Juicing isn’t for everyone. Registered dietitian Sylvia North warned us that “if you have a clinically diagnosed inflammatory bowel or kidney disease, some nutrients found in high concentrations in green juices may not be appropriate.” If you’re navigating any health challenges, it’s best to talk to your registered dietitian or doctor before you shop for a juicer.
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.
Citrus juicers are an entirely different breed type of juicers. These juicers are designed specifically for the juicing of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. These juicers are often much less expensive than masticating or centrifugal juicers but are also much less versatile. Many citrus juicers are manual press juicers, where a lever-type arm is clamped down on top of a half of a citrus fruit, which is first positioned on a sharp pointed like form. The press applies pressure on the fruit, which is squeezed down onto the sharp, cone-line device. This cone-like device presses into the center of the fruit, driving the innards outwards.
And the Tribest Slowstar doesn’t just juice. It also comes with a “homogenizing” mincer attachment that grinds without extracting liquid—useful for making sorbets, nut butters, and more. I haven’t used the machine for anything other than making juice, so I can’t attest to its food-chopping and frozen-fruit-sorbet-making abilities, but you can see it in action in this DiscountJuicers.com video. The separate bowl attachment fits onto the base, using the auger to pulverize the food and push it through a large chute without a screen.
Chef Liana Green told us that a good juicer can “juice green leafy vegetables and produce a high yield from ingredients.” The most efficient juicers will squeeze your fruits and veggies dry. The centrifugal juicers averaged a speedy two minutes per glass of juice, but they also tended to be quite messy, splattering juice everywhere if we placed our own glasses beneath the juice spouts. The cold-press juicers were generally quieter and neater during juicing, leaving us with a much cleaner countertop — but they required about seven minutes to fill one glass.
Centrifugal juicers are also not as efficient as masticating juicers in terms of generating yield. The pulp that comes out of centrifugal juicers is still relatively wet which means that less of the juice is extracted. You cannot count on centrifugal juicers to extract high yields of juice from high-fiber leafy greens like wheat-grass, spinach, and lettuce.
Dietitian and nutrition writer Sharon Palmer told us that a juicer “should be easy to use, take apart, clean, and store.” Most of the juicers took about 10 minutes to assemble. The $300 Breville and the $400 Hurom both came mostly assembled, but the Tribest ($250) didn’t — and we found its instructions confusing and difficult to follow. KitchenAid’s $300 juicer attachment was hands-down the worst, requiring a full 20 minutes to assemble and almost causing injury thanks to its exposed blade.
Juicing diets, juicing fasts, and juicing cleanses are all popular terms that get tossed around with the subject of juicing. This leaves a lot of people with the impression that juicing has to be a giant change you make in your life. The truth is, nearly everyone can benefit from juicing, even if it’s only a serving or two in the morning! By Grinding up your fruits and vegetables into a finely-filtered juice, you are removing a lot of the calories found in your foods—but keeping all the nutrients. Juicing is kind of like pre-digesting your foods, and has shown hints of helping to ensure proper overall digestive health .
A twin-gear juicer such as one of those in the Tribest Greenstar series can extract the most juice from greens like kale, spinach, and wheatgrass, but isn’t good at juicing fruit. The juicers in this series are specialty machines usually used in professional juice bars; they’re also quite expensive. We did not test any twin-gear juicers for this review.
The size of these two containers will help determine how much juice you can make. Some juicers such as the Juiceman JM400 Classic 2 Speed Juicer have a juice pitcher that is less than 1 liter while the pulp container is less than 1.5 liters. Some juicers offer much larger containers such as the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor and Cuisinart CJE-1000 Die-Cast Juice Extractor.
To look for the best juicers to test, we read editorial reviews of juicers from Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, and Top Ten Reviews, and watched video reviews and comparisons of new models. We also looked at the offerings from the four main juicer companies at the forefront of juicing technology: Tribest, Kuvings, Omega, and Hurom. John Kohler said that these companies innovate and improve upon their technology, and the cheaper versions are often Chinese knockoffs. Watching hours of side-by-side comparison videos and reviews also helped narrow what to include from each brand.
This means you can make like a gallon of juice in one go without growing your arm muscles. Changing of the juice collector is a breeze also, because the spout is designed so that it can be lifted up during changing to prevent dripping. No rocket science here, but this little detail in design deserves a shout out – I’m sure the idea comes from someone who does make their own orange juice.
Juicers that are simple to setup, use, take apart, and clean will get used more often versus relegating them to the bottom of a closet. However, if you want a multifunction juicer that also makes nut butter, sorbets, or baby food it may be worth some extra assembly. Juicers with large feed tubes significantly reduce produce prep time and also the time it takes to feed it into the machine. Juicers with external pulp containers allow you to continue juicing in bulk without pausing to remove pulp. Juicer cleaning can be daunting so seek models with specialized brushes that make cleaning easier, and dishwasher friendly is always a bonus.
"Love it, love it, love it. Why'd I wait so long??? I love everything about this juicer (except maybe the extra time it takes to make all that juice from the leafy greens, but you know what, it's time well spent because it's SO relaxing watching healthy juice being created as you spin the lever). I'm ditching my centrifugal juicer forever. I set up the base of this unit on my counter permanently which means about a 1 minute set up time (and probably 2-3 minutes to take apart and rinse off). Unlike the bigger, heavier juicers, these smaller pieces are so easy to wash and manage and store, light and small it all fits in a drawer and doesn't take up half of my cabinet space. And it juices most everything. I make citrus juice, cucumber/celerey juice, etc. I get about 1 cup of spinach juice from those 1lb. containers, than I freeze the spinach fiber in tablespoon sizes and throw in my smoothies (especially good with bananas) or in my soups/stocks/eggs. As for the turning of the lever, you will turn it for a while, more than you'd like to in this fast paced society, but it is effortless and like I said, fun to watch the juice produce through the clear plastic cylinder. Time passes quickly. I imagine too that the more I do this the quicker I'll become. It also pieces together with such ease and safety (so great for kids!!!)..."
We spent 96 hours juicing fruits and vegetables, both hard and soft, and attempted to make nut milks. In the end, our favorite juicer was the Cuisinart Juice Extractor CJE-1000, a powerful machine that produces excellent juice and nut milk. It leaves behind only a little pulp and less froth than any of the other juicers we tested. In addition, it has a big food chute.
Be prepared to clean your juicer after every use. Bacteria love to feast on unpasteurized juices, so it’s important to clean your juicer every time you use it. And the sooner the better — the drier it gets, the harder pulp is to remove. During testing, we found that the strainer baskets and pulp spouts tended to need the most attention. So think about how often you’ll use your machine, what kind of fruits and vegetables you’ll be juicing (some leave more behind in your juicer than others), and how much time you’ll have to clean your machine.
The juicer also has a big enough mouth for larger pieces of fruit, and in many cases, you'll be able to fit an entire fruit or vegetable in there without having to cut it up at all. That cuts down on prep time and ensures you won't have to dirty up knives and cutting boards to make some juice. The motor inside the juicer is 850-watt, and the device comes with a liter jug, a froth separator, and a cleaning brush.