Choosing the Right Juicer
Looking for a juicer can be a bit of challenge especially when you need to get your head around all the new terminology. So, we have decided to write an in-depth guide to help you pick out the perfect juicer for you!
Before you even begin searching the internet and shops for your ideal juicer, you need to ask yourself what ingredients are you most likely to juice? What price range are you considering and will you use it every day?
Once you have answered these questions then you can start looking and comparing juicers.
This type of juicer is slow, which you may think is a downside, but masticating juicers offer higher yields. This means you're going to get much more juice and better quality. You may hear this type of juicer being called a cold press or slow juicer, as they function by crushing and pressing the juice out of ingredients. This is done by a slow rotating augur which looks a bit like a screw, then the crushed fruit passes through a very fine screen which acts as a sieve. Because these types of juicers are slow, they are able to operate much more quietly and as we have said before they produce a higher yield.
With certain types of masticating juicer's, you can actually produce nut milk, butter, salsas and sorbets.
That covers the basics of masticating juicers, but there is more to them than that, as they can be divided into 3 further categories:
- Vertical Juicers: Perfect for soft fruits but newer models can juice leafy greens well.
- Horizontal Juicers: Great for leafy greens and harder produce. You can also use this type of juicer for other recipes such as noodles, nut butter, salsas, grinding and even baby food.
- Twin Gear Juicers: fantastic for all fruits and vegetables as they offer best extraction levels with a majority of ingredients, although they do require more physical force to juice.
These juicers are for people who want to juice quickly as this type of juicer uses a spinning blade that spins against a mesh filter. This separates the juice from the fruits body very quickly and disperses the waste into a separate container, most commonly known as the pulp bin.
Because of the speed used, centrifugals are considerably louder, but most centrifugals have two speed setting for soft and hard fruit/veg. It's worth noting if you want to juice leafy greens and very soft berries, then a centrifugal might not be your best option, as it will produce very little juice from these types of food.
The most common myth about juicing your ingredients in a centrifugal is that they heat up the juice, which destroys the nutrients. This isn't always the case as they barely produce enough heat to destroy the enzymes in your juice.
Let's Talk About Nutrients
Now, we have already stated that centrifugals do offer a LOWER quality juice, this is not to say that the juice you drink from a centrifugal has no beneficial nutrients or enzymes. The juice from a centrifugal still has plenty of benefits and it is much healthier to drink than fizzy drinks or squash.
However, the nutritional quality and quantity of your juice can be determined by two factors, how much force is used to separate the juice from the pulp and how well the plant fibres are broken down.
The juice quality is ensured by the process and this is why masticating juicers get better reviews. Masticating juicers use a slow grinding and chewing action on the ingredients, which is the most efficient way of breaking down the plant cells and membranes.
A centrifugal juicer, use a very quick force to break open the plant's cells. This means that there is very little time for the cells to be broken down completely, which makes the juice less colourful and slightly decrease the nutritional content.
Centrifugals tend to incorporate oxygen into their juicing process, which will mean your juice will discolour quicker due to oxidation. This also means the shelf life is decreased. Whereas, masticating juicers don’t incorporate as much air, so your juices will last much longer.
Rotations Per Minute
Many people get caught up on the Rotations Per Minute (RPM) because they think the lower the RPM the better the juice. Although rotational speeds are low with most masticating juicers, this speed only helps the powerful augur process more juice. Augurs use high pressure or force to separate the juice from the pulp and this is the main factor as to why masticating juicers use such a slow RPM.
Don’t get caught up on 40 RPM compared to 80 RPM as this small difference will have no effect on your juice other than the time it takes to process your ingredients.
If you look at an Angel juicer, which is one of the best juicers on the market, you will find that they use twin gear technology which gives the best quality of juice you can get at home.
The RPM of the twin gears can be a lot faster than the slowest of juicers, meaning that the slower your juicer doesn't mean the best juice! A lot of the time the juicing method is the most important aspect to consider when buying a juicer.
Centrifugal juicers tend to struggle with soft berries as most of the juice will end up in the pulp bin, which can turn out to be very wasteful and expensive. Also, leafy greens like kale and wheatgrass can be juiced, but you won't get as much juice from those ingredients when using a fast juicer.
Twin Gear Juicers
These types of juicers offer very good juice yields because the ingredients have to pass through very small gaps between two stainless steel gears, which achieves a better breakdown of the cells.
A twin-gear juicer will crush and grind fresh fruits or vegetables more finely than a masticating juicer.
This is because a twin-gear has two gears that rotate inward and the gears shape allow for fruit and veg to be torn open. It also breaks up more of the phytochemical from the produce than other non-twin gear juicers. You can expect rich-coloured juice which is also higher in nutrients and minerals.
There are so many different types of juicers out there, that results will most certainly vary. However, cheap alternative juicers that say they are copies of leading brands will usually have lower quality parts and a poorer performance.
The Pros and Cons of Masticating and Centrifugal Juicers
Unfortunately, slow juicers are often branded with an inconvenience because they don't juice as quick and they have lots of complicated parts. This is no longer the case as newer models are so much easier to use, clean and are quicker at juicing.
Improved augers and filter screens allow for juice to be processed quicker, without decreasing the quality of the juice.
Yes, slow juicers are slower than centrifugals and slightly more expensive, but not by much. Spending a couple of extra minutes with your slow juicer is barely an inconvenience when you think of the quality and the increase of juice you are getting. You will also be able to juice a wider range of produce than you can in a centrifugal.
A centrifugal juicer will offer you speed and convenience with a lower price to pay, but you will get much more waste and a lower yield.
A twin geared juicer is best for those who will be juicing a lot and are juicing leafy greens. This is the type of juicer you buy if you want the very best, again quality comes with a high price tag. Don’t let that put a downer on this type of juicer, especially if you are very serious about juicing. One thing to consider about twin gear juicers is that there are more parts, which makes cleaning a little more complex than the other two types of juicer. You will also find the processing of ingredients slightly tougher, this is because you need to use a pusher for most ingredient.
Below will help you decide what type of juicer is best for you.
- Best For Leafy Greens & Wheatgrass: Twin Gear Juicers
- Best For Hard Fruits & Vegetables: Centrifugal Juicers
- Best For Soft Fruits: Vertical and Horizontal Slow Juicers
- Best All Round: Slow Juicers
We know price plays a big part in deciding whether to purchase a product or not and there are many cheap alternatives to big brands, which can be tempting. But we must urge you to start with a well-trusted brand or manufacturer and not go for cheap knockoffs because the results will be nowhere near the quality you will be expecting.
If you’re looking to just juice citrus fruit then this type of juicer is ideal. Juicers can juice citrus fruit, but you have to peel them before, due to the skin being so bitter. Or you can buy a citrus attachment which can be swapped out for the juicing bowl. This will give your vertical juicer much more to offer, but if you only fancy juicing citrus fruit we would suggest a citrus juicer.
Like many juicers, citrus juicers come either as a manual citrus press or an electric citrus juicer.
Let's first look at manual citrus presses. These are hand operated juicers that extract the juice via a lever that you pull down to squash the fruit.
If you’d rather let the juicer do the work for you, then electric citrus juicers or citrus attachments are something you should consider. This is where the juicer will spin automatically when you pull down the lever, making work minimal and quick.
Handy features to Look out For
This flap stops any remaining juice inside the machine from dripping out onto your worktop after you've finished juicing. It can also act as a plug when juicing, as this will enable the juicer to mix all the juices together. The best drip-stop spouts work by flipping upwards, as these tend to be the most effective.
XL feed chute
Some juicers have extra large hoppers to allow whole fruits and vegetables to be juiced with no preparation. This saves a lot of time as you can simply drop your ingredients in without the need to chop and peel.
Most juicers have these as they really help stabilise the juicer when in the juicing process. They are usually small rubber pads or suction cups.
This helps push down ingredients to the juicing bowl safely. This piece of kit fits neatly into the hopper (feed chute) and makes for comfortable juicing.
Safety lock lid
This type of lid means the juicer won't work unless the lid is clicked into place securely. You won’t really have to look out for this feature as the majority of juicers have this to save the user from having a nasty accident.