It's entirely possible that you're curious about buying a juicer. In case you haven't heard, juicing is trending. We're not talking about the Barry Bonds type of juicing, but the Jack LaLanne type. Recent claims have promised that drinking fresh-pressed juices can help you lose weight, boost immunity, prevent cancer and cleanse your system. Whether that's entirely true remains to be seen, but it can't hurt, right?
Masticating juicers rely on direct mechanical force to chop and squeeze juice from fruits and vegetables. This method typically involves less power and lower temperatures and is regarded as the best juicing method by many. Masticating juicers are able to use less-powerful motors than other types of juicers because of the way they are designed. Less powerful motors mean less heat being put off. Many people believe that this reduction in heat helps to preserve the natural enzymes found in juice.
During juicing and cleanup, we also took note of how easy the machines were to use and clean. To see how efficient each model was at extraction, we measured juice yields by weight. In addition, we checked how much pulp was left over, looked for foam (which can be a sign of oxidation), and took note of if juicers backed up or jammed during juicing. We also measured the temperature of the juice, and compared it with the temperature of the produce we started out with. Finally, we tasted each juice for freshness and pulp, docking points from machines that yielded juice with unpleasant levels of fiber. Flavor is also an indicator of how much of the greens actually made it into the glass—sweeter juices had more grape and didn’t do as good of a job juicing greens.
Shopping for a juicer can be a daunting task, as there are quite a few juicers out there to choose from. Stores such as Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, and even Bed Bath & Beyond offer ‘affordable’ type juicers that are meant more as a means of meeting a demand for juicers than in meeting the demands of juicers. Simply put, if you’re buying a juicer in a store, unless you’ve done your research, you’re likely getting a sub-par product. Certainly, there are exceptions to the rules, and many retailers have realized consumers are beginning to care as much about quality as price again. To get a better idea of what type of juicer may be best-suited for your needs, you’ll find a brief overview of the different juicer types below.
Noise level: The machinery inside of a juicer can be a little noisy at times, and that's problematic if you're planning on juicing early in the morning before work. You wouldn't, after all, want to wake up the rest of the family while juicing. In general, high-speed juicers with a centrifugal design are the noisiest, while masticating juicers are quieter.
The gist: We know, we know—another Breville model. What can we say? We can't argue with quality, and we certainly don't think quality should be an issue for those with less counter-space—which is why we give you the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juicer. The Breville Compact takes up far less space than other Breville models while still boasting the same juicing capabilities. It has a 700-watt motor and operates at a single speed of 14,000rpm. It has the same extra-wide 3-inch feed chute as the other Breville models, so don't let its small size fool you—this thing can still take down whole fruits.
Below you’ll find a short list and description of some of the juicers that we’ve found to be of the highest quality. Breville has dominated much of our consideration for the best juicers—as they did for the best espresso machines as well! They are a tremendous company that has received an absurd amount of positive feedback from customers. Nevertheless, there are several other very noteworthy juicer brands on the market such as Omega that offer strong contention for the title of ‘best juicer’. Our final list consideration has tried to account for the best product in several different price ranges, not just the most affordable or most expensive.
Easy to use: In our experience, the size of a juicer’s feed tube makes the biggest difference when it comes to ease. The smaller the feed tube, the more time you need to prep your produce—kale needs to be cut into thinner, more manageable strips, large apples can’t be cut into simple wedges, and those fat carrots need to be quartered lengthwise instead of simply halved. During the course of a busy morning, those minutes can really add up, so we looked for juicers with larger tubes.
The gist: If you immediately think "Jamba Juice" when you see this juicer, good call. It's the brainchild of the widely-known juice chain. Since Jamba Juice knows a thing or two about juicing, they made sure to give this baby a *super* wide chute— three and a half inches wide, to be exact, which is the largest available of any juicer. This basically eliminates the need for pre-cutting. It comes with an impressive 1100-watt motor and two speed settings, so you can adjust speed depending on what you're juicing in order to maximize juice output. The Jamba Juicer comes with a few little extra goodies, like a clean sweep cleaning brush and a recipe book filled with juice and pulp recipes.
The Hamilton Beach 67650A Juice Extractor comes with a useful 20-ounce container/pitcher, but the tall design also means that there's plenty of room for your own receptacle under the spout. Although Hamilton Beach doesn't give an actual size for the pulp bin, it is more than adequate. As is common with modern juicers, the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
"This is a gem of a juicer! I could not have purchased a better working, all inclusive machine. All the features I wanted without going overboard! Not knowing how much I would be using a juicer, I opted for a smaller price tag as they can run pretty crazy in my opinion. This one has a high & low optional switch which I mostly use the low juicing celery, cucumber, carrots, apples and some leafy greens. The wide mouth means I have to do very little cutting and prep, the juicer is thorough and i get very dry pulp leftover (which i've used in the puplp muffin recipe included in the manual). There is no extra assembly or dissasembly when I get it out of the cupboard it all pops together very quickly and comes apart easily for fast cleaning with the brush included. Overall I absolutely love it and definitely recommend it!"
In our tests, this juicer created the least amount of froth of any machine we tested, which means you get fewer bubbles and waste and more juice. Our food-prep time was minimal. This juicer has a 3-inch-wide food chute, so you don't have to spend a lot of time chopping fruits or veggies to fit. However, you need to spend some time cleaning this juicer, since it comes with nine separate parts. Still, this process is made somewhat easier by the included cleaning brush. Plus, some parts are dishwasher-safe. This is a big machine, so you probably want to find a spot on a kitchen counter to store it for daily use. It comes with a tall pitcher, a froth separator and a nonslip base so it stays in place during operation. This is a noisy juicer but no more so than any other – they're all fairly loud.
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