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.
Juicers that are simple to setup, use, take apart, and clean will get used more often versus relegating them to the bottom of a closet. However, if you want a multifunction juicer that also makes nut butter, sorbets, or baby food it may be worth some extra assembly. Juicers with large feed tubes significantly reduce produce prep time and also the time it takes to feed it into the machine. Juicers with external pulp containers allow you to continue juicing in bulk without pausing to remove pulp. Juicer cleaning can be daunting so seek models with specialized brushes that make cleaning easier, and dishwasher friendly is always a bonus.
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.
Juicing is a powerful dietary practice used by a quickly-growing amount of people to lose weight fast, get proper nutrition, and help fuel their healthy lifestyles. If you planning on introducing juicing into your diet, or perhaps already have, then you are well-aware of the staggering number of juicers available on the market now. Finding the best juicer for you is a process that involves careful consideration of the benefits of juicing, the types of juicers available, and your personal budget.
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.
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.
Considering the 15-year warranty on the Omega J8004 model’s motor and parts, we think this is the best value juicer you can get compared with cheaper models with shorter warranties. Although its price is more palatable than the Tribest’s, there are some trade-offs. First, the J8004 is quite big, requiring a 16-by-7-inch space on the counter. It also isn’t great with softer, juicy fruits, which get gummy and block the juicer; you’ll need to alternate adding different types of produce when juicing with this machine to keep it running. And, as we mentioned earlier, its feed tube is an inch narrower than the Tribest’s, which makes a difference in how much prep work you need to do with vegetables. Because the J8004 is a budget machine, you’ll save about $150 up front, but you may lose some of those savings in juice left behind in the pulp you toss when juicing things like kale. Compared with the rest of the competition, however, we still think the J8004 extracts more juice from produce.
In our tests, the Hamilton Beach juicer produced lots of juice for each of our three test recipes. It handled hard and soft produce well, though it could have processed the leafy greens slightly better. Even so, it produced a high juice yield compared to other products after straining away the froth. This juicer does leave a lot of pulp in your juice, which is great if you’re looking to up your fiber intake. Unlike some others, the Hamilton Beach doesn’t come with a pitcher to collect your juice. Its nozzle also points directly down, so find the right container to catch your juice and prevent spills.
Whereas the Omega J8004 is a commercial-quality machine, the Omega NC800 is designed for household use. When it came to green juice, the output was almost identical. The carrot juice was a different story, though. The NC800 yielded only 12.3 ounces. John Kohler at DiscountJuicers.com said that this machine put out 15 percent more juice than its predecessor, but we found that it actually put out 25 percent less carrot juice than the J8004. The nice feature of this juicer is that it boasts a larger feed tube than its predecessor, which makes prep a little easier.