There are a wide range of juicers on the market and it can be overwhelming and difficult to find the one that is most suitable for you.
As with most things your choice of juicer will come down to a trade-off between:
- what you are trying to achieve, (whether you are juicing to overcome a serious health issue or maintain an healthy lifestyle)
- your lifestyle – how much time do you have, or want, to devote to your juicing activities
- your budget
So you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What will you be juicing and will the juicer be able to juice what you want?
- Is ease of use a priority?
- Is ease of cleaning a priority?
- How effective is the juicer at juicing – will this be effective enough for you?
- How important is juice quality?
- How robust a machine do you require?
- How much can you afford to invest?
There are three common types of juicer available. These are the centrifugal, single auger masticating, or twin gear masticating juicers. Unfortunately there is not one perfect juicer, they all have pros and cons.
These high speed juicers work with centrifugal force to extract the juice. The fruits and vegetables are pushed down a feed tube (mostly whole so no chopping is required) on to a serrated cutting blade on the bottom of a rapidly spinning basket at around 12000 RPM. The produce is shredded by the cutter and flung out to the sides of the basket. Due to the high centrifugal force, juice then passes through tiny holes in the basket and through a spout.
The extraction process and higher revs do incorporate more oxygen and therefore reduce shelf life, so it is best to juice to order with these machines. Also the heat generated can damage the delicate enzymes within the produce.
Due to the nature of the cutting process, centrifugal juicers do not break down leafy green vegetables quite as well as masticating units. However, they are a quick and convenient way of getting a healthy juice boost, so they make a great choice if you have a busy lifestyle and time is at a premium.
- Fast and easy to use.
- Quick to clean.
- You can feed in whole fruit or veg so you don’t have to chop everything beforehand
- Generally cheap to buy
- The heat and air generated can reduce the time you can leave your juice before drinking and reduce the quality of the juice
- Not as effective at juice extracting as single auger and twin gear machines
- Can be noisy as the motor needs to run at a high speed
Juicers using the masticating process (which effectively “chew” the vegetable up, releasing more nutrients) have been shown to produce better quality juice with higher nutritional content, and they incorporate less oxygen thereby giving juice with a slightly longer nutritional shelf life.
Masticating Juicers are usually one of two types; single auger machines or twin gear machines
Single auger masticating juicers
These are also known as slow juicers. They work by having one slowly turning screw-shaped gear that that crushes produce against a stainless steel filter by a process similar to a mincing machine, squeezing the juice through the screen. They can have either a vertical auger or a horizontal one. Single auger juicers are generally a more economical alternative choice to a Twin Gear juicer for those juicing greens, harder produce and wheatgrass. The juicing process is also a little slower than a Centrifugal Juicer. Cleaning is still reasonably quick and easy like a centrifugal juicer and generally just requires rinsing. The quality of the juice from a masticating juicer is of better quality (due to the slower process) and generally produces a higher yield over centrifugal juicers.
Vertical Slow Juicers are the most popular and the most user friendly models. Horizontal Single Auger Juicers are best for leafy greens and wheatgrass and good for everything else too.
- Produces better quality juice
- Less waste
- Midway between centrifugal and twin gear machines for cost and juice quality
- Takes longer to prepare produce
- Making juice takes longer
- Can be more difficult to assemble and clean,
- Usually more expensive than centrifugal juicers
Twin gear masticating Juicers
These are the most efficient juicers available, and produce the best quality juice. They work at low speeds and produce juice by squeezing produce between two stainless steel cylindrical rollers that sit side by side. The produce is pulverised by sharp teeth as its fed through the machine. The produce is pressed, squeezed and extracted more effectively than any other type of juicer and at a much lower temperature. They can be more versatile; many models come with extra attachments that allow you to juice wheatgrass, make nut butters, ice cream, veggie pâtés and the like.
- The best juice quality with higher nutritional value
- Higher juice yield
- Can store juice up to 48 hours with minimal loss of appearance and nutritional benefit
- Often more versatile
- Quieter to operate
- Superior build quality
- Usually more expensive than single gear masticating juicers
- Can be slow to juice
- More time consuming to prepare produce as it usually has to be cut up.
- More time consuming to clear up afterwards
- Bigger heavier machines
If you are looking to buy a juicer then I hope this article has given some knowledge so that you can make a more informed choice.