A study estimates that around 30 percent of us don’t get enough daily nutrition from fruits and vegetables. Juicing solves the problem.
There’s just one catch. It’s expensive to make that a regular habit at your neighborhood juice bar, which is why a growing number of us are looking at getting a juice machine. The choices can be overwhelming.
Generally, a juicer is used to extract the liquids from fruit or vegetables. Most are electric appliances that use filters to remove pulp and solids from the juice.
The pulp can accumulate quickly, making it necessary to stop and discard it. Higher quality juicers allow continuous juicing, and they automatically get rid of the pulp for you. The juice is extracted in different ways:
- Citrus Electric
Which extraction method is better? That’s going to be your call – and you can make it by understanding how each process works. Here’s what you need to know.
A centrifugal fast juicer is the most common and the most popular type of juicer. You may also hear this type called a fast juicer – and for a good reason. They do the job of juice extraction quickly, saving you time and work.
The juicer accepts fruits and vegetables through a feed tube. It brings them into direct contact with a shredding blade. It spins between 4,000 to 16,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).
This metal blade rotates rapidly against a mesh filter. Then the centrifugal power separates the pulp from the juice. Both are collected in separate compartments.
Now you’re ready to enjoy the juice, and you should enjoy it soon after. Juice extracted with a centrifugal juicer can separate quickly. It contains a significant amount of pulp and flesh that was shredded by the spinning blades.
The sturdy spinning shredding blade makes it suitable for juicing carrots or apples. They’ll make quick work of these harder materials.
These machines typically feature a large feeding chute. That will be important to you if you want to move quickly. It will let you juice more significant fruits and vegetables such as a whole apple or carrot without pre-cutting.
Centrifugal juicers can be an inexpensive purchase. They’re the most common, and there are many manufacturers. This may be the right choice if you want to explore juicing without spending a lot of money. They also are easy to use and clean.
There’s often a downside to speed and convenience. Centrifugal juicers are noisy. The extraction process also produces a lot of foam. Air gets trapped in the juice while the shredder blade spins.
Notice how quickly an avocado or apple turns brown when you cut it? You’re exposing the surface to oxygen and causing oxidation. Now imagine what a blade spinning at 16,000 RPM is doing.
Your juice will begin to oxidize quickly after being extracted. The blades may be fast, but the extraction process isn’t efficient. A lot of beneficial nutrients will be discarded with the pulp.
Centrifugal juicers quickly extract juice from fruits and vegetables. Look for models with a feeding chute that accommodates larger pieces of produce. It will speed things up.
- More affordable than a cold press juicing machine
- Have fewer parts.
- Assembly and cleaning are easy and quick.
- Take up less space on your kitchen counter as they stand upright.
- A large chute reduces prep time.
- Practical for single servings.
- Can juice softer fruits.
- The high speed per rotation dilutes the quality of juice produced.
- The extraction process creates foam and accelerates oxidation.
- They’re noisy, so you may wake up the house in the morning while making your morning glass of fresh juice.
- They are not recommended for leafy greens or wheatgrass.
- The juice will quickly separate because of the high amount of solids or “pulp.”
- Nuts and seeds are not recommended for this type of juicer.
A centrifugal juicer is best for people who plan to make large batches of juice. Consider this type if you want the nutritional benefits of juicing but not the effort. Lower prices make them the right choice for beginners.
Masticating Slow Juicer
You’ll hear it called by several different names such as “single-gear,” “cold press,” and “slow.” These are all masticating juicers. They mechanically chew (masticate) fruits and vegetables into a finely ground pulp. This process releases more of the enzymes and nutrients than a centrifugal juicer.
As a result, you get a much healthier juice that is deeper in color and contains a higher amount of nutrients.
Masticating slow juicers operate much slower than centrifugal juicers. The mastication blades reach only about 80 to 120 RPM. The process is less destructive, and oxidation is significantly reduced.
The extraction process is slow. No heat is generated to destroy the enzymes and antioxidants in the juice.
Masticating juicers are offered in both vertical and horizontal types.
The vertical version is more aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t take up much counter space has a larger auger and feeding chute. The vertically positioned chute allows fruits and vegetables to be gravity fed. You’ll spend less time feeding it to get the juice.
You’ll work a bit more with horizontal juicers. They feature a smaller feeding chute that forces you to feed in produce slowly. There’s a reason for this. The design slows you down, and the result is better quality juice. It’ll be thick, fresh, nearly foam-free, and can be stored for a day or two.
Masticating juicers efficiently extract from leafy vegetables, wheatgrass, and even herbs. The pulp is noticeably drier than what’s created by some juicers. This indicates a better rate of extraction.
These extractors are versatile. You can use it to grind coffee beans, make your peanut butter, or even baby food. People often use them in place of a food processor or a grinder.
Many manufacturers include blank plate attachments that allow you to make sorbets, or even crushed coffee beans.
There’s a price to pay – literally – for this multifunctional juicer. They’re constructed for rugged use, so they weigh more and cost more than other types of juicers.
Consider the extra money a worthwhile investment. You’ll enjoy better quality juice and get more of it.
Vertical or Horizontal masticating juicer model – What’s your preference?
You have a choice. There are vertical and horizontal operating positions with a masticating juicer. Vertical models cost more, but they take up less countertop space.
Vertical Masticating Juicers
Vertical masticating juicers have taken the juicing world by storm once manufacturers introduced them in 2010.
They were designed with a specific goal: to make cold press juicing faster and easier. These juicers mimic the vertical feeding design used in high-speed centrifugal juicers to create a larger masticating surface area. That’s good news because the mastication process is slow.
This configuration is best for people with limited counter space. They do offer added features such as a wide mouth design and self-cleaning options and they cost more than horizontal models.
It seems counterintuitive to have to chop up fruit or veggies so a machine can chop them up even more. Go with a vertical version of this juicer if that thought gets stuck in your head. You’ll have the benefit of a wide mouth, which means less prep work.
- Produce more juice in less time than other masticating models.
- Easy to use and clean.
- Simple to assemble.
- They are best for juicing soft fruits and root vegetables.
- Compact design takes up minimal counter space.
- Typically available with accessories to extend functionality.
- Quiet operation.
- The juice yield is less than from traditional horizontal masticating juicers.
- Stringy produce like celery still must be chopped into smaller pieces.
Horizontal Masticating Juicers
Go with this version to extract juice from wheatgrass or leafy greens. Most manufacturers will also provide you with bonus attachments that extend function and versatility.
Additional meshes allow you to homogenize and make amazing smooth and creamy sauces or sorbets. Other accessories give it food processing powers to grind coffee beans and even grains.
Horizontally configured masticating juicers need less pre-cutting and no restriction in the pulp ejection port. There’s little risk of clogging, which makes it great for making lots of green juice.
- Give a high juice yield with dry pulp.
- Very good at juicing leafy greens.
- Most feature 10-year warranties or longer.
- Many are sold with additional food processing features to help you prepare oils, nut butter, beverages, sorbets, and pasta. Some can grind coffee and ice.
- Extracted juices have a longer shelf life.
- Quiet operation.
- Produce juice at a slower rate.
- Small feed chutes.
- Can have multiple parts that require cleaning after each use.
- Requires cleaning more often because of the higher quality juice it extracts.
The masticating juicer is ideal if you want to maximize the nutrients you extract, and you’re willing to spend more time doing it. This type of juicer works well with leafy greens, so it’s the right choice if you plan to make a daily shot of wheatgrass juice.
What’s an auger, anyway? You’ve seen a few, even if you don’t recognize the name. A drill is a type of auger. The spiral shape is what’s at work here. Like their masticating juicer cousins, auger-type juicers operate at low speeds, typically from 80 to 100 RPM.
There are two types of auger juicers: a single auger juicer and a twin auger. You guess it. One has a single gear, and the other uses twin augers. Both juicers have versions that work in either horizontal or vertical orientation.
Single Auger Juicers
Single auger juicers use a gearbox attached to an electric motor to achieve low speed and high torque during processing. The produce is pushed against the rotating auger.
It’s chopped or torn into smaller pieces. The ribs of the rotating auger force the chopped fruit or vegetable-forward or down, where it’s pressed against a mesh screen to extract the juice.
These juicers are work best to extract nutritious juice from grasses, leafy greens, and soft fruits or vegetables.
You’ll find juicing hard vegetables such as carrots slow-going and cumbersome with a horizontal version. On the plus side, there are few parts, so clean-up and assembly are fast and straightforward.
The vertical auger is a better choice for juicing hard vegetables because the design features a larger and more aggressive auger. The upright position, however, makes it more complicated to assemble. You’ll spend more time on clean-up, too.
Twin Auger / Triturating / Twin-Gear Juicers
What’s the benefit of a twin auger juicer? You can probably guess. It features two augers that work in tandem. The ribs of two steel gears known as augers press together and spin in opposite directions. The motion cuts and draws the product forward, so it’s pressed between the auger gears.
The augers’ ribs move the fruits and vegetables forward against a screen. This separates the juice from what’s going to be discarded.
Twin auger, or triturating juicers do a superior job extracting nutritious drinks from wheatgrass, as well as greens and fruits. The low RPM and high torque will handle hard vegetables – but don’t be in a hurry. It’s going to be a slow process.
These juicers have more parts. Assembly can be complicated, and cleaning takes longer. The motion of the gears makes it self-feeding. You can easily juice soft produce and leafy items without any problem.
The design of this type of juicer offers the option to use attachments that take advantage of the powerful motor to grind grains or even make pasta.
It’s a highly efficient juicer, but the trade-off is speed. These juicers also tend to be more expensive than other types.
You need to push. If there’s one complaint that rises above the others, it’s that it takes more force to push fruit and vegetables down the chute toward the gears. It’s why this type of juicer works best with leafy greens.
The twin-gear juicer design easily pulls them in and then will extract the most juice from these types of vegetables.
Don’t make the mistake of including wheatgrass, though. Wheatgrass is dry, and the friction can create foam. A workaround for this to lubricate the gears with flax oil before feeding the wheatgrass.
Struggles with fruit. Twin auger juicers can struggle with softer fruits like pineapple and oranges. There’s not much pulp – which the augers use to push for extraction. On the other hand, the powerful motor required to operate the augers extend its use.
Make anything from baby food and sorbets to peanut butter. These machines are heavy. Many weigh 24 pounds or more. They also will cost almost 2 or 3 times that of a masticating juicer.
- Very high yield because of efficiency.
- Will extract more nutrients and overall liquid than fast centrifugal or even other types of slow juicers.
- Use attachments to prepare fresh baby food, butter made from nuts, icy sorbets, and even pasta.
- Very good at juicing leafy greens – except for wheatgrass.
- Juice can last up to 72 hours.
- They’re quiet.
- Some of them come with attachments.
- They’re more expensive than a centrifugal or slow juicer.
- They’re slow and require extra effort when feeding the chute.
- More parts take longer to clean.
- Dual gears make it more challenging to assemble.
- A larger footprint takes up more counter space.
- More difficult to clean than single-gear machines.
- Extracted juice contains a higher amount of solids.
- Juicing leafy greens will produce foam.
Purchase this type of juicer if your goal is to get maximum extraction, especially if you want it from those leafy greens. But be honest with yourself about being okay with the extra time and effort for assembly and cleaning. The twin gear design and adjustable back pressure make it highly flexible.
Hydraulic Press Juicers
We’ve made our way up to the king of juicers. A hydraulic juice press is by far the best juicer you can buy if you want to extract highly nutritious cold-pressed juice.
This type of press extracts the highest percentage of juice – up to 99% liquid and less than 1% of unwanted pulp. The hydraulic press process also makes juice with the longest shelf life (around 3 to 5 days) because there are minimal heat and oxidation.
Never heard of a hydraulic press juicer? They’re often overlooked because they are not conventional. Hydraulic juicers are sometimes called two-stage juicers because there are two steps:
- 1. First, the juicer grounds up to the produce into pulp.
- 2. Then by pressing the pulp under thousands of pounds of pressure, the juice is slowly extracted.
Some hydraulic press juicers exert pressure up to 6,000 per square inch. It extracts the maximum amount of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Need some perspective? A barista makes your coffee in a machine that exerts about 145 pounds per square inch.
The resulting juice is packed with a lot of nutrients, and it is more flavorful than juice extracted by any other type of juicer.
A “cold-press” juicer gets its name because of the hydraulic press used for extraction. It’s the only type of juicer that contains a press, and therefore is the only true cold-press juicer. Keep that in mind, when making a choice and reading what manufacturers have to say about their products.
This type of juicer takes more time to use and is difficult to clean. It’s also expensive. But you are paying for the best extraction process possible, yielding the most amount of nutrients and enzymes. The method introduces so little oxidation that the extracted juice will stay fresh and safe to drink for a very long time.
There are two hydraulic juicers you can buy: the Welles Juice Press and the Norwalk Juicer. The Welles is a manual press and will cost you around $400. The Norwalk one will cost you at least 6x that.
- Hydraulic press juicers extract the most nutrients possible from fruits and vegetables.
- The juice will have a longer shelf life.
- The process creates little to no foam in the juice.
- Almost zero oxidation.
- Better results from leafy greens.
- Create the purest juice.
- Can create thirst-quenching beverages from seeds, nuts, oats, and soy.
- Most expensive type of juicer.
- Hogs counter space.
- Difficult to clean and operate.
- Multiple steps are required to extract the juice.
- Even slower than a masticating juicer.
- Expensive to maintain.
Consider this option if you aren’t worried about the price, and you demand pulp- and foam-free juice with a great taste. This machine is for those who are looking for quality and quantity.
Other Types of Juicers
Centrifugal and masticating juicers make up most of the market, but other types designed to work with specific ingredients – which means they aren’t for everyone.
You are the power behind the manual (press & hand crank) juicer. You’ll apply mechanical pressure to extract the juice from produce.
Non-electric juicers are easy to find. They’re also inexpensive to buy, silent during operation, and easy to clean. This is a wise choice if you want something portable. They are small enough to pack in the car on a trip.
Countertop juicer applies pressure to squeeze fruits and vegetables. The liquid passes down a chute and through a mesh filter.
The same process happens with smaller hand-held designs. But you’ll have more prep work because products must be cut down to size.
- They’re popular, so many brands are inexpensive.
- Hand-held versions make juicing a portable option.
- They generate practically no oxidation or heat.
- No electric motor means they’re quiet.
- Manual juicers can limit the types of produce you can use.
- You supply the power. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to do a lot of juicing.
- Some are not efficient, so you may need more produce to make the amount of juice you want.
Citrus juicers are a one-trick pony. They work on oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and sometimes pomegranates. The juicer uses a rounded cone to press and squeeze the juice.
- The best way to extract juice from citrus fruits.
- An affordable specific juicing style.
- Easy to clean.
- Only suitable for citrus ingredients.
What is the best type of juicer?
- The best juicer depends on what you want to juice and the quality you expect. See the recommendations for each of the types below:
- This is a choice that impacts your health. So the best juice extractor is always the one that you will use daily.
- Are you just starting? Go with any of these cheap juicers costing less than $150 (some are less than $100!).
- Pick a horizontal auger juicer or a twin auger model if you plan to juice lots of leafy greens.
- A vertical slow juicer like an Omega or Kuvings is the right choice if you plan to juice an equal amount of fruits and vegetables.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!