Following an alarming rise in lifestyle-related illnesses, most people have developed a ritual of consuming a glass of freshly extracted juice in a bid to improve their health. In fact, people living with cancer, obesity, and heart problems have opted to consume fruit juice every morning, noon, and night to benefit from its vast nutritional value. But, despite a juicer being a popular kitchen appliance, thinking of how to choose the best juicer can be a tricky endeavor.
In fact, most people have confessed to making this error where they’ve ended up purchasing a juicer that has totally failed to meet their needs. Since most folks have ended up being either overwhelmed or frustrated, this ultimate guide has gathered every bit of information that will increase your chances of buying the right juicer. So, if you’re ready, then let’s begin.
How to Choose the Best Juicer: An Ultimate Guide
What is a Juicer?
If you’re a newcomer in the world of juicers, then you must be wondering what exactly a juicer is. Now, a juicer is a kitchen appliance that’s tasked to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. It usually works by pressing the produce to extract as much juice as possible while removing fiber and pulp for easy disposal.
Juicers are usually categorized into two major sub-divisions that are the centrifugal and the masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers on their side rely on a spinning metal blade that presses the produce against a strainer at a rapid pace to extract the juice. Masticating juicers, on the other hand, work by passing produce between an auger and a screen to press them until juice is extracted.
Therefore, depending on your budget and your nutritional goals, you’ll be required to choose any of these juicers.
Why Do You Need a Juicer?
Before you shop for a juicer, you need to ask yourself why you need it in the first place. According to recent studies, homemade juices have been found to offer immense nutritional value to our bodies as compared to packaged juice. Due to this fact, there has been a recent surge in popularity for specialty juice bars in almost any major city. So, before you shop for your best juicer, here are four major benefits of having a glass of celery juice a day.
- Nutrient Concentration
When you juice a variety of different fruits and veggies, what you get is a more concentrated, highly nutritious product as most of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are contained in the juice rather than the pulp. So, by drinking homemade juice, you actually introduce vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help you fight diseases.
- Potential Weight Loss
If you’re looking for a way to reduce weight, you can try to introduce a juice recipe in your diet by juicing specific fruits and vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Since this diet is low in calories, it will automatically help you shed a couple of pounds.
- Improved Digestion
During the juicing process, pulp and fiber are usually disposed of. This gives your juice a low fiber content that helps to boost digestion. But, how does it achieve that? You see, during the extraction process, insoluble fibers are eliminated while soluble fibers are retained in the juice. Due to this low fiber content, the body is saved from the struggle of digesting fiber leading to a slow rate of digestion. As a result, this helps in managing blood sugar levels.
- Reduces Inflammation
If you’ve been suffering from pain and inflammation, juicing has anti-inflammatory properties that can be very beneficial. By taking a combination of leafy greens and fruit juices, you’re able to benefit from Vitamin C which nourishes the body with antioxidants.
Also, if you need to cleanse your body of toxins, consuming a nutrient-dense fruit juice will help to boost the performance of the liver to help clean out toxins with enthusiasm.
- Increased Energy
Most busy folks rely on a daily routine of waking up early to brew a cup of hot coffee before getting to work. Most people rely on the hidden power of caffeinated drinks to stay focused during work. But, have you ever realized that taking a glass of fresh juice can also help to increase your energy? Well, by juicing a variety of fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, ginger, and beets, you’re able to ingest B Vitamins into your body which helps to convert food into energy.
How Do You Pick the Right Juicer?
Figure Out The Type of Juicer You’ll Need
Now that you’re aware of the various health benefits of drinking a glass a juice a day, my next discussion is on how to pick the right juicer. For you to land a juicer that will match your exact needs, you need to be well-aware of the different types of juicers that are available in the market. These are the centrifugal, masticating, triturating, and citrus juicers.
1. Centrifugal Juicers
The first type of juicer that’s in fact the most common in most online stores is the centrifugal juicer. The reason why this juicer is so common is due to its easy to use features and its affordability. However, the price range can sometimes vary depending on whether you’re looking for a basic juicer or a high-end model for commercial needs.
Now, centrifugal juicers use centrifugal force to extract juice from various fruits and vegetables. To extract juice, you first feed your fruits via the chute then push them into a fast-spinning mesh basket. The mesh basket rotates at a super-fast pace to shred the fruits. As it rotates, the juice is extracted and released through the mesh holes to be deposited in a waiting container at the base. The rest of the pulp is either left on the mesh for removal or accumulated on a collection chamber for easy ejection.
Advantages of Centrifugal Juicers
- Since they spin at very high speeds of not less than 15,000 RPM, these juicers are perfect for the mass production of fruit juices such as in commercial juice bars.
- Their affordability makes them readily available in almost any online or retail store.
- They’re relatively larger giving you a chance of juicing more products in one go.
- Since they operate in a similar fashion as blenders, centrifugal juicers are not the best for juicing certain products such as leafy greens and hard produce such as carrots and apples.
- The rapid spinning causes the resulting juice to oxidize faster than normal. This lowers the nutritional value of the juice if it’s not consumed immediately.
- The super-fast spinning of the mesh leads to a lower volume of juice yielded. It also produces a lot of noise that cannot be compared to masticating or triturating juicers.
2. Masticating Juicer
Another category of juicers that’s much more efficient than our previous centrifugal juicer is the masticating juicer. Now, to masticate means to crush, chew, mumble, much, or grind something. When you’re chewing something, let’s say an apple or a carrot, you’re actually masticating it. That’s because you’re crushing the fruit to extract as much juice as possible.
Masticating juicers work in this same fashion where they crush and compress produce between a screen and an auger. The auger resembles a gear that munches and chews produce to extract as much juice as possible from the pulp.
Since this working mechanism requires a lot of time to guarantee efficiency, these juicers are relatively slower as compared to their centrifugal cousins.
Advantages of Masticating Juicers
- Since these juicers work at a very low RPM, there’s less heat produced which translates to a lower rate of oxidation. The yielded juice is hence nutritious and has a longer shelf life.
- By squeezing the produce hard enough, more juice is yielded meaning you’ll enjoy a higher yield than that of centrifugal juicers. Also, since most of the nutrients, vitamins, and phytochemicals from the fruits are retained in the juice, you’ll have a chance of consuming them in large amounts.
- The slow working mechanism of the masticating juicer results in low noise and less power consumption.
- Lastly, the pressing mechanism of this juicer allows it to juice a wide range of products ranging from hard produce to leafy greens.
- Since these juicers are slow, you have to wait for a longer time before you can enjoy a glass of fresh juice. This makes masticating juicers a bit more reliable for residential use rather than commercial use.
- The chutes are usually narrow meaning you have to pre-cut the produce before feeding them through.
- Lastly, these juicers are not the best for juicing soft produce such as bananas and avocadoes.
3. Citrus Juicers
In case your dieting demands require you to consume lots of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits, then perhaps a citrus juicer can be a decent purchase. Available in either manual or electric, a citrus juicer is the only machine that allows you to juice citrus fruits in the easiest way possible.
They’re usually smaller in size and are very easy to use. With these juicers, all you need is to cut the citrus fruits in half then remove the outer coating. From there, feed the citrus fruits, one half at a time, inside a cone-like chute then squeeze them to extract as much juice as possible.
Advantages of Citrus Juicers
- One benefit of citrus juicers is that they’re smaller in size. This allows them to occupy just a small space on your kitchen countertop.
- The manual variant of this juicer is dishwasher safe. This makes cleaning easy as you only have to disassemble it to clean the parts.
- These juicers are specifically intended for juicing citrus fruits and nothing more.
4. Triturating Juicer
If you’re a serious juicer, then perhaps you can consider adding a triturating juicer to your wish list cart. This type of juicer is considered as an upgrade of the masticating juicer as it contains two augers instead of one. The twin gear system works in a very intelligent manner where fruits and veggies are squeezed between the interlocking roller gears to extract as much juice as possible.
While masticating juicers take a long time to extract juice, triturating juicers take even longer as the process has to be as slow as possible to guarantee efficiency. As a result, the juice yielded is high in both quantity and quality.
Since the slow extraction process doesn’t generate any heat, there’s less oxidation meaning the juice has a very high nutritional value. The juice yielded also has a longer shelf-life that can last for up to 72 hours without losing its nutritional content.
Advantages of Triturating Juicers
- The ingenious extraction mechanism yields more juice as compared to that of centrifugal and masticating juicers.
- The slow extraction process ensures your juice has high nutritional value with less oxidation.
- This juicer is the best for juicing leafy greens, nuts, and wheatgrass.
- These juicers are both expensive and very rare to find.
- These juicers take a lot of time to juice. You have to wait for a longer time before it can complete the juicing process. However, since the juice yielded has a longer shelf-life, you can opt to store it in a fridge and drink it later provided it doesn’t stay beyond 72 hours.
Consider Manual vs. Electric
Another consideration you have to focus on when choosing the best juicer is figuring out whether to take the manual or the electric route. One of these juicers is operated by hand while the other requires electrical assistance to work.
- Manual Juicer:
Manual juicers on their side are operated manually using your hands. They’re usually considered for juicing small quantities of juice as the manual pressing process is quite demanding. These juicers are easy to carry during hiking or camping as they don’t have any electrical demands. They’re easy to clean and are highly affordable.
- Electric Juicer:
The electric model of the juicer is the one that requires you to plug it in an electric outlet to work. These juicers are usually the best for juicing huge amounts of produce where it would be impossible to rely on your arms.
They’re the most common in the market and are very easy to use as you only need to feed the produce on the chute then sit back and wait for the extraction process to take place.
Decide Between an Upright and a Horizontal Juicer
Various reasons will force you to decide between a horizontal and a vertical juicer. One of them is the speed, the other versatility and the last factor is space availability.
- Horizontal Juicers:
Horizontal juicers were the first to appear on most supermarket shelves. However, from 2010 moving forward, vertical juicers, also known as upright juicers, were introduced giving customers a second alternative to choose from. Since most of the horizontal juicers are the masticating variants, they’re usually considered the best for juicing leafy greens, wheatgrass alongside fruits and vegetables. They can also double up as food processors making them the best for any kitchen enthusiast.
However, despite being so useful in the modern kitchen, horizontal juicers tend to be the slowest than any juicer. They also occupy more space and are also pricier when compared to upright juicers.
- Vertical/Upright Juicers:
Vertical juicers on the other hand are a great option if you have limited space on your kitchen countertop. They’re gravity-fed and have wider feeding chutes that allow you to feed fruits and veggies much easier than horizontal juicers.
How is the Yield?
When comparing the different types of juicers, you’ll realize that one of them can extract more juice than the other. In this case, a masticating juicer is way better than the centrifugal juicer in terms of yield. For those working with triturating juicers, then the amount of yield you’ll get is way more than what a contemporary masticating juicer can achieve.
Therefore, if you’re looking to develop a ritual of drinking a glass of juice at least thrice a day, then you’ll consider this factor. Now, just as a recap of what we’ve already mentioned, a centrifugal juicer uses its fast-spinning mechanism to extract as much juice as possible. This means that you’ll get a glass of juice in a moment though the yield will be less.
On the other hand, a masticating juicer uses its munching and crushing mechanism to extract as much juice as possible. Although it takes longer to complete a single juice extraction process, the amount of juice yielded is way higher.
What are Your Health Concerns?
At the beginning of this guide, we spared some time to discuss the various health benefits of juicing. Although most people believe that juicing gets rid of healthy fibers that are beneficial to the body, there are times when juicing can be considered especially when you’re planning to rest your digestive system from digesting the fiber.
Since your main goal is to consume the Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and natural enzymes found in the various fruits and veggies, investing in a juicer that retains most of these nutrients after extraction is really important. For that reason, a masticating juicer is the best option here as the slow extraction process guarantees that you enjoy a glass of fresh juice with less oxidation and plenty of micronutrients.
Is it Easy to Clean?
The working mechanism of a juicer requires it to chop, squeeze, and push products to get every ounce of juice from them. With such a powerful and precise working mechanism, cleaning the different parts will automatically be a demanding task. Since your juicing rituals will demand you to juice a jar of fresh juice at least once daily, you’ll need to shop for a juicer that will be much easier to clean.
For that reason, you’ll have to get a juicer whose components are dishwasher friendly. At least this way, you’ll be able to disassemble the machine to remove some of the components (such as the filter screen and the pulp ejection bin) for easy cleanup.
Otherwise, if you get a juicer whose parts aren’t dishwasher safe, then you’ll have to hand wash them yourself which will take much of your time and effort.
Check the Speed Settings
There are a lot of reasons why it’s necessary to check the speed settings. First, speed settings reveal the energy efficiency of a juicer. Secondly, it tells you the quality of juice that’s being yielded. For instance, centrifugal juicers have multiple speed settings that range from 3,000 to 15,000 RPM. This super-fast extraction speed extracts juice at a very fast pace. The downside to this is that a lot of heat is generated that tends to oxidize the juice extracted.
Secondly, most of the nutrients in the juice are lost due to this vigorous extraction process. In the process, a lot of electrical energy is consumed which results in high electrical bills at the end.
In the case of the masticating juicer, this one uses a single gear system with speeds ranging from 40 to 160 RPM. Since these juicers tend to be slower, the resulting juice has more nutrients with less oxidation. They also tend to save more on electric energy which is a positive aspect to every homeowner.
Consider the Noise Level
The noise level of a juicer is another major consideration you must keep in mind when choosing a juicer. Most juicers have a decibel rating that ranges from 80 to 88 dB. If you’re planning to use your juicer in a residential kitchen, then the decibel rating is very important. In this case, you’ll need a masticating juicer as its slow working mechanism will produce less noise.
On the other hand, if you’re intending to use the juicer in open space or for commercial use, then a centrifugal model will suffice as they tend to be noisier due to the high power settings.
What About the Versatility?
Now, if you’re a serious health enthusiast, then you’ll have to put this factor into serious consideration. You see, if your health requirements demand you to juice a wide variety of fruits and veggies, then you’ll have to consider a masticating juicer. Although these juicers are poor in juicing soft produce, their versatility allows them to juice all sorts of hard fruits/veggies, a variety of leafy greens, and wheatgrass.
That is all thanks to their slow extracting process that allows them to press produce to get every ounce of juice from them. On the other hand, the fast-spinning action of the centrifugal juicers allows the cutting blade to work more like a blender. This allows them to only juice basic fruits and vegetables that don’t require severe pressing to extract the juice.
Compare the Prices
After examining all the other factors close enough, the final step you’ll have to take when choosing the best juicer is to compare the prices. In most cases, manual juicers tend to be the cheapest option you’ll find in the market. That’s because these juicers have fewer mechanical parts and don’t rely on electrical power to operate.
The next options are the centrifugal juicers. These ones are cheaper as they rely on basic features. The last option is the masticating type of juicers which are considered to be the most expensive. Although that’s the case, there are times when centrifugal juicers can surpass masticating juicers in terms of the price depending on whether you’re looking for a commercial juicer or one that has more advanced features.
If you’ve read up this far, then it means you’re ready to add a juicer to your kitchen arsenal. By putting serious thought into each of the factors I’ve mentioned, you’ll be in a position to make the right decision and avoid costly mistakes as much as possible.
When choosing a juicer, always try to put your individual needs at the forefront. Think of your juicing demands, your nutritional requirements, the yield, power efficiency, time consumption, and whether or not that specific juicer can share countertop space with the rest of the kitchen appliances.
Lastly, if you have kids around, you have to choose a juicer that has suction cups or at least rubber feet at the bottom. This way, your juicer will stay firm on the countertop in case you knock it over accidentally or in case your kids push it with their curious tiny hands.
With that said, I would like to thank you for sparing your time to read through this insightful guide. In case there’s something you’d like to share, then feel free to drop your views in the comment section below.