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.
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.
If juicing leafy greens is an emphasis for you or you want a machine that handles other kitchen prep the Omega J8006 is your best choice. This classic cold press masticating juicer has been a best seller for years and produced the highest volume of kale juice of all the juicers we tested. It works quietly at slow speeds (only 80 RPM) to extract juice from all kinds of produce. Its dual-stage juicing system mimics how humans chew–the crush and press process produces drier pulp and high juice yield. We did have to spend more time cutting fruits and vegetables up to fit them into the small feed tube and occasionally had to stop juicing and use the “reverse” feature to handle clogs. It also produced slightly less juice from hard fruits and vegetables and as a horizontal model has a bigger countertop footprint. However, it offers additional functions such as pureeing nuts into nut butters, grinding spices and coffee, making pasta, and baby food with an extremely generous 15 year warranty.
Through this process of leveraged force, the bulk of the juice is forced from the fruit and is then often passed through a filter into a juice collection chamber. Many electric juicers utilize a spinning point to increase the efficiency of juice production, which is preferred by many. Citrus juicers are great if you are making fresh lemonades, orange juices, or recipes which call for large amounts of fresh citrus juices. Producing juice from a single citrus fruit really isn’t much of a chore, but if you have the need to juice large amounts of citrus fruits, these juicers can help you save tons of time!
We were able to wipe down and rinse off the entire machine in about 15 minutes. It comes with two brushes: a fluffier, softer brush for large areas, and a hard-bristled double-ended brush for tackling the mesh of the strainer basket. Cleaning the pulp container was especially straightforward since the Hurom’s pulp was so dry and easy to empty out. The pulp of the centrifugal juicers, by contrast, was so wet that it tended to stick in nooks and crannies.
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Of course, it's important to note that this is an entry-level model, so it is lacking in some features. For example, it only has two settings - "on" and "off " — so it'll either juice what you put in there, or it won't. It's also a little loud, and according to some reviews, can get messy. In general, this is best for those just getting into juicing and who don't necessarily know if it'll be a long-term investment for them.
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.