Juicers can range from small appliances that cost under $50, to giant countertop fixtures in the hundreds of dollars. If you want all the nutritional benefits of juice, but are concerned about cost, cleaning, and maintenance, it's normal to have a lot of questions. This buyer's guide will help you sort through your options and figure out what your priorities are, so you can choose the right juicer for your needs.
What Will You Be Juicing?
Almost all juicers can make excellent juice from firm-fleshed produce like apples or carrots.
- If you want to juice citrus fruits like oranges or lemons, you can choose a citrus juicer. Unfortunately, most juicers don't do a great job with citrus fruits, although some masticating juicers will make good citrus juice provided that you peel the fruit first
- If you want to juice leafy greens like spinach, kale, or wheatgrass, it is best to use a masticating juicer that will slowly crush plant leaves and extract all the liquids
- If you plant to juice tough, fibrous vegetables like celery or beets, you will need a masticating juicer or perhaps a twin-gear juicer with the strength to grind plant fibers and extract the juice
- If you want to juice soft fruits like kiwi, peaches, or mangos, the soft flesh will often clog the filter on a centrifugal juicer and make them impossible to work with. A masticating juicer is the best option for soft fruits
- If you want to juice everything, or have the most options with your juicing, a twin-gear juicer has the most versatility to manage almost any kind of produce
Will you Be Drinking Your Juice Right Away?
For optimal nutrition, any juice you make should be consumed right away. However, if you have a slow juicer that requires a lot of prepping and chopping, you may want to save time by making juice ahead of time.
If you plan on drinking your juice right after it's done, any kind of juicer will work for you. But if you plan on storing your juice to drink over the next day or two, it's important to use a twin-gear or masticating juicer. The crushing mechanism of these juicers extracts liquid without using heat or introducing oxygen, both of which will impact the nutrition and shelf life of your juice. With a centrifugal blender, your juice should be consumed within 24 hours, but with a twin-gear juicer, you can store juice in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
How Much Time Do You Have for Chopping and Cleaning?
All juicers require produce to be cleaned and chopped, and usually for seeds and rinds to be removed and discarded. However, some juicers have a larger feed tube that accommodates larger pieces of produce, while some have a small feed tube that require it to be chopped more finely.
How Much Time Do You Have for Juicing?
Centrifugal juicers make juice very quickly, but can be inefficient in terms of extracting the most possible juice from every ingredient. Masticating and twin-gear juicers operate more slowly, but produce higher quantities of juice. If you need fast juicing, you may want a centrifugal juicer.
Are You Concerned About Noise?
In some households, it's important to have a quiet juicer. Centrifugal juicers can be quite noisy, producing sounds roughly approximate to a blender, while masticating and twin-gear juicers operate more quietly. For those who juice early in the morning, have sleeping children, or simply don't like noise, a quiet juicer may be a high priority.
Design and Features
Once you have an idea what type of juicer you are looking for, there are still a lot of overall design considerations that can separate high-quality juicers from lower-quality machines. You may want special features that make your life easier or use kitchen space more efficiently. Here are some of the key design aspects you may want to consider.
Do you need adjustable speeds?
Some juicers have adjustable speeds that can make faster work out of juicing tough root vegetables.
Does it splash out your juice on the counter?
Some juicers have spouts that are well-designed and produce juice in a gentle stream. Others tend to be a bit more erratic, and can spurt or splash juice.
How much room do you have in your kitchen?
Some juicers can be big, heavy appliances that take up a lot of room in your kitchen.
Depending on the layout of your kitchen, cord length can be an important consideration.
Do you need suction cups?
Some juicers have suction cups on the base that provide extra stability and prevent accidental “walking.”
Some juicers have filters that are more prone to clogging, which can reduce the efficiency of juice extraction, or even require you to pause the machine and clean the filter during your juicing.
Do you want other features and a more versatile appliance?
Some juicers also have other food processing attachments and capabilities, so they can slice and chop produce, make nut butters, grind spices, and other kitchen prep functions. While it can be nice to have a more versatile device, especially if it takes up space in your kitchen, that can also mean a lot of attachments to store.
With a huge range of juicers on the market, there are not only different types of juicers, but a wide diversity of options, features, and choices within each type. With so many options, you can choose an excellent juicer that fits your cooking preferences, your available space and layout, your busy schedule, and your preferred juice type, to have a juicer that complements a complete, healthy lifestyle. Considering all of these questions and options will help you choose the perfect juicer for your needs, and enjoy fresh, nutritious, delicious juice every day.