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Choosing a Juicer
In order to present you with an unbiased guide on how to choose the right Juicer for your needs we include an independent guide published on the ehow.com website that we find quite practical.
How to Choose the Right Juicer
By gramgail, eHow Member
- Start by making a list - not how much you want to pay or the type of juicer you want, but of the things or features you are looking for a juicer to do for you. Some examples could be - citrus juices, making juice blends from a variety of juices, making frozen fruit treats, juicing wheat grass or sprouts, extruding homemade pasta, processing vegetables for canning/freezing, grinding coffee beans, grains to make flour or meal, homogenizing foods, making homemade (organic or regular) baby foods, sauces, and there are many more options that juicers can do for you - use your imagination, and be realistic with what you will actually use the juicer for, then make your list first.
- Before you decide on anything (how much you want to pay, what type of juicer you want, brand name or even if you want specifically a juicer only), research the subject. Read through the next steps below - before deciding on anything, first.
- What’s Available: There are 4 different styles available - in general - Masticating (single gear or twin gear - though twin gear runs higher rpms), Pulp Ejection, Citrus or Centrifugal. Read on for a brief lay mans terms description of each style:
1) Masticating - a low speed juicer (this is an important point which will be discussed later) that can juice everything (citrus, all other fruits and melons, wheat grass, vegetables, leafy greens, sprouts etc.)
2) Pulp Ejecting - basically this will juice pulpy fruits and vegetables - not the grasses or leafy greens or sprouts really. It ejects the pulp into a separate container than the juice.
3) Citrus - just what it says, it is for citrus fruits only - so limits your use.
4) Centrifugal - this one spins, and holds the pulp in a basket, while the spinning forces the juice out of the juice/pulp and the juice goes into a holding container below the basket (usually, designs can vary).
- Now that you know what types are out there - lets talk about things to consider: What is healthiest? How much do each of these run? Which is easiest to clean? Which of these really meets MY needs (you don't want something you won't use half the features on)? How easy do these travel?
- Okay - Healthiest? - As a rule, the higher the temperature that is created by the juicer, the more live nutrients/enzymes are ruined or killed during processing. In other words - since you are juicing, you obviously want the best product for you as the end result. Some juicers such as the centrifugal juicers operate at a speed of hundreds, if not thousands of rpms, which produces a lot of heat, thus killing off vital nutrients, enzymes and minerals in the process. So - always look for the LOWEST RPM machine that will suit your needs (refer to your list of what you want to do). Depending on your needs, if you are looking for something that can do almost anything - you will want to go with a Masticating Juicer - sometimes referred to as an "all in one". There are a few of these out there (more than that actually) and you need to print out the specifications for each and compare them side by side to see what you find. In my search - I did this and found that with the lower RPM's, the Omega 8004 was a great fit for me (I've owned others - including a Champion Juicer-which has a very high RPM rate - which I was unaware of at the time of purchase).
- A brief note on the healthiness (if that is a word) of the other styles mentioned: Centrifugal Juicers are the kind that spin the juice out of the pulp - and this method has been reported to cause damage to the enzymes/nutrients in the juice due to the high speeds used to extract the juice. Citrus Juicers - well - these are not as effective at getting all the juice from the fruit, as well as they use a crushing method to extract and this is not a very effective way to get the most for your money, and since the pressure used can't be controlled very well (widely varies by machine used), its really an unknown as to what happens with the nutrients during the process. Last, the Pulp Ejection Juicer is also something that operates at a higher temperature - to allow for the pulp to be extracted and ejected, therefore the nutritional value of the juice extracted suffers.
- How much do each of these run? Well - your prices will vary, but the least expensive models will be the Citrus Juicers. (Perhaps as low as €20.00 up to about €250.00 depending on size, functionality, brand etc.) The next in line will be the Centrifugal Juicers - ranging from €40.00 to €370.00. The next would be the Pulp Ejection models - they vary greatly too - from €80.00 - €130.00. The higher end models - are the Masticating Juicers - and they range from €230.00 to €1500.00 or more - depending on model/features and brand name.
- Clean Up - again - something that will vary with each model, though basically - if you are choosing your juicer on how easy to clean it is - you will likely choose a centrifugal style - with the basket it is easy to clean up (though it is limited what you can do with it). A lot of the masticating juicers are extremely easy to clean and possibly, easier than the centrifugal juicers. Clean up is a relative term really - as many parts just need to be rinsed under running water or some can even go in the dishwasher. None of the models are much work to clean up at all - so this really shouldn't be a factor, but we felt it should be mentioned.
- Does it meet my needs? This is a subjective question - really one you have to decide yourself. I will offer this information that I used in choosing my new juicer recently. I made the list of what I wanted to do now - and where I might be going in my life nutritionally in the near future - realistically. I thought about the cost of foods going up and the availability of good for me foods becoming scarce (so that led me to believe that I wanted to be able to perhaps grind my own grains, coffee beans, sprouts to make breads, and get the MOST out of my fruits/vegetables I do juice without compromising nutritional value with a high heat juicer). I also thought - that as prices go up, I need to be able to keep my food budget on track - and juicing / changing our diet a little - will still help keep us healthy and happy and save money too. As to whether the unit you purchase will travel well - the thought here is that the lower number of "add on parts" needed to do basic functions, the easier it is to take to the lake for the weekend or the cabin for a week etc.
- One last note about budget. Remember - this is a purchase you will likely make only once in at least 10 years (hopefully) - so consider it an investment and budget for that. Before you know it, your juicer will become your best companion!