The US Department of Agriculture warns against relying on juice as your sole source of nutrition. This kind of diet won’t give you enough protein or fiber to maintain muscle mass and keep you feeling full. When we spoke with nutritionist Shereen Lehman, she reiterated this point. “Juicing alone won’t fix an unhealthy diet,” she told us. “It’s also important to cut out the junk foods and eat more lean protein sources, dairy or calcium sources, whole grains, and more fruits and veggies.”
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.
Easy to clean: We’ve found that all juicers have one thing in common—they’re a bit of a pain to clean. The parts aren’t dishwasher safe, so you have to clean the components by hand. And they have a lot of small nooks and crannies that can trap gunk. We looked for vertical juicers that come with specialized brushes to make cleaning easier, and considered horizontal models, like those from Omega, that are a little simpler to clean because the juicing screens aren’t as big.
When your fruits or vegetables are put into a centrifugal juicer, they are grated into smaller slices and pieces through sharp teeth-like blades. These blades are usually found on the bottom of a basket-like part, such as the Nutridisk of the Breville 800JEXL, and less efficient than the augers found on masticating juicers. Juice is extracted during this process by through the pressure of centrifugal force as the ground-up parts of the fruits and vegetables are pressed against walls of a filter. The faster these juicers spin, the greater the amount of force applied during this process, and the great the amount of juice that is extracted. A typical Centrifugal juicer will have a motor with 800 watts of power or more spin at nearly 15,000 RPM and are regarded as being very noisy. The juices produced by these juicers have shorter shelf lives due to increased aeration associated with centrifugal separation processes.
John Kohler and Matt Shook both recommended that we include a few different vertical single-auger juicers to test. All of the vertical and horizontal single-auger models we brought in to test promised low speeds, minimal oxidation, and high juice yields. We also brought in two centrifugal-style juicers to compare yield and quality. These didn’t do well in our tests and ultimately we recommend only single-auger juicers.
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.
However, considering that it’s the compensation for healthier, more nutritious juices, the 2 minute wait is not exactly a deal breaker. Plus, since the juice is cold-pressed and is exposed to very minimal oxidation, it can be stored up to 72 hours in the fridge. That means you can actually save more time than using a fast juicer, since the juices made with fast machines typically degrade within a couple hours after they’re made.
Celery will juice just fine, but for greens I use one of those slow juicers, the vertical version. The celery, raspberry, strawberry and things like kiwi come out better on slow juicers. It appears that “one size fits all” idea is only good for T-shirts, so considering one can get slow masticating juicers for much less then they used to cost there is no reason not to have one as well, so you can make nectar out of spinach and celery – it does taste weird but it is quite nutrition.
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.
If water is overflowing, the water reservoir is overfilled. There is a drain hole in the rear of the coffeemaker to prevent overfilling. If the overflow is coffee, you may have used more than one tablespoon of coffee per cup of water or not fully seated either the brew basket and/or the carafe underneath the brew basket. Make sure you have correctly aligned the brew basket and the carafe and are using the correct amount of coffee grounds. Overflowing may happen more frequently with decaffeinated, flavored and finely-ground coffee. Overflowing may occur if the paper filter collapses inside the brew basket. Use a good quality paper filter.
Accessories include a 2-liter pulp container that makes it easy to discard unwanted pulp and a 1-quart juice pitcher for collecting juice to serve at the breakfast table or to store in the refrigerator for later. The unit's removable parts clean up easily by hand or in the dishwasher, and a cleaning brush comes included. Housed in die cast and stainless steel, the juice extractor measures approximately 15-2/5 by 11-4/5 by 19 inches.
The Hurom’s feed chute is made of opaque plastic, meaning you can’t see what’s happening as you feed produce into the juicer — is it making weird noises because it’s about to jam, or is it powering through a particularly stringy piece of celery? The chute also had a narrower mouth than most of our finalists, requiring us to quarter our apples and lemons before adding them. Not a dealbreaker, but we preferred larger, more transparent chutes as they require a little less prep work and you can see what’s going on.
We got more juice out of the Kuvings Centrifugal Juicer NJ-9500UB than any other machine we tested. All that remained was a small amount of pulp that felt relatively dry to the touch. The Kuvings did an excellent job extracting juice from hard and soft produce in virtually all our tests. Since getting juice is the whole point of a juicer, the Kuvings got top marks.
KitchenAid makes a juicing attachment for the Artisan stand mixer, the Masticating Juicer Attachment, as well as the standalone Maximum Extraction Juicer. In our research, we found that the Maximum Extraction Juicer didn’t compare to our picks in yields, extraction, build quality, or warranty (one-year limited). We don’t think it’s worth testing because it has too many shortcomings for its high price. The juicing attachment for the Artisan mixer is cheaper than a full juicer, but it gets poor reviews on Amazon for being hard to use and clean, and it seems to have difficulty with hard roots and vegetables.
The gist: If you immediately think "Jamba Juice" when you see this juicer, good call. It's the brainchild of the widely-known juice chain. Since Jamba Juice knows a thing or two about juicing, they made sure to give this baby a *super* wide chute— three and a half inches wide, to be exact, which is the largest available of any juicer. This basically eliminates the need for pre-cutting. It comes with an impressive 1100-watt motor and two speed settings, so you can adjust speed depending on what you're juicing in order to maximize juice output. The Jamba Juicer comes with a few little extra goodies, like a clean sweep cleaning brush and a recipe book filled with juice and pulp recipes.
Juicing allows for a tremendous amount of nutrients and enzymes to be made available to your body, which allows for a fuller more robust overall state of health. The micronutrients released during juicing are often left unused when simply eaten, being locked tightly away in the cell walls of fruits and veggies. While your digestive system can unlock some of these nutrients, many simply go to waste without first being juiced. Juicing is a great way to lose weight safely, since that you are still getting proper nutrition while still lowering overall caloric intake. With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that the popularity of juicing, and juicers, has skyrocketed in recent years. Hopefully, after reading this buyer’s guide, you’ll not only be more aware of the benefits of juicing but also in your ability to pick out the best juicer for you!
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.