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Making cocktails at home doesn’t have to be complicated, but we can all aspire to more than dumping margarita mix in a blender. Over the past two years, we’ve spent 70 hours researching bar tools, speaking with some of the top bartenders in the country and testing five dozen models to bring you this guide to the absolute best items for home mixology.
Warranty: No matter what kind of juicer you're getting, you want it to last. You should always get small appliances with some level of warranty, but normally the longer the warranty, the better. Not only does it show that a company is confident in its product, but it also means that if something does break, you won't have to shell out any extra cash.
The Hamilton Beach’s 3-inch chute was a breeze by comparison: We were able to drop in large apple halves and entire celery stalks without a problem. Most budget competitors we tested had an extremely narrow feed chute that required us to chop our apples into sixteenths to get them to fit — a process we’re reluctant to commit to for our daily juice.
Reasonable footprint: Juicers can be rather in-your-face appliances, depending on size and noise level. The small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space. The oval bases hover around 7 to 8 inches in diameter. You can tuck a vertical juicer into a corner quite easily, though they are generally tall (about 16 to 18 inches) and require cabinet clearance. Because horizontal juicers can hog a lot of space, we preferred vertical juicers.
The Omega VSJ843 features a dual-edged auger that looks almost identical to the auger on the Tribest Slowstar. The space on the underside of the auger is roomy, so wiping out packed solid vegetable matter with your finger is easy. In his video review of the Omega VSJ843, Kohler mentions that the Omega had a few stoppages as he juiced two pounds of carrots, but we didn’t experience that during our tests.
Low foam production: The foam that accumulates on top of your juice is a good indicator of how much air has been whipped into your juice by the machine, and more air exposure equals more oxidation. Oxidation is a controversial topic. As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, “Because juicing mixes together the contents of living cells, including active enzymes and various reactive and oxygen-sensitive substances, fresh juices are unstable and change rapidly.” So the prevailing theory among juicers is that if less oxygen is whipped into a juice, the valuable nutrients and enzymes remain more intact. But as Kohler told us, there’s not much peer-reviewed research on how or if oxidation affects the nutrient contents of your juice. “It’s all manufacturers’ data for the most part,” he said, “which I take with a grain of salt.” That said, we still prioritized machines that produced less foam, because at the very least, oxidation can cause your green juice to turn brown, and may lead to some muddy, off flavors.
Juicing advocates advise that you start with a basic, centrifugal juicer-only model so you can get the hang out of juicing. You can then move on to the multitasking masticating and triturating ones as soon as you become adept at juice extraction. If your looking for more in-depth juicer reviews or juicer comparisons, click here to check out the top reviews.
You should expect your juicer to have ample capabilities in storing the juice that it produces from your fruits and vegetables. Many juicers feature built-in juice collection containers, while others simply utilize an outlet which allows any container of your choosing to be used. You should consider your personal preference when considering this feature, and try to imagine how you may be using your juicer the most. If, for instance, you plan on making many servings of juice at once, you’d likely want to find a model that allowed for the easy use of custom containers. If you plan on juicing only a few servings at a time, maybe just enough for a day, you’d likely be best served by looking for juicers with built-in juicing storage containers.
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