In our testing, we focused on making green juice from 8 ounces each of curly kale and green grapes. This test showed us how each machine handled both soft fruit and tough greens. Fibrous greens are hard to break down, and a high-quality juicer will squeeze more juice from leaves than cheaper models. Soft fruit, like seedless grapes, is a challenge for juicers for the opposite reason—it lacks the fiber that helps the juicer pull the fruit completely through the chamber, and can gum up the works.
We invested 96 hours in testing and evaluating juicers, measuring the amount of juice versus pulp each produced, the amount of froth created, and how much prep work was needed to get fruits and vegetables to fit through the food chute. In some cases, we had to spend quite a bit of time chopping hard produce into small- or medium-sized pieces, while other juicers had chutes so big we could simply cut an average apple, orange or beet into quarters. We also evaluated how much pressure we needed to exert to push fruits and vegetables through the juicer.
This machine does come with a 1000 mL pitcher, which means it could hold roughly three 12-ounce sodas. Fresh juice does not keep for long, so you typically wouldn’t make lots of it in advance; however, if you are making juice for your family or for the next day or two, it is nice not to have to stop and empty the pulp. You can get through a lot of produce before you need to pause.
When deciding which type of juicer is for you, the first thing you’ll need to think about is what kinds of juice you’d like to make most often. Look for a juicer with high yields for the produce you’ll be juicing. Masticating juicers work best for leafy greens, producing high amounts of dry pulp which mean less waste and cost in the long term. If you’ll only be juicing fruits and hard vegetables, a high-quality, less expensive centrifugal juicer may be your best bet.
This juicer (which is one of Breville’s top juicers) is a hardworking high-powered centrifugal-type juicer which features 2-speed controls — the fast 13,500 RPM and the slow 6,500 RPM to extract juice from both softer fruits and tougher greens. Its major selling point is the measly amount of heat generated — only 1.8 degrees F — to give you juice that is teeming with enzymes and antioxidants. Convenience is another good feature as it has a patented large feed tube which can accommodate whole fruits and vegetables so you don’t have to spend time and energy prepping your produce. It’s so much more than a good juicer, we rate it as one of the best juicers you can get your hands on.
Feeder tubes are the parts of juicers where the food is inserted. The larger your feeder tube, the more fruits, and vegetables you’ll be able to cram in at once. Some less-expensive juicers have tops that come off completely, similar to blenders. Juicers with feeder tubes also offer the advantage of being able to press the fruits and veggies into the juicer, helping to chop and grind them up.
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.
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.
Noise level: The machinery inside of a juicer can be a little noisy at times, and that's problematic if you're planning on juicing early in the morning before work. You wouldn't, after all, want to wake up the rest of the family while juicing. In general, high-speed juicers with a centrifugal design are the noisiest, while masticating juicers are quieter.
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.