We were pleasantly surprised at how well the Hamilton Beach stacked up in taste testing, even against pricier cold-press models such as the KitchenAid (which featured sizeable chunks of celery in its juice. Many testers praised the smoothness of the Hamilton’s juice, noting that the Black & Decker and Oster were both grittier. You’ll get less juice and more foam than a top-performer like the Hurom, but the Hamilton Beach offers tasty results and a respectable performance for a much smaller price tag.
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.
The proportion of pulp to juice varies from fruit to fruit. Juicing avocados or bananas produces a puree rather than a juice. Form leafy vegetables into compact balls or rolls before inserting into food chute. All fruits with pits and large seeds, such as nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries must be pitted before juicing. Also, it is recommended that oranges, pineapples, melons and mangoes be peeled before placing in the unit to minimize impact on juice flavor. When juicing carrots, do not pack the food chute or allow pulp container to overfill, since this may prevent correct operation or damage to the unit. Place carrots in food chute one by one, and press down gently with food pusher to extract the maximum amount of juice every time. Be prepared to rinse individual parts after each use.
Some compact juicers collect the pulp in an internal basket, but most others eject the pulp outside of the machine into a container that is specifically sized for the juicer. We recommend purchasing a juice extractor that ejects the pulp externally– this allows you to make larger quantities of juice without having to take extra time to stop your juicer, open it up, and empty the basket. Once you get juicing, you don’t want to have to stop before you’re finished.
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.
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.
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