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).
Be prepared to clean your juicer after every use. Bacteria love to feast on unpasteurized juices, so it’s important to clean your juicer every time you use it. And the sooner the better — the drier it gets, the harder pulp is to remove. During testing, we found that the strainer baskets and pulp spouts tended to need the most attention. So think about how often you’ll use your machine, what kind of fruits and vegetables you’ll be juicing (some leave more behind in your juicer than others), and how much time you’ll have to clean your machine.
Before you even glance at any of the products sold in the market today, you need to be able to differentiate between the two types of juicers. Centrifugal juicers are the most affordable in the market. These typically have a metal blade that whirls around to cut the fruits and veggies and then spins the pieces to extract the juice from the pulp. Centrifugal juicers are usually cheaper, fast, easy to use, and easy to clean. However, they also have a lower juice yield, generates more foam (lessens the juice’s shelf life), and are generally not good at juicing leafy greens.
Our top choice, the Cuisinart Juice Extractor CJE-1000, does a fine job extracting juice from tougher vegetables and fruits, leaving behind only a small amount of pulp. It struggled a bit with softer produce like lettuce and fresh herbs but still performed well. This is also one of the few juicers we tested that managed to make almond milk using water-soaked almonds and water.
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.
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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.
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