If you’re also into making homemade nut butter, you might want to go for the best masticating juicer you can find because besides giving you your freshly squeezed juice for the day, you also have a chance to make some preservative-free peanut butter for your PB&J. Thinking about juicers masticating your favorite fruits and vegetables may not be pretty, but it may well be worth it if you’re getting more than juice for your juicer machine.
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.
Shopping for a juicer can be a daunting task, as there are quite a few juicers out there to choose from. Stores such as Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, and even Bed Bath & Beyond offer ‘affordable’ type juicers that are meant more as a means of meeting a demand for juicers than in meeting the demands of juicers. Simply put, if you’re buying a juicer in a store, unless you’ve done your research, you’re likely getting a sub-par product. Certainly, there are exceptions to the rules, and many retailers have realized consumers are beginning to care as much about quality as price again. To get a better idea of what type of juicer may be best-suited for your needs, you’ll find a brief overview of the different juicer types below.
No matter what type of juicer you purchase, you’ll end up facing the issue of dealing with the fibrous pulp that is left over. There are many juicers that are marketed specifically as containing ‘pulp-ejection systems’. While this is by no means a lie, it is a bit of an exaggeration of the truth. It would be like a car salesman advertising a car by saying it had an engine exhaust system. Sure, it does, in fact, have such a system—but so does every other car. In reality, every juicer has some sort of ‘pulp ejection’ system. The same can be said for nearly every product for sale to consumers, and marketers will often cling to anything before they fail to mention something that makes their product unique. You shouldn’t avoid juicers marketed as having ‘pulp ejection systems’, but it’s also not advisable to buy based on that label.
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.
The Hurom comes with a lidded pitcher for collecting juice, but its slow-turning auger produced so little splatter that we also had no problem putting our own glass directly under the juice spout. Clean juicing makes for means you’re not beholden to the Hurom’s pitcher, making it easier to juice straight into your to-go cup and reducing counter clean-up. (When we tried this with the Juiceman, we ended up with a foot-wide splatter radius.)
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