Congratulations, you have decided to venture into juicing. This is a great step towards a healthier you. The juices you can buy from the grocery stores are mostly loaded with sweeteners, artificial flavoring and preservatives to extend shelf life. So, if you make your own juice at home, you can get the most out of your fruits and vegetables and extract the most vitamins and nutrients that would otherwise be depleted during processing the juice. Not to mention, you can mix any fruit and vegetable you want to make your own juice concoctions.
It is so convenient to have your own juicer, especially if you’re starting on a 50 percent raw food diet. Eating them whole all the time can be boring, so to add variety to a raw diet, you can juice them as well. But once you go out to the appliance store or search for a juicer at Amazon, you may be confused as to what juicer to buy because there are so many choices.
Juicers come in different types and here are the most common:
1. Centrifugal juicer or fast juicer
Centrifugal juicers are the most popular type of juicer. Also known as fast juicers, their biggest selling point is their ability to create juice in just a few seconds without having to chop up the fruits and vegetables. They are also very easy to clean because they contain only a few removable parts: the pulp tank, strainer, cutting disk and feeding tube. It’s also one of the cheapest juicers you can find on the market.
Since they work on centrifugal force, they work like a washing machine on a spin cycle. The fast spinning motion separates the juice from the pulp. It has high revolutions per minute (usually over 1,000 and around 12,000 RPM), which allows them to force juice out of produce and separate it from the shredded pulp in less than a minute. You can dump fruits and vegetables whole (if you have a wide-mouth juicer and if the manual says so) and the produce will be forced down a feed tube. The juice will come out of the spout and the excess pulp will be stored in a separate tank. They can handle thick, hard and crunchy fruits and vegetables very well.
The major disadvantage of centrifugal juicers is the noise, heat and oxidation that results from its fast speed. The oxidation can shorten fridge life and cause loss of nutrients in the juice. Once you create juice with this type of juicer, you have to consume it within 15 minutes or put it in a refrigerator, unless the juice will not stay fresh for much longer. You can see it if you juice an apple – it can turn brown very quickly if you don’t drink it right away. The heat caused by the high speed can also destroy some of the nutrients in the produce. It also can’t extract a lot of juice from leafy greens.
This type of juicer is recommended only for people like to juice for themselves or prepare a lot of juice that will be consumed immediately. It’s also only for using with fruit and hard vegetables – if you want to juice leafy greens, choose another type of juicer.
- Great for personal use
- Juices fast
- Easy to use and operate
- Easy to clean
- Less need for preparation – you don’t have to pre-cut produce
- Great for hard vegetables and fruits
- Can’t juice for large batches
- Can fill up quickly
- Can’t extract much from leafy greens
- Oxidizes juice fast, which means your juice won’t stay fresh for long
- Quite noisy
2. Masticating or slow juicer
Masticating juicers or slow juicers use a slow rotating auger to crush produce against a stainless steel mesh screen at low RPM (usually 80 to 100). The slow speed creates less oxidation as it doesn’t suck air in. The juice flows through the mesh screen and then dumped into a container, so pulp goes out a separate exit point into another catcher. This type of juicer is the best choice if you want to make green juices because they can get the best nutrients out of leafy veggies like kale and spinach.
This type of juicer is also quieter than a centrifugal juicer, but it will take longer to extract juice because of the lower RPM. Depending on the model you pick, a masticating juicer can also serve as a food processor and grinder. A lot of brands include blank plate attachments that can allow you to make nut butters, nut milks and also sorbets.
- Have high juice yield
- Less oxidation, which means better juice quality
- Works great with hard and soft produce, including leafy greens
- Can be multi-functional
- Makes juice slower than centrifugal juicers
- Usually needs more counter space
- Can be pricey
- Leaves more pulp in the juice, so you may need a strainer
- The smaller feed chute means you need to pre-cut produce
Masticating juicers can have a horizontal auger or a vertical auger.
Horizontal auger juicers are bulkier because of its horizontal body, but it doesn’t require much pre-cutting because it has a larger chute than a vertical auger juicer. But still you have to pre-cut the produce, though to prevent clogging (and you won’t want that because it’s hard to clean).
On the other hand, a vertical auger juicer has a vertical auger, which allows the machine to have a smaller footprint. Unfortunately, to achieve this, the pulp ejection port has a sharp 90-degree angle, which means that you need to pre-cut not just the hard fruits and vegetables, but also the fibrous leafy stuff like spinach, celery and collard greens. And you need to chop them into smaller bits to prevent clogging. However, it can produce above average yield.
3. Triturating or twin-gear juicer
Also known as a twin-gear juicer, a triturating juicer uses two gears or augers that interlock, which looks like a car’s transmission gear. It rotates at a low speed to shred, crush, grind and then squeeze the juice out of the produce. They rarely discriminate with the types of produce you feed on it – they do a great job with leafy greens as well as hard veggies and crunchy fruits. The juices made by this type of juicer are smooth, vibrant and highly dense in nutrients. Due to lack of oxidation, your juices will stay fresh for longer.
Like masticating juicers, they usually also have more than one function, as they come with kits that allows them to grind nuts and seeds, chop veggies and even make noodles. It offer the cold-press quality of juice.
A triturating juicer is typically large and heavy, and it will cost twice or thrice that of a masticating juicer. It’s hard to find a great one that is cheaper than $400. It’s a great choice if you want to use it for business, or simply if you want a high-quality juice and you can afford it.
- Makes the highest quality juices with all nutrients retained
- Little to no oxidation, so your juice can stay fresh even up to 72 hours
- Great yield
- Very efficient on leafy greens
- Very quiet
- Needs more effort to feed product to the chute
- Has more parts, so it’s longer to clean
4. Citrus juicer
If you only want to drink fresh citrus fruits, then a citrus juicer would be fine for you. Most people who use citrus juicers use it for making fresh orange juice, but it can also juice lemon, lime, grapefruit and pomegranate. Most citrus juicers have detachable parts, making them easy to assemble, disassemble and clean up. The juice obtained from citrus juicers are cold-pressed, because they generate little to no heat during the juicing process, even if you used a motorized machine.
- Easy to clean up and assemble
- Makes fast, cold-pressed juice
- Doesn’t juice any other fruits or vegetables
There are three types of citrus juicers: manual citrus juicer, a manual press squeezer and an electric citrus juicer.
A manual citrus juicer comes with a reamer where you will manually squeeze the fruit, and a cup underneath to collect the juice. It’s the cheapest citrus juicer type, but making juice with this one can be messy.
With a manual press squeezer, you must place the produce between the tong-like squeezer, then press the two handles together to extract juice. It’s easier to clean, but you need to exert more effort into squeezing this.
The electric citrus juicer is the most technologically advanced among the three types of citrus juicers, but it has a similar mechanism, only with a motorized reamer. Some of them comes with a cover so you can push the fruit for maximum extraction. It makes juicing citrus easier, without the need to manually press and squeeze the fruit, and is also a lot less messy.