This article reviews the important features to look for when purchasing a juicer. There are many juicers to choose from of varying quality and price. This article is designed to fully inform you so that you can choose a juicer wisely!
Blender or Juicer. First, I just want to be sure you know that a blender and a juicer are two separate appliances. A juicer separates the liquid juice from the pulp. A blender does not. Blenders are ideal for making smoothies and soups. But some veggies just don’t do juicers for celery well in a blender, in my opinion, such as carrots, beets, and celery which come out gritty when blended. Some do use a blender instead of a juicer, but just know that it’s a different taste and consistency. I use both because some vegetables will clog a non-commercial juicer such as bananas and avocados. These should be blended and then added to your juice.
Commercial or Non-commercial. The commercial juicer is the most expensive and durable. You can juice any vegetable or fruit, even avocados and bananas. This option is best if you intend to sell fresh juices. For individual and family use, the less expensive non-commercial types of juicers are best.
HP or RPM. The earliest – and even now the cheapest juicers – are centrifugal machines which shred the produce and squeeze out the juice by spinning it in a perforated basket. They rely on high RPM – 10, 000 and more. The higher the RPM the larger the pieces of fruit and vegetables the juicer can process without slowing down or stalling. However, we learned that high RPM creates heat and adds oxygen to the juice, both of which destroy many nutrients. High RPM machines are also the noisiest – sounding like airport runways! So today we have what are known as “slow” juicers which have very low RMP – as little as 80 – creating minimal heat, oxygenation, and nutrient loss. Horsepower (hp) should be at least one-third to one-half. Otherwise the juicer will have a difficult time juicing the hardest vegetables such as carrots.
If you intend to juice vegetable greens such as wheatgrass, kale, spinach, etc., the “slow” or “masticating” type is the only kind that juices greens well. They are a bit more expensive but in my opinion well worth it. These juicers also claim to extract more juice from your produce. I use one myself and find it well worth the investment. Some slow juicers can even be used to make nut butter and sorbets.
Warranty. The best machines have a 10-year or better warranty on all the parts, not just the motor. With this kind of warranty there is no need to pay extra for an “extended warranty”.
Spout. I also suggest a juicer with 2 spouts, one that ejects the juice and the other that ejects the pulp. This feature makes the juicer quicker to clean, and enables you to conveniently place a spoonful or two of the pulp back into your juice for added fiber. Machines that keep the pulp in a central basket must be emptied soon after you start, whereas the pulp-ejecting spout enables continuous use.
Special Tools & Attachments. My advice is to avoid the frills! The only aspect of juicing that can be discouraging is the time it takes to clean and cut the produce, and then clean the machine after each use. The fewer the parts and attachments, the more apt you are to use it on a daily basis or more. So look for the simplest machine to clean with the fewest parts to disassemble. I actually enjoy the time it takes to prepare the produce and clean the machine. I turn it into a short meditation practice. Even so, the fewer parts the better. Your juicer should be easy to take apart and clean without any tools that can be lost. Avoid juicers that require special attachments for juicing certain foods such as citrus fruits – these should not be needed. Again, the best juicer is the simplest juicer.
Feeding Tube. One part of the juicer that’s worth special consideration is the part where you drop the pieces of fruit and vegetables into, otherwise known as the feeding tube. Some juicers have large feeding tubes so that you can juice the whole or large pieces of fruit or vegetable, thereby saving time and effort involved in cutting your produce.