Kristen Hicks on August 7, 2015 2 Comments Table of Contents Why Juicing is So Popular Know the Types of Juicers Popular Features to Consider Brand Comparison & Customer Reviews Orange juice may have been a mainstay in many households growing up, but in recent years the popularity of juicing has introduced a much wider variety of healthy and tasty juice types into the homes of the health conscious. Many consumers can now get a hold of fresh juices from local juice bars or high-end grocery stores, but for committed juice enthusiasts (or those living too far from juice bars for convenience), owning your own juicer can make those tasty drinks a part of everyday life. Why Juicing is So Popular Juicing gives those who don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their regular diet an alternative opportunity to do so. Juicing often encourages people to bring different fruits and vegetables into their diet than the ones they tend to cook with. Juicing can be a good way to use produce that might otherwise go bad before you get around to using it – a big benefit for those concerned about food waste. Fresh juice is delicious. If you’re considering joining the many people who have started juicing at home, our buyer’s guide can help you identify the best juicer for you. The 4 Main Types of Juicers The first choice for you to make is which of the four main types of juicers on the market to consider. 1. Citrus Juicer Any of the juicers on our list can be used for juicing citrus fruits, but if that’s the main type of juice you intend to make, you have some especially economical options available to you. You’ll sometimes see this type of juicer listed as an “OJ juicer” or a “citrus press,” and there’s actually a pretty wide range of models available just devoted to juicing citrus. You can stick with a simple, manual citrus juicer that costs as little as $20, or find more expensive electronic versions with built-in containers for capturing the juice and different sizes of juicing cones for the different types of citrus fruits. Citrus juicers are usually best for people who aren’t too interested in branching into juicing other types of fruits and vegetables and who aren’t looking to juice large quantities of fruit at once. Benefits: Easy to use. There are many affordable models available. Easier to clean than other types of juicers. Small & portable, so they take up little counter space and can be easily stored. To Keep in Mind: Only good for juicing citrus. Not practical for juicing large quantities. 2. Centrifugal Juicers Often called juice extractors, these are some of the most popular models on the market. Centrifugal juicers use sharp, fast moving blades to chop up your fruits and vegetables and mesh filters to separate out the pulp from the liquid. If you’re looking for a more full-service juicer than the citrus models, these will tend to be your most affordable options. Juicing with these is fairly quick and easy and most types of fruits and vegetables that you’d want to juice will work in them. They aren’t quite as good for juicing herbs, wheatgrass and leafy greens as other models. And many of the nutrients from fruits and vegetables end up in the pulp that gets separated out, so you won’t get as much nutritional benefit from the juice as with some other types of juicers. Benefits: Fast and easy to use. Many affordable options available. You can juice most fruits and vegetables with it. This type of juicer allows you to continuously add fruits and veggies. To Keep in Mind: Some vegetables don’t juice well — specifically leafy greens, herbs, and wheatgrass. Produces less juice for the amount of fruits and vegetables you put in than cold press models. Juice has less nutrients because of heat used in the juicing process and the separation of pulp. Takes more effort and time to clean. Units tend to be larger, thus taking up more counter space and harder to store. Some models may be loud. 3. Cold Press Juicers / Masticating Juicers Cold press juicers go by many names – masticating juicers, slow juicers, or single-gear juicers, to name a few. They have a higher price point than citrus juicers and juice extractors, but provide better results in terms of nutrients maintained and the amount of juice produced. These juicers work by crushing the fruits and vegetables in order to squeeze out the juice. They work slower than centrifugal models, but are better at juicing a wider variety of vegetables and produce juice that stays fresh longer. They can even be used for some foods beyond fruits and vegetables, like turning nuts into nut butters or making baby food. The general consensus amongst devoted juicers seems to be that cold press juicers are far superior to juice extractors, but they are higher end and tend to require a more significant time and monetary commitment. For the daily juicers, they may be a good choice. For those interested in a couple of cup’s worth of juice now and then, the investment may not pay off. Benefits: Juice tends to stay fresher for longer. More nutrients retained in your juice. A high yield of juice for the amount of fruits and vegetables you put in. Models tend to be quieter than other types of juicers. Works with fruits and vegetables that juice extractors have a hard time with, like leafy greens, herbs, and wheatgrass. To Keep in Mind: Juicing takes longer. These models are typically more expensive. Cleaning the appliance is more difficult and time-consuming. Units tend to be larger, taking up more counter space and harder to store. 4. Twin-Gear Juicers If cold press juicers are for the dedicated juicer, twin-gear juicers are for the “juicing enthusiast” with especially high-end tastes. This type of juicer – often called triturating juicers, or dual-gear juicers – cost more than masticating juicers do, but produce juice with even higher levels of nutrients. They press the fruits and vegetables between two interlocking gears (hence the name), at a slower pace than cold press juicers do so that they extract more nutrient-rich juice from the produce. Most people interested in juicing won’t find the higher cost worth it, but for the most serious of health enthusiasts with some money to spend, these juicers are at the top of the pack. Benefits: Juice stays fresh for longer. Units tend to be pretty quiet. Juice is especially nutrient-rich. Produces a high yield of juice for the amount of fruits and vegetables. This type of juicer works with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Can be used for some other uses, such as making pasta or bread. To Keep in Mind: These can be very expensive. May be more difficult to clean. Slower than other types of juicers. Large and heavy. Takes up lots of counter space and harder to store when not in use. Not great for juicing citrus – it’s too powerful for the soft fruit. 6 Features to Consider Before Buying Your Juicer Understanding what you want out of a juicer will help you narrow down your options to the one that’s best for you. Here are some of the main features to keep in mind while shopping around. 1. Price As with many household appliances, you’ll tend to find a correlation between the upfront cost of a juicer and the quality of your juicing. Many higher-end models will provide a greater juice yield and keep more of the nutrients intact, but some of the more affordable options will be good enough for your average juicer with more basic expectations. Do keep in mind, however, that juicing can become an expensive habit if you do it regularly. Expect to buy a lot of fruits and vegetables to produce just a little bit of juice. If you intend to juice multiple times a week, then the higher yield you get from a more expensive juicer could pay off pretty quickly. 2. Nutrients The point of juicing for many buyers is to improve health. As we’ve already discussed, different types of juicers produce different results when it comes to how well they retain the nutrients of the juice. You also have to keep in mind that what you juice matters. Mixing in greens and high-nutrient vegetables, rather than just juicing fruits, is important to get, any of the health benefits you are seeking. If health is your main goal, do your research and get a clear idea in advance of the types of vegetables you’ll want to be juicing regularly. You should take care to choose a juicer that can handle the items like kale and celery without too much trouble and consider one of the juicer types that maintains the most nutrients, if you can afford it. 3. Cleaning Talk to anyone with a juicer and, no matter how much they praise it, you’re likely to get an earful of complaining if you ask about what’s involved in cleaning it. Pretty much all juicers are a pain to clean and the higher-end models that do the best juicing tend to be the worst in this regard. If simple cleanup is a priority for you, be aware of how many different pieces the juicers you look into have and whether or not any of them are dishwasher friendly. The more pieces, the more cleaning you’ll have to do. 4. Noise Do noisy appliances drive you crazy? Many centrifugal juicers tend to be pretty loud, whereas cold press and twin-gear juicers tend to be quieter. You can find juicers that are specially designed to be silent, if that’s an important feature for you. 5. Speeds In general, cold-press juicers and twin-gear ones work at slower speeds than centrifugal juicers, which enables them to more effectively extract juice from fruits and vegetables. On the one hand, that means you get a higher yield with more nutrients. On the other, it makes juicing a bigger time commitment. When you’re trying to determine which juicer is best for you, ask yourself: would you rather get more out of your juice, or get it faster and move on with your day? You’ll find that, regardless of the type of juicer you buy, different fruits and vegetables fare better when juiced at different speeds, so you’ll want to consider the different speed options your juicer offers before you buy. 6. Size and Cord Length In most kitchens, counter space is a valuable commodity. Juicers unfortunately take up a lot of it. Make sure you have a space for the juicer you want before purchasing it and that the cord will reach to an outlet from the space you have in mind. Many juicers have adjustable cords, so you may have some flexibility on that point. If you’re expecting to keep your juicer in a cabinet and pull it out for each use, you don’t have to worry as much about counter space, but you do need to make sure the juicer’s weight won’t be a problem. And of course, size affects how much juice you can make. How big the chute is will determine how much prep time you spend making the juice – for a smaller chute you’ll have to do more chopping. The size of the container for catching the juice will be your typical limit for each session of juicing. Considering that juice is best when you drink it soon after making it, a small container may not be a bad thing. But the time commitment for making juice is significant enough that you may appreciate being able to set some aside for tomorrow. 5 Popular Brands of Juicers You can find a number of quality juicer brands on the market. To help you gain a clear sense of what to expect from the products of each, we dug into the consumer reviews of juicers to see what kind of reputation the main juicer brands have. Here are five of the most popular brands available. 1. Breville Breville is one of the most popular brands around and the reviews around the web are consistently strong. Their specialty is centrifugal juicers, but they do have a few masticating juicer models as well. Since there’s a lot of variety in the different juicers they sell, you should check out reviews for the distinct products before making a final decision. 2. Dash Dash sells both centrifugal and cold press juicers at prices below the range typical for comparable products. Reviews are fairly mixed, with more leaning toward the positive, and many users are pleased at finding a serviceable juicer at such a competitive price. 3. Hurom Hurom makes cold press juicers that are on the higher end of the market cost wise. They get a lot of raving reviews from customers, with some complaints mixed in from those who expect a better performance from juicers that cost so much, particularly when it comes to juicing heavier duty items like leafy greens. 4. Kuvings Kuvings sells high-end juicers that get positive reviews throughout the web. Their most popular juicers are cold press models, but they make juice extractors as well that get solid ratings. One of the big selling points for their masticating models is the noise levels, or lack thereof. If avoiding noise is a priority for you, Kuvings has the market cornered on that feature. 5. MetroKane MetroKane is known for their citrus juicers (often listed as OJ juicers). If you’re looking for an affordable and basic juicer for citrus, their products fit the bill. Reviews are pretty mixed – most reviewers are pleased with the juice they get from their MetroKane juicers, but not crazy about the mess that seems to come with it. Conclusion Juicing is only growing in popularity and the people already making their own juice at home seem to uniformly love it. If you’re already sold on the idea of buying a juicer, deciding whether cost, health, or ease of use wins out in your priorities will make a big difference in which model works best for you. The good news is that people are pretty pleased with the flavor of their juice no matter what model they go with. You can pretty well count on consuming more tasty juice regardless of which particular juicer you end up with.