You can’t ignore the growing acclaim if you’re a juicer. There’s no argument. A cold press juicer is the best way to make the most nutritious extractions from fruits and vegetables. There’s just one challenge.
Cold press juicers aren’t cheap. Compared to more conventional types like centrifugal juicers, a cold press juicer can be a significant investment. You’ll still want to make an informed choice even if you can afford it. Here’s what you need to know.
To begin with, let’s get clear on what a cold press juicer actually is. This type of juice machine is also called a masticating juicer. What’s up with two different names?
1The masticating process is how the juicer extracts liquid nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
2The appliance is referred to as a cold press juicer because little or no heat is generated during the process. It’s preferable because heat can destroy nutrients and enzymes.
Cold press juicers using the masticating process slowly and efficiently extract juice from fruits and vegetables, and they do it better than any other type of juicer.
You’re already aware of the premium price for freshly squeezed juices when you hit the juice bar before or after a workout. It’s why a growing number of health-conscious people are exploring ways to juice at home.
You’ll get a return on your investment if you buy a cold press juicer. It will take longer. These kitchen appliances cost more than other types of juicers.
What’s a Cold Press Juicer?
It’s a process more than a type. Cold press juicers use a masticating auger to slowly extract juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing them against a screen that separates the liquid from the pulp.
These types of juicers are often called “slow juicers” because the process is slow. The auger doing the pressing revolves at a leisurely 40 to 150 rotations or revolutions per minute (RPM).
Compare that to the speed of a centrifugal juicer, which runs at tens of thousands of revolutions per minute.
Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare? The same concept applies to juice methods. Faster isn’t better because it heats the juice, and the friction causes oxidation. Both are bad news for the fragile vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants extracted from fresh produce.
Why is Cold-Pressed Juice Better?
Much of it has to do with speed. Accelerating the process of juice extraction introduces friction. Keep these word association matches in mind.
Cold —> Slow
Heat —> Fast
Cold-pressed juices are mechanically squeezed out of produce. A hydraulic press is used to masticate fruits and vegetables slowly, and the juice is extracted.
You can speed up the process of juice extraction by substituting the slow mastication and pressing with blades spinning tens of thousands of revolutions per minute. But you introduce two negative factors.
The metal blades used to slice up produce and vegetables generate heat as they quickly spin. The centrifugal spinning also exposes the fruits and vegetables to air. At that speed, oxidation quickly occurs.
Heat and oxidation both significantly reduce the number of healthy elements in the extracted juice. Vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants are lost.
The juice is just as tasty, and it can be made faster, but it’s significantly less nutritional as cold-pressed juice. Gives new meaning to the old saying, “Haste makes waste,” huh?
It also makes a clear case as to why a cold press juicer is a better – although more expensive – choice than a centrifugal juicer. A juice that’s healthier for you is just the start. We’ll dive into details shortly, here are the headlines:
- The juice extracted is more nutritious, but it’s also better tasting. You often can even see the richness for yourself.
- The extracted juice has a longer shelf life, which means you can choose to juice less often.
- The juicers are more efficient at extraction, which means you end up with a higher yield.
- Cold press juicers are significantly more quiet than centrifugal juicers.
- These types of juicers are more durable and should last longer than a centrifugal juicer.
- Many cold press juicers feature accessories that extend their versatility. Process nuts into nut butters or milk. Some models even offer attachments that grind the coffee, make baby food, sorbet, and even pasta.
Cold and slow is the way to go if you’re serious about juicing.
What to Look for in a Great Cold Press Juicer.
Power of the Motor. You won’t ever mistake your cold press juicer for a Formula 1 race car, but don’t equate the appliance’s big, powerful motor with speed. The revolutions per minute will be a fraction of the speed of a centrifugal juicer. The machine will operate at a slow and steady pace no matter how many rock-hard carrots you juice!
Your objective is the powerful torque the motor produces. It’s much the opposite of what you would look for in a centrifugal juicer.
Weight and footprint. Kitchen counter space is probably always going to be an issue. Cold press juicers don’t take up as much space as a countertop microwave. You still might not consider it to be a portable appliance you’ll take out and put away daily.
Most cold press juicers weigh at least 15 pounds and will take up a couple of square feet of your countertop. You need more than the actual dimensions provided by the manufacturer as you need space for a bowl or platter of prepared produce.
With a weight of 15 pounds or more, you may want to leave your cold press juicer out on the countertop especially if you plan to use it frequently.
Pay close attention to the dimensions. They can vary widely, along with the weight, and some may be taller than others.
Horizontal or Vertical. Multiple manufacturers make this type of juicer, and some also make two configurations.
- Vertical juicers generally have a smaller footprint than the horizontal configuration. In fact, they tend to have the same size and shape as a centrifugal juicer. Gravity helps to pull the fruits and vegetables into the appliance, which may assist in a shorter juicing time.
- Horizontal juicers may take up just a bit more countertop space than the vertical configuration. Basically, everything about the appliance has been shifted by 90 degrees. It can mean that you may have to assist the introduction of produce into the chute until it’s caught by an auger.
The advantage of the horizontal configuration is that it allows for the use of versatile accessories that help the appliance to act more like a food processor. It will grind the coffee, make sorbet, process baby food, or even make pasta.
The simplicity of Use. Juice won’t make itself, even if you speed up the process with a less efficient centrifugal juicer. The juicer you choose has to be a productivity tool you don’t mind using. You’ll stop using a juicer or any appliance if it’s a challenge to assemble, take apart, and clean.
Cold press juicers aren’t overly complicated, but nearly all of them present you with a learning curve. Cleaning and maintenance after use won’t take long to master. You’ll also need to experiment with extracting juice to your preference.
As a rule of thumb, a cold press juicer with fewer parts will be easy to use. You might have to forego some of the more exciting capabilities of this type of appliance. There’ll be healthy juice for you, but maybe not the fresh pasta that other models can make.
The simplicity extends to cleanup. Here’s where it makes sense to spend time looking at what owners have to say in their online reviews. “Easy to clean” is open to interpretation, especially in marketing material.
Don’t hold out for a self-cleaning version. It doesn’t exist. You’re extracting juice from produce using a slow process that mechanically chews up fruits and vegetables. The appliance will have to be disassembled and cleaned after each use.
Users who have left online reviews say that these juicers are generally easy to clean – primarily if you invest in a higher-end model made of quality material.
Noise Level. Masticating slow juice machines are relatively quiet appliances – especially compared to their centrifugal cousins. You’ll have to spend a lot of time searching online for a reviewer who complains about the noise these juicers make.
In the age of the Internet, manufacturers have the luxury of sharing every specification they know about their product.
For perspective, most dishwashers operate between 40 to 60 decibels (dB). Normal conversation is around 60dB. Many of the most popular cold press juicers available for sale are rated at or below 60dB.
Chute Size. What’s up with the smallish chute size on most cold press juicers? Consider it to have the same purpose as road humps in residential neighborhoods where there are lots of small children playing.
The chute size regulates the dimensions and amount of produce you can introduce to the juicer during operation, and it helps you to keep from overloading it.
Accessories and Attachments. Manufacturers like to boast about the versatility of these types of juicers – especially the horizontal models. Some accessories and attachments do extend the operation.
For example, some manufacturers offer an assortment of strainers to vary the amount of pulp added to your juice.
Many of the additional accessories and attachments have little or nothing to do with juicing. If you’ve made a lifelong commitment to the Keto Diet, you probably don’t care about the pasta-making attachment that comes with some models.
Allergic to nuts, you’d never use the accessories that extend the juicer’s functionality and allow it to process nut butter.
Versatility is usually a good thing, but what you really only want your juicer to be a juicer? In that case, your top concern would be performance and effectiveness. Does a cold press juicer do a better job with wheatgrass than a centrifugal juicer?
If you have a well-stocked kitchen in terms of appliances, including a food processor and a few other culinary toys, you might not be overly interested in a pasta-making juicer.
There’s a chrome pasta-making accessory that fits on the standing mixer. Stick with a cold press juicer model that sticks to juicing.
Strong Materials. The price you’re willing to pay determines the quality of the materials used in these juicers. Plastic makes sense for some uses. But stainless steel or carbon-infused parts are more rugged and allow for precise operation.
One of the critical components of a masticating cold press juicer – the auger – is likely to be made of Polyetherimide plastic. This durable and robust material is also used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Warranty. Quality materials and a powerful electric motor allow a manufacturer to warranty a product for a longer time frame confidently. In the case of some cold press juicers, you’ll see warranty coverage of up to 15 years.
The length of the warranty protection is a strong indication of the appliance’s quality. Pay close attention to what’s actually covered.
You may discover that it’s the motor – the most expensive part – which has the longest and strongest protective coverage. Parts that will quickly wear out may not have the same level of warranty coverage.
The benefits of a cold press juicer
It seems so backward. These juicers are slow and expensive. Why wouldn’t you just go with a super-fast and relatively inexpensive centrifugal juicer?
When it comes to nutrition, everything about slow is better.
The pulp ejected by a masticating cold press juicer is dry. The extraction is very efficient. It juices relatively dry wheatgrass just as well as a squishy pineapple.
How long will cold press juice keep?
Reading online reviews will tell you that it’s best to drink juice made with a centrifugal extractor immediately. That’s because the extraction process heats the juice and introduces oxidation.
We’re dealing with Mother Nature here, so it’s impossible to give absolutes or guarantees. Generally, though, juice made from fresh produce using the cold press method will keep up to 72 hours in the refrigerator. Users write in their online reviews that vegetable juices often have a shorter shelf life.
Does it do an excellent job with wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is a challenge for any kind of juicer, but a masticating cold press juicer is up for it. The design of the auger, the power of the motor, and slow speed all combine to offer the most efficient extraction method.
Can I really make peanut butter?
Not every masticating cold press juicer can do this. The design of the appliance and its auger press make it more capable and efficient at crushing and grinding nuts. Part of the process also may involve a special screen to homogenize what’s extracted, so it’s smooth.
Confirm the capability if making nut butter is something you want your cold press juicer to do. You may discover it’s possible, but you might have to purchase an accessory or add-on. Don’t try it if you’re unsure. Nuts might damage or even destroy your juicer if it wasn’t designed to process them. Your warranty would likely not cover this.
You have to appreciate the irony. Today, it’s all about speed, convenience, and saving money – but if you want the absolute best type of juicer, you need to seek out a slow, mechanical, and expensive process.
Blame it on those vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants you’re so keen to extract from fruits and vegetables. Pretty much everything about speed and convenience is terrible news for them. You need slow and steady.
When it comes to your health, it’s how you’ll win the race.