Even with a wide variety of productive models available on both sides, the debate between slow juicers vs fast juicers continues. This juxtaposition is only natural, even though both fast and slow juicers can conveniently produce flavorful, nutrient-rich juice in your home kitchen.
When it comes down to it, the fast juicers vs. slow juicers debate boils down to a discussion between quality vs. efficiency. In this concise buyer’s guide, you’ll learn about many of the specifications seen in both juicer types. Also, we’ll explore the features that allow each of this year’s top juicer models to exceed their users’ expectations.
Are you new to at-home juice making? Or maybe you’re a veteran looking to upgrade your at-home juice making capabilities? Either way, you’ve found yourself in the thick of the fast juicers vs. slow juicers debate.
I was once in your shoes, and I can tell you this with certainty – the choice between a fast or slow juicer is a matter of personal preference.
That’s right; there isn’t one type of juicer that is definitively better than another. Specific models are more performance-oriented than their competitors.
Most modern at-home juicers can return a decent yield from all of your favorite fruits and vegetables. So, that’s case closed, right?
Not so fast! Both fast and slow juicers hold reasonable productivity potential. But they noticeably different when it comes to production speed (as their categorization name suggests) as well as product quality. If your at-home juicing goals include working efficiently or procuring restaurant-tier juice by your hand, then you have a decision to make.
This guide will help you make that decision by understanding the various benefits and drawbacks associated with using both fast and slow juicers.
I’ve worked with nearly every popular juicer model used in home kitchens and commercial juice bars alike. So I can surely show you what a quality model looks like in both the fast and slow categories.
What is Fast Juicer or Centrifugal Juicer?
When you first broke into this humble activity that we call “at-home juicing,” you were likely introduced immediately to so-called “fast juicers.”
There’s no question that fast juicer models are among the most popular on the market today. And In part, due to their reasonable price tags and their ability to process a whole bunch of produce in mere minutes.
Fast juicers primarily accomplish their core efficiency by utilizing a centrifugal method of separating delicious fruit and vegetable juice from its bulky pulp.
This process begins when a user inserts their chosen produce (cut or uncut) into the unit’s feed chute, after which the produce passes through a rapidly spinning grating disc.
This spinning action causes much of the juice to pour out and pass through the disc’s mesh sides. This juice is then collected (and sometimes filter) in a specialized cup, while the waste pulp is pushed off and into an attached refuse bin.
This entire process takes mere moments, allowing a skilled at-home juice maker to work through pounds of produce in a quick juicing session.
In most cases, the centrifugal juicer will include several operation speed settings. This is designed to accommodate the physical demands posed by harder and softer produce, which can provide a larger or smaller yield depending on the speed at which they are spun and processed.
Even so, fast juicers tend to be the easiest to learn from scratch, allowing novice at-home juicer makers to get up to speed with only a little bit of experimentation.
- Extremely efficient produce processing
- Automatically separates juice and pulp in sealed containers
- Often affordably priced
- Usually, do not require pre-cutting produce
- Easy to use, especially for beginners
- Tend to be noisy
- Known to slightly heat up, causing damage to a juice’s nutritional content
What is a Slow Juicer or Cold Press Juicer?
Generally speaking, slow juicers use one of several extraction methods to progressively prize a higher volume of juice from a particular piece of produce.
Though these extraction methods are noticeably slower, they still gain a considerable amount of acclaim from their users. They believe that the resulting juice carries a better flavor, texture, and nutritional payload.
Unlike fast juicers, which almost exclusively use a centrifugal extraction method, slow juicers can take on several forms. Some of which can even be implemented back into a fast juicer unit. The majority of slow juicers use a masticating action to crush up produce much in the same manner as your teeth.
The slow juicing begins when a user inserts produce (almost always pre-cut) into a unit’s feed chute. The produce travels into the core of the unit, where it is smooshed and squashed by a set of toothed augers for several minutes. Then, as the juice begins to release from the produce, it is pushed further through the unit while the pulp is expelled.
Before the procured juice exits the unit, it passes through a separate filtering basket. This is designed to remove any so-called “contaminants,” such as pulp and seeds, that would harm the final juicy product’s flavor.
From there, your juice exits the appliance through a specialized spout, allowing it to be consumed instantly or stored for later.
Now, you may be asking, “how do cold press juicers play into the slow juicer market?”
Technically, cold press juicers use a similar extraction method, with the key addition of sustainable cold operating temperatures. They ensure that key nutrients in the juice are not denatured during the extraction process.
Standalone cold press juicers see the majority of their use in commercial settings. But some newer masticating and centrifugal juicer models include small cold press modules internally.
- Better quality of juice, in terms of texture and nutrients
- A larger juice yield, including from leafy green produce
- Very quiet operation
- Slightly more expensive
- Operate slowly compared to centrifugal units
- Can be a bit messy, depending on your set up
Fast Vs. Slow Juicers: What’s the Difference?
When you get down to brass tacks, you begin to see that fast and slow juicer units differ most noticeably when you compare their general specifications. The differences in these specifications may only be minor at times.
They can make a significant difference when it comes to that unit’s operational performance (especially after accounting for that model’s features).
We’ll compare several of this year’s top fast and slow juicer models. But before that, take some time to review the following specification and feature subcategories. Then you’ll know what to look for in a high-quality juicing machine.
Juice Quality / Nutrient Preservation
At a base level, the homemade juice (regardless of speed) tastes far better and is far healthier than anything you can pick up at the grocery store. By the same virtue, that same juice is far cheaper (daily) than a similar quality of juice purchased at a juice bar.
However, fast and slow juicers can still be differentiated when it comes to juice quality. Masticating juicers are often said to have the best juice quality due to their ability to eliminate more pulp during the extraction process.
Also, masticating juicers don’t rely on rapid speed friction. They are far more able to preserve fruit or vegetable’s unique vitamins and minerals as it is converted into juice form.
Juice from a centrifugal juicer, on the other hand, has been described as “bland” by some juice connoisseurs. However, most at-home juice makers will be able to please their palette after taking just one sip of a centrifugal juicer’s product.
Juice yield can be quite important for juice makers. They might expect to drink a regular amount of juice per day or plan on sharing their delicious creations with their family. Also, prospective juicer users might plan on regularly juicing a “difficult” produce type, such as the leafy greens.
Fast centrifugal juicers set the standard for juice yield, with most modern models able to convert the majority of their produce into juice without much waste.
Slow masticating juicers have mastered this art of juice yield production due to their emphasis on progressive extraction. As such, masticating juicers are often considered the superior pick for those looking to acquire a top-tier yield (including from kale and spinach).
Juice Shelf Life
Juice shelf life tends to be somewhat similar, regardless of your use of a fast or slow juicer. As a rule of thumb, juicer produced at home should be consumed within a 48 to 72-hour time frame. Beyond that point, handmade juicers tend to spoil (due to a lack of preservatives) or lose their flavor.
Both fast and slow juicers that incorporate cold pressing techniques may be able to help your juicy product maintain longer shelf life. In some cases, juices produced using this extraction method can last up to a week as long as they are stored in a sealed container.
Soft produce, such as tomatoes and citrus fruit, tend to fall on the “easy” end of the juicing spectrum. As such, most electric juicer units can make quick work of them without much hassle. In the case of both fast and slow juicers, this soft produce rarely requires a lot of extra pre-cutting.
Centrifugal juicers tend to be a bit messier when it comes to processing soft produce. While this isn’t a significant issue, masticating units tend to solve this problem by keeping the active motion of the unit to a minimum.
Hard produce, such as beets, carrots, and potatoes, are a different story, given that they require some extra muscle to shred efficiently.
On that front, centrifugal juicers often lead the way because their larger motors are more able to drive their razor-sharp blades through the dense meat of those fruits and vegetables.
Masticating juicers can also process hard produce, but doing so tends to slow down what is already a slow extraction process. Accordingly, most masticating juicer owners tend to pre-cut their hard produce before inserting it into their unit.
Most juice makers tend to agree that slow masticating juicers are the best option to juice leafy green produce like kale, spinach, and collard greens. That is because these units can maintain the produce’s structural integrity for longer, allowing for a more efficient yield that is richer in nutrients.
Centrifugal juicers can process leafy green produce but tend to waste more of the produce’s volume due to its rapidly-spinning extraction method. This is because the centrifugal juicer’s blades immediately tear apart the leaf’s structure, causing much of the juice to remain trapped in the discarded pulp.
Motor Power and Speed
Electric juicers are powered by an internal motor that, in turn, drives the unit’s primary extraction mechanisms. Centrifugal juicers tend to feature the most robust motors.
They are crucial to their ability to rapidly engage their internal blades and make quick work of inserted produce. In turn, centrifugal juicers tend to feature the fastest top speeds, as well as a more extensive range of operational speed options.
Masticating juicers, on the other hand, possess much weaker motors. That’s okay, though, because these units rarely need more than 100 watts of power within their motor to facilitate their slow, purposeful auger action. As a result, most masticating juicers only feature one or two-speed settings, usually around 80 RPM.
“What type of juice has less prep time?”
Well, precise prep times for juicing can vary greatly depending on the type of produce used and a user’s skill when it comes to feeding their unit. But generally speaking, most experienced juice makers agree that centrifugal juicers require the least amount of pre-prep.
This is because centrifugal units tend to feature larger feed chutes, as well as the higher volume of strength needed to tear into dense produce.
Masticating juicers often require a bit of pre-cutting only due to their thinner feed chutes. However, leafy green produce rarely needs to be prepped in this manner because doing so can lead to a lower volume.
“What type of juicer is the quietest?”
There’s no question that slow masticating juicers are far, far quieter than their fast centrifugal counterparts. Masticating juicers create very little noise due to their lack of a large, noisy motor, as well as a lack of reliance on noise-causing metallic extraction components. Centrifugal juicers use both and tend to run about as loudly as a typical household blender.
“What type of juicer creates less food waste?”
Chiefly speaking, both fast and slow juicers alike tend to create the same amount of “waste.” It is primarily comprised of the pulpy matter left over after the juice extraction process.
However, some users differentiate juicers based upon the quality of said pulp, with a particular emphasis on its dryness. In that category, masticating juicers tend to win out given their ability to extract a higher yield of juice, thus leaving the resulting pulp far drier.
Ease of Cleaning
A juicer’s ease of cleaning will vary from model to model, with various units requiring hand washing or allowing for cleaning in a dishwasher. Centrifugal juicers tend to be easier to clean on a short-term basis due to their simplified assembly. Masticating juicers tend to require extra time to clean due to the need to flush the entire system to prevent unsanitary debris buildups persistently.
On average, centrifugal juicers cost less when purchased directly from the manufacturer or on a certified online retailer. This is a direct result of their wide-spread use among at-home juice makers as well as competition within this appliance’s sub-market.
Masticating juicers and cold press juicers, on the other hand, tend to cost more and see broad adoption among committed at-home juice makers as a result.
How to Choose the Best Option Between a Fast and a Slow Juicer?
Beginner & Budget Juicers
When you first step into the ring of at-home juice making, you should bring along a piece of equipment that meets your preliminary juicing goals. It should not cost you a small fortune. Additionally, a beginner-level juicer does not need a bunch of add-ons or unique settings.
To learn the ins-and-outs of the practice, you’ll want to focus on models with an easy-to-understand interface that can certifiably process your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Budget juicers follow much in the same mindset. You’ll likely be able to find a budget-priced listing for mid-range juicer if you shop at an online retailer that offers reduced-price shipping.
Hard-Core Juice Lovers
If you’re looking to take your juicing to the next level, then you might opt for the “bulkier” iteration of the juicer you already use. Often, these models feature larger juice and pulp tanks, allowing you to complete more juicing without needing to stop to empty either container.
Also, hard-core juice lovers should consider picking out a model with three or more speed settings. This allows them to customize better how their unit handles soft and hard produce.
If you’re only considering juicing occasionally, then a low-effort model may be a good option for you. These models usually assemble and clean quickly, allowing you to whip them out without a major hassle. Though these models feature a few customizable settings, they do tend to take up the least amount of counter and shelf space.
Which Fast Juicer is Recommended?
As the best overall fast juicer on the market today, you can expect the Breville 800JEXL to efficiently process most every type of natural produce in your pantry.
That’s because this model’s 1,000-watt motor can drive its titanium-reinforced cutting disc at up to 13,000 RPM. With an ultra-wide 3 inch chute, you’ll hardly even need to pre-cut your produce while using this fast juicer.
The Breville 800JEXL is also exceptionally durable, both inside and out. Internally, you shouldn’t expect this juicer to ever lose its efficiency due to its use of an Italian-made micromesh filter basket.
Externally, though, this model can stand up the acidic corrosion of even the sourest citrus fruits with its die-cast steel housing.
If you’re looking to save a few dollars, know that the Hamilton Beach Pro Juicer 67650A is almost certainly the most affordable fast juicer for sale right now.
This model does not compromise its capabilities to fit a sub-$70 price tag, as evidenced in its usage of both a 1.1 HP motor and a broad 3-inch feed chute. More importantly, this model features a small cold press module – a quality assurance component that even pricier models lack.
This model’s juice container is also worth getting excited about. Not only can it hold 20 oz. of your most flavorful creations, but it also doubles as a serving pitcher.
Even this model’s extra-large pulp bin is worth noting, primarily because it rarely needs to be emptied more than once during a regular juicing session.
Which Slow Masticating Juicer is Recommended?
In the slow juicer category, the Omega NC800HDS certainly deserves recognition as the best overall option. This model has become the gold standard in horizontal juicing.
Primarily due to its core specifications, which include a 2 HP engine that is capable of driving this unit’s durable augers through hard and soft produce alike.
The Omega NC800HDS also features an impressive amount of customization, especially for a model priced at under $350.
For example, this model includes five separate pressure settings to ensure that your small berries and leafy greens aren’t decimated while they are processed. All of this is backed by an industry-leading 15-year warranty that will surely outlast this unit’s productive lifespan.
Q. Do juicers remove fiber?
A. Most fast and slow juicers do not specifically remove any vitamins or minerals, fiber included. Some juicers that heat up during their extraction process (namely, centrifugal juicers) have been known to denature their juice’s nutrients slightly. That leads to somewhat lower fiber content.
Q. How long does fresh juice hold its nutritional value?
A. When stored in a cold location using a sealed container, fresh juice can maintain its peak nutritional content for between 48 and 72 hours. During the intervening time, however, your juice may lose some of its nutritional content before going bad outright. As such, fresh juice is best enjoyed within a few hours of its production.
Q. How long does cold-pressed juice last in the refrigerator?
A. Cold-pressed juice can last for up to a week in a refrigerator if it is stored in a sealed container. Your juice may “settle” during that time, causing its flavor and texture to change slightly.
Q. Do centrifugal juicers destroy nutrients?
A. Centrifugal juicers do not destroy nutrients as a matter of course. Instead, the centrifugal extraction process tends to cause a fair amount of friction within a given unit’s extraction chamber. This heat can cause a slight break down of nutrients, according to some experienced juice makers. Conclusive research into the topic has not been conclusive, however.
Q. Is a masticating juicer the same as cold press and a slow juicer?
A. This confusion primarily centers around the interchangeable use of these three terms, even though they each describe a separate juicer type. “Slow juicer” is an umbrella term, under which both masticating and cold-press juicers fit. Masticating juicers use an auger-based extraction system, which may or may not be supplemented by a cold press module.
Q. Do masticating juicers retain fiber?
A. Masticating juicers generally preserve more fiber than their centrifugal counterparts. This is because masticating units are better able to maintain their nutrient content throughout the extraction process, allowing more fiber to make it into the final juicy product.
Fast Vs. Slow: What Type of Juicer is Best for You?
Buy a Fast juicer if…
… you are looking for speed, power, and efficiency above all else. Fast juicers can meet all three of these criteria while remaining affordable for most every at-home juice maker.
Also, a fast juicer may be the best option if you plan to regularly juice hard produce. Only this type of juicer machine is capable of operating so often without overloading a motor or clogging.
Buy a Slow juicer if…
…you are willing to sacrifice speed to attain a larger juice yield that is better textured, more flavorful, and more nutritious than any other.
Slow juicers are also exceptionally quiet, allowing for their use at almost any time of day without causing a disturbance. Though they are more expensive, slow juicers also tend to last longer – up to a decade or more.