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The machine’s individual parts have smoother surfaces than those on the older Omega VRT400, making this machine easier to clean. While cleaning the unit, I didn’t need to use the included cleaning brush at all; I just hosed down the parts with the spray nozzle on my sink. Our top pick takes a bit more effort to clean because it has small dimples at the bottom of the juicing screen, requiring use of the included brush to release all pulp.
Masticating juicers are also very popular because they are able to handle more types of foods. For instance, nuts and frozen berries can be handles by most masticating juicers. If you like to juice green leafy vegetables or wheat grass, masticating juicers are likely to be the best option for you. These juicers are also referred to as slow juicers, meaning that many people regard them as producing juice at a slower rate. In all reality, masticating juicers produce juice just about as quickly as any other juicers, but their internal parts move more slowly. Slower moving parts usually mean less chance of breaking, and wider margins of error when trying difficult foods.
If a significant portion of your calories are going to come from juice each day, mix up your produce. Go with veggie-heavy juices, using just a bit of fruit for sweetness. Alternate types of produce, and try something entirely new periodically. Farmers markets and ethnic grocery stores are great spots to find fruits and vegetables you’ve never tasted before.
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.
Single-auger juicers: An auger is like a big, threaded screw that pulls fruit or vegetables into the juicing chamber and presses the juice out. The auger can turn anywhere from 43 to 80 rpm, resulting in slowly produced, low-foam, low-temperature, high-volume, and nutrient-dense juice. Single-auger juicers can be oriented vertically or horizontally and are very versatile, good for greens and hard roots. Although vertical and horizontal juicers work on the same principle, vertical juicers have a smaller footprint and slightly larger yield. But vertical models are generally in the $300 to $400 range, so they’re not for the occasional juice drinker. They’re best suited for those who include fresh green juice as part of a daily routine and are concerned about low oxidation and maximum yield. And certain models, like our pick, have food-mincing and frozen-fruit-sorbet-making capabilities. All of our picks are single-auger juicers: the Tribest Slowstar and Omega VSJ843 are examples of vertical single-auger juicers, and the Omega J8004 is a horizontal single-auger juicer.
Masticating juicers mimic “chewing” fruits and vegetables using augers with sharp metal teeth. They then press the maximum amount of juice from the pulp resulting in high yields and very little foaming or oxidization. This technique allows for easy juicing of leafy greens such as wheatgrass, spinach, and kale. Also known as “slow” or “cold-press” juicers, these models take more time to produce juice but don’t heat it up, which is thought to preserve more nutrients. They tend to be quieter and operate at a low hum. Their stronger motors come at a higher cost but enable additional features like making nut butters, baby food, sorbets, and even pasta. Masticating Juicers cost upwards of $200 and are more of an investment for the serious juicer.
To look for the best juicers to test, we read editorial reviews of juicers from Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, and Top Ten Reviews, and watched video reviews and comparisons of new models. We also looked at the offerings from the four main juicer companies at the forefront of juicing technology: Tribest, Kuvings, Omega, and Hurom. John Kohler said that these companies innovate and improve upon their technology, and the cheaper versions are often Chinese knockoffs. Watching hours of side-by-side comparison videos and reviews also helped narrow what to include from each brand.
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.