If a significant portion of your calories are going to come from juice each day, mix up your produce. Go with veggie-heavy juices, using just a bit of fruit for sweetness. Alternate types of produce, and try something entirely new periodically. Farmers markets and ethnic grocery stores are great spots to find fruits and vegetables you’ve never tasted before.
Some compact juicers collect the pulp in an internal basket, but most others eject the pulp outside of the machine into a container that is specifically sized for the juicer. We recommend purchasing a juice extractor that ejects the pulp externally– this allows you to make larger quantities of juice without having to take extra time to stop your juicer, open it up, and empty the basket. Once you get juicing, you don’t want to have to stop before you’re finished.
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.
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.
We were able to wipe down and rinse off the entire machine in about 15 minutes. It comes with two brushes: a fluffier, softer brush for large areas, and a hard-bristled double-ended brush for tackling the mesh of the strainer basket. Cleaning the pulp container was especially straightforward since the Hurom’s pulp was so dry and easy to empty out. The pulp of the centrifugal juicers, by contrast, was so wet that it tended to stick in nooks and crannies.
Masticating juicers are also very popular because they are able to handle more types of foods. For instance, nuts and frozen berries can be handles by most masticating juicers. If you like to juice green leafy vegetables or wheat grass, masticating juicers are likely to be the best option for you. These juicers are also referred to as slow juicers, meaning that many people regard them as producing juice at a slower rate. In all reality, masticating juicers produce juice just about as quickly as any other juicers, but their internal parts move more slowly. Slower moving parts usually mean less chance of breaking, and wider margins of error when trying difficult foods.
The proportion of pulp to juice varies from fruit to fruit. Juicing avocados or bananas produces a puree rather than a juice. Form leafy vegetables into compact balls or rolls before inserting into food chute. All fruits with pits and large seeds, such as nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries must be pitted before juicing. Also, it is recommended that oranges, pineapples, melons and mangoes be peeled before placing in the unit to minimize impact on juice flavor. When juicing carrots, do not pack the food chute or allow pulp container to overfill, since this may prevent correct operation or damage to the unit. Place carrots in food chute one by one, and press down gently with food pusher to extract the maximum amount of juice every time. Be prepared to rinse individual parts after each use.
Another important consideration is where you plan to store your juicer and how easily you’ll want to access it. While horizontal-masticating juicers can churn out high volumes of juice, you may not have space for them. Plus, they tend to weigh more so tend to be difficult to move from closet to counter. The small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space and can often tuck under cabinets. Lightweight centrifugal models are perfect if you need to move your juicer from storage space to counter. Just make sure whatever model you pick can handle the volume of juice you plan to make: smaller juicers equal smaller amounts of juice per batch.
When you feed the machine with fruits and veggies, it will first crush and slice them all up using its pocket recesses. Sinewy stuff like cabbage leaves or celery will be automatically cut short by the cutting teeth, a feature missing on many other juicers. This significantly reduces clogging and tangling (but if that ever happens, there’s a Reverse button to release the culprit).
Comprehensive warranty: A good warranty can also add value to an expensive juicer. Our picks have 10- and 15-year warranties (the longest we’ve found) on both parts and motors, whereas some companies will cover only a motor. Although most of the parts on a slow juicer don’t wear that much, juicing screens can occasionally break, so warranty coverage for them is important. A long warranty on the motor isn’t a bad thing, but juicer motors seem to be pretty sturdy and not as susceptible to breakage as individual parts.
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.
Kuvings released the C7000 in 2017. Kohler said this model has improved features compared with the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer (B6000), which didn’t impress us in testing. From watching a comparison review of the C7000 and the Whole Slow Juicer, we see that the C7000 has a new funnel for easily feeding produce, doesn’t produce as much pulp, and has a more recessed auger for easier cleaning compared with its predecessor. But the C7000 still spins faster than our pick at 60 rpm, and is more expensive at the time of writing. And although Kuvings juicers boast a 3-inch feed tube that, in theory, can accept whole fruit, most apples in the store are much bigger than three inches in diameter, so that’s a wash. When we tested the Whole Slow Juicer, it didn’t hold a candle to the juice quality from Tribest or Omega machines. The Kuvings Silent Juicer was also an underperformer, giving us over an ounce less of green juice than the Slowstar. The resulting juice was also unpleasantly pulpy.
Juicers are expensive machines that take up a lot of space on a counter, but they’re a great investment for juice enthusiasts. With a juicer, you can offset the cost of boutique juice by making it at home—if you drink green juice five times a week, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Because vegetables are pricey in the quantities needed for juicing, an efficient extractor will make more juice for your money. If the yield on your current juicer isn’t very high, or you have a model geared more toward soft fruit rather than tough greens, we recommend upgrading.
The vertical masticating Omega VRT400HDS was disappointing. The first trial of the green juice was a failure; the auger couldn’t pull anything through. I disassembled it, cleaned it, and put it back together and finally got it to work. Its yields were low compared with that of other juicers and the machine felt really flimsy, almost buckling as I pushed leaves of kale and apple wedges through the feed tube. It produced the most foam of all the juicers in the testing group, even more than the centrifugal juicers. It does, however, come with a 15-year warranty.
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