We spent 96 hours juicing fruits and vegetables, both hard and soft, and attempted to make nut milks. In the end, our favorite juicer was the Cuisinart Juice Extractor CJE-1000, a powerful machine that produces excellent juice and nut milk. It leaves behind only a little pulp and less froth than any of the other juicers we tested. In addition, it has a big food chute.
Juicing is largely considered to be a great habit to start if you want to improve your health and form better eating and drinking habits. A fresh juice with a good combination of fruits and vegetables can be a great way to get more vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals — many of which don't come through when the fruits and vegetables are processed in other cooking methods.
Dietitian and nutrition writer Sharon Palmer told us that a juicer “should be easy to use, take apart, clean, and store.” Most of the juicers took about 10 minutes to assemble. The $300 Breville and the $400 Hurom both came mostly assembled, but the Tribest ($250) didn’t — and we found its instructions confusing and difficult to follow. KitchenAid’s $300 juicer attachment was hands-down the worst, requiring a full 20 minutes to assemble and almost causing injury thanks to its exposed blade.
Twin gear triturating machines are usually the most expensive juicers offering the best juice yield. Twin gear juicers employ two metal counter rotating gears to crush the juicing fodder. The precise tolerance of the gears allows the juice to flow through the gap between the gears while the large pulpy matter passes along the top of the gears and is discharged.
Also, we realize that $300-plus is a lot to spend on a small appliance, but we’ve found that paying a bit more for your machine up front is worth doing. Juicing is a costly habit no matter how you do it. Although the initial investment on our pick is high, you won’t be throwing money out with partially extracted, soggy pulp. You can also check eBay and Craigslist for used juicers, especially Omegas and Huroms, because they’ve been around a while. A lot of people sell their machines after realizing they’re not ready to give up the money, counter space, or time required to make juice regularly. You won’t be able to take advantage of the warranty, but you can get really good deals (and even resell yours if you get tired of it).
The high RPM associated with centrifugal juicers also generates a lot of foam which drives more oxygen bubbles into the juice, resulting in the lower shelf life of the juice. Juice extracted by centrifugal juicers spoil rather quickly due to the oxygen-laden foam and must be consumed immediately. With this, you cannot hope to make a bulk of juice and store for later.
The Breville’s pulverizing power made short order of whole beets and carrots, and we cut apples in half to prep them ready for juicing. Other machines require much more prep time, as they can only manage hard produce in small pieces. We found the Breville can juice anything if it fits down the chute, and it does so very efficiently. It creates very little pulp and froth, so you know you’re getting the most out of your fruits and veggies. The included pitcher is tall, and its special juicer nozzle opening prevents juice dripping on your countertops. It also has an attached froth separator, which strains your juice for you. Its seven parts are easy to assemble, but only five are dishwasher safe.
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.
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.