e recently had a great question on the Kitchen Top Secret Facebook page regarding juicers. As there is a significant amount to consider when purchasing a juicer, a blog post is probably a better way of discussing this topic. And, if you have an Ice Ball Mold from Kitchen Top Secret, then you are likely to want to make some juice balls for cocktails, sitting by the pool, ice balls for the kids, etc. So, lets get to some info about juicers:
Before you go dish out some of your hard earned cash on an appliance like a juicer, you need to understand just what your needs are. Ask yourself these questions:
What should the juicer do?
I know, I know, you want it to juice… but there are different types of ways to juice. A masticating juicer uses augers that crunch and grind pretty much any type of fruit or vegetable until every last little drip of juice has been squeezed out. They are the most efficient types of juicers, but they are not as fast as a centrifugal juicer.
A centrifugal juicer usually has a feed chute that you stuff your fruits and vegetables down while whirling blades go to work. It slices, it dices, and separates the juice from the meat of the fruit or vegetable. This type is pretty common in retail store. They are not great for processing more herbaceous plants such as herbs, sprouts, leafy veggies, grasses, etc. And because of their high speeds, they can tend to foam up.
Then there are the Triturating juicers. They are pretty darn expensive compared to the Centrifugal or Masticating types. They basically have a two stage process. First they crush, then they press the juice out. They are pretty slow and high maintenance, but they work great for root vegetables, grasses, and leaf greens.
Finally, the citrus juicer. These are pretty simple and affordable. As the name implies, this type is only for citrus fruits. So if you are just looking for fresh OJ, Lemonade, Lime juice, etc… then this may be what you are looking for. However, if you want to do other fruits and veggies… you probably should consider getting one of the other juicer types already mentioned.
How much does the juicer cost?
Citrus juicers are probably the most affordable, then come the centrifugal juicers, the masticating juicers, and finally the most expensive are usually the triturating types. There are of course overlaps in pricing, and as always, exceptions to the rule. But it is a good rule of thumb for reference. The important thing to answer is… how much do you want to spend? Different brands have different costs, and frankly they have different quality and thus different value. Look for a juicer in your price range that has good name recognition. If you are going to pay big money, then you want this thing to last and work well for you.
How often will the juicer be used?
If you are using it nearly every day, then you probably want to make sure your budget allows for a higher end model. The wear and tear with daily use means you need something will well made parts and durable materials. If this is a once and awhile type of thing for you, then perhaps a mid-level juicer is a reasonable way to go.
What is the maintenance?
This is one thing many people don’t think about. But it is important to know what it takes to clean and maintain your juicer in good working order. Some juicers have a tiny mesh screen that the juice gets strained through. Let me just tell you now… this is a real pain in the ‘apple’ to get clean! I know several people that used their expensive juicer a couple of times and then gave it way to someone because they hated cleaning that screen! So… be warned.
Consider how many moving parts there are, how easy it will be t replace something if it should happen to fail, and of course how committed you are to the time needed to clean it.
By considering and answering the questions above, you are on your way to a more narrowed down approach of selecting the right juicer for you. There are several brands out there that are pretty good. Breville, Omega, Hurom, Hamilton Beach, and Krups are good places to start your search.
Hope this helps you get your juice on! Please leave additional comments and insights below, we would love to hear what you have to say about juicers, your experiences, and recipes.