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.
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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 gist: To add another Breville model to the list, we've got the 800JEXL. Though it comes with a heftier price tag than the JE98XL, the 800JEXL is called "elite" for a reason. Breville endearingly refers to this model as the "Rolls Royce" of juicers, with its powerful 1000-watt motor and heavy grade die-cast metal body. Like the JE98XL, it has a dual high/low-speed switch so you can switch depending on if you're juicing hard or soft produce. This model's "fast" speed setting beats the JE98XL at 13,000rpm, so the process is a bit quicker. In terms of overall quality, the 800JEXL is definitely top notch and great for any serious juicer looking to make a worthy investment.
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Omega’s newest vertical masticating cold juicer the VSJ843 is a great choice if you plan to juice leafy greens often and want easy clean up and easy storage. Standing at a squat 15.5 inches, this quiet and low profile juicer will easily fit under low-hanging cabinets or tuck away in a closet too. It’s also available in several colors and two different shapes to suit your style. This juicer’s large feed tube and auger work faster than other masticating juicers and easily handled all produce types from whole leaves of kale to strawberries, carrots, and apples. We got high yields of perfectly smooth juice with little to no pulp. The auger design also makes it much easier to clean than typical masticating juicers; Omega’s “Easy Clean” feature continually sweeps away pulp as you juice so most surfaces just need a quick rinse in between produce types. It worked quickly and quietly and can also be used to make nut milks, frozen fruit sorbets and smoothies. This model comes with a 15-year warranty and is perfect for frequent quality juicing of leafy greens and other produce with easy cleanup.
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.
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.
The commercial-grade Omega J8004 juicer does best with hard fruits and vegetables, and was more efficient than popular (and still great) juicers like the Breville Juice Fountain Plus we tested. It’s great for people on a budget with limited counter space. And with a 15-year warranty, the machine is built to last. In our tests, the J8004 extracted a fair amount of both green juice and carrot-apple juice, falling in the middle of the pack for both tests.
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.
With this in mind, you can better understand what types of pulp ejection systems might best suit your needs. Many juicers, such as the Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer have pulp ejection systems that remove pulp as you are juicing. These types of systems are great if you are looking to make enough juice for several days, or several people. The Omega J8006 ejects pulp from the front, which should be placed over some sort of container device to collect the pulp. If you were, for example, be juicing on the edge of your counter and have the pulp ejecting into your trash can, you’d likely run out of fruit long before you ran out of room to hold your pulp. Other models such as the Breville 800JEXL come with specially-designed pulp collection bins. This is great for ease-of-use but poses a limited amount of space.
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.