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 gist: This Hamilton Beach model is perfect for either those who are just getting into juicing or even seasoned juicers who simply don't want to break the bank by spending several hundred bucks on a juicer. It cranks out 800 watts of power and has a 3-inch-wide chute that you can fit whole foods into (for example, a whole apple), so you can spend less time cutting and prepping. All of the juicer's removable parts are dishwasher safe, which makes clean-up super easy. Plus, it even comes with a handy cleaning brush.
Citrus juicers are an entirely different breed type of juicers. These juicers are designed specifically for the juicing of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. These juicers are often much less expensive than masticating or centrifugal juicers but are also much less versatile. Many citrus juicers are manual press juicers, where a lever-type arm is clamped down on top of a half of a citrus fruit, which is first positioned on a sharp pointed like form. The press applies pressure on the fruit, which is squeezed down onto the sharp, cone-line device. This cone-like device presses into the center of the fruit, driving the innards outwards.
Part of a Healthy Lifestyle* According to the USDA, "The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables daily are undeniable. People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet, are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, including heart attack and stroke, certain cancers, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It's also been proven to reduce the risk of developing kidney stone, decrease bone loss, ease muscle aches, alleviate high blood pressure and add years to your life." * Source: USDA, 2012 "Healthy Eating on a Budget." www.choosemyplate.gov
The Omega VSJ843 is one of the slowest and quietest machines we’ve tested, and it produces juices without much foam. The VSJ843 produced almost as much green juice as our top pick, the high-yielding Tribest. So if you’re a devoted green juicer, you might prefer this Omega to our pick. However, for most people, its higher price, slightly lower yields on carrot-apple juice, and lack of versatility make it a second choice to our top pick.
Centrifugal: This is the most common type of juicer sold at kitchen stores and big box retailers. It’s the most affordable. Once you feed in the vegetables or fruit, it shreds and spins very fast so that the pulp and bits of fruit and vegetables are caught by a strainer or filter and the juice spins out. Centrifugal juicers can be loud. And, because they are fast, they heat up, which can affect the nutritional value of the juice.
Good Housekeeping says this juicer is "as good as it gets" without having to spend a fortune, though the Breville isn't as adept at juicing greens like kale. Juicer Fanatics says that it's a great juicer for newbies who don't want to spend $300 or more for a juicer. The Wirecutter agrees that the juicer is fast and does the job passably well — so long as there aren't greens involved — but warns that it's noisy and you could get better buy spending a bit more.
Although I don’t claim to be a healthy-living enthusiast, I do regularly enjoy grassy green juices and spicy beet turmeric shots myself. I’ve personally owned a few different juicers over the years—including long-term testing our picks for the past three years—and I also have a lot of experience working with the commercial Champion juicer in restaurant kitchens.
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Of course, it's important to note that this is an entry-level model, so it is lacking in some features. For example, it only has two settings - "on" and "off " — so it'll either juice what you put in there, or it won't. It's also a little loud, and according to some reviews, can get messy. In general, this is best for those just getting into juicing and who don't necessarily know if it'll be a long-term investment for them.
Assembling this machine is relatively straightforward, as most of the parts go in a logical location and are easy to click in and out of place. This machine does have an extra piece beneath the filter bowl that we have not seen on any other machine – a black ring, which Cuisinart's manual refers to as the "foam management filter disk." Considering that this machine produces little froth, we can assume this part does its job well. Some grater baskets are difficult to insert or remove, but this one goes on and off easily while still feeling secure.
For those just trying out the juicing trend, on a budget, or who will only be juicing every now and then; the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro is an incredible value. Retailing at only $50 it has features that rival much more expensive models. A 3” chute means much less time prepping fruits and vegetables for juicing–it even handled whole carrots and whole apples with no problem. Easy to assemble, clean, and use; this centrifugal model has a 1.1 horsepower motor (equivalent to about 820 watts). It’s small enough to fit under the counter but note that it’s largely made of plastic so it may not have the aesthetic you’re looking for. It comes with a small 20 oz pitcher but the height of the juice spout means it’s simple to use your own pitchers for larger batch juicing (and it has a large external pulp container too). This model did a fantastic job on all our tests and produced high quality, high volume juices–it even handled notoriously tricky to juice kale extremely well. We highly recommend this juicer as a starter model or for those who may not juice often but want the option to. It comes with a 3-year warranty and receives gret reviews online.