Juicing your own fresh produce can be a great way to make a healthy, balanced diet even better or a way to get closer to that healthy balance our bodies need to function at their best. Finding the best juicer for you can seem like a tough task given how many different brands and models there are. Below, we’ll take a look at the different types of juicers and what features you should consider when you begin your own search.
On the specialty juicer side, citrus juicers are probably the most popular. As you might imagine, these juicers are designed for citrus fruits only. They’re very much like automatic versions of the old press or twist manual juicers we’ve all seen before. You cut your citrus fruit in half, with the peeling still on, and insert one half at a time into the juicer. Citrus juicers use some combination of pressing and twisting to extract juice. Many models will spin in one direction and then the other for maximum extraction.
Another popular specialty juicer is the wheatgrass juicer. As aptly named as the citrus juicer, a wheatgrass juicer is designed to handle wheatgrass, which can be a tough task for some general purpose juicers. Many of these juicers actually resemble meat grinders and rely on manual cranking. Some models are able to readily handle some softer fruits and vegetables, too.
When it comes to general purpose juicers, there are centrifugal models and masticating models. Centrifugal juicers chop your produce into small pieces and then spin those pieces at high speed, which allows the liquid to be separated from the solid. These are the lightest and less expensive models among general purpose juicers, but they do produce less juice than their masticating counterparts. The centrifugal (spinning) action does allow more air to get into the juice (a process called oxidation) than masticating models, which some say has a slightly negative impact on the taste of the juice. Most people don’t complain about the juice tasting bad, they just seem to notice a difference between the taste of juice coming from centrifugal juicers versus masticating juicers. The other drawback to centrifugal juicers is that the spinning action produces enough heat to warm the juice too much for some people’s taste. Despite some reports to the contrary, though, centrifugal juicers don’t produce anywhere near enough heat to “kill” any of the juice’s nutrients.
Masticating juicers work a lot like our own chewing process, which makes sense since “masticating” means “chewing.” An auger presses and crushes your produce, sending the juice through a screen and leaving the pulp behind. These models are typically more expensive, weigh more, and have a larger footprint than centrifugal models, but also produce more juice. This higher yield can make a masticating model more cost effective in the long run since you can get more juice from less produce. You can check out juicer reviews for top picks of various types of juicers, including specialty and commercial models.
As you decide which model will work best for you, there a few other things to consider. All juicers have containers for holding juice and waste (pulp from which the juice has been removed). Understanding the capacity of these containers, as well as how much produce a model can process at once, can help you find the machine that will make enough juice to meet your needs without having to load, empty, and reload too often.
If your counter space is limited, be sure to look for models with footprints that will work for you or models that are light enough or easy enough to handle that you can easily move them around or up and down into and out of cabinets as needed.
The last thing you’ll definitely want to understand about your new juicer is how easy or difficult it is to get it clean. You will have to clean it thoroughly after use, so be sure you’re okay with that process before you get it home. Like most other things, the best juicer in the world isn’t worth half of what you paid for it if you don’t actually use it!