to be quieter than centrifugal juicers, while centrifugal juicers work faster … If you will be juicing mostly leafy vegetables like kale, wheatgrass and spinach a masticating juicer will get more juice from fewer vegetables. If you will be juicing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, consider a centrifugal juicer, which will more evenly blend any consistency of fruit or vegetable

Juicer Features

According the the CR Buying Guide there are a number of features you should think about when buying a juicer: Whether the juice container is see-through (clear), cord length and storage, if there is a dust cover, the size of the chute (this will impact prep time), if you can adjust for pulpiness and whether the parts are dishwasher safe. This last issue turned out to be important to my beloved Breville Juicer; I placed the  top cover/chute in the dishwasher only to have it warp ever so slightly but just enough so that the food pusher wouldn’t fit anymore (Breville replaced it no questions asked.)

Juicer Brands

The CR Buyers Guide rates 11 different juicers brands: Juiceman, Hamilton Beach, Breville, L’Equip, Dr. Weil Healthy Kitchen by Spring, West Bend, Oster, Bullet Express, Omega, Waring and Jack LaLanne. The CR rated juicers range in price from $70-$300. CR tags the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro a “Best Buy” and the West Bend Performance “Recommended” (See CR’s Juicer Ratings overview for more information). I personally love my Breville Juicer (which CR gives high marks, but no tags).  It is easy to clean, yields a great amount of juice and, as mentioned, offers excellent customer service.

Where To Buy A Juicer

Not surprisingly, Overstock.com has a large selection of juicers. Their offerings at the time of this post range from a $22 refurbished citrus juicer to a $527 Green Star Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor. As of today they have 45 juicers for sale but their selection is still limited. And their prices are good but not always the least expensive. For example, a quick google search for the Omega 4000 juicer which Overstock sells for $17o (+$4.95 shipping) is available for $138 (free shipping) at CutleryandMore.com. My strategy is to research the juicer you like and then shop around online. That said, check the refund policy before you buy to make sure you can return it if you are not happy. 

Photo: Breville USA



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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .



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