YOU’RE PROBABLY LOOKING AT JUICERS AND TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH TO BUY FOR YOURSELF?
OKAY, LET’S TALK.
So, you’ve probably recently gotten hooked on juice at your favorite juice bar or grocery store, and you’ve also probably started saying to yourself “this health kick is expensive!”?
We get it. Every juice-fanatic goes through a “juice at home phase” – after all, preparing your own juices at home ensures the freshest ingredients you control, and gives you the power to experiment with ingredients to create the flavors and nutrition profiles you love most.
Whether you’re juicing for convenience or to save upwards of $15+ per visit at the juice bar, you’re thinking in the right direction and, here, have found the information you need. So, let’s start!
CATEGIORIES OF JUICERS:
COLD-PRESS VS. NON-COLD PRESS JUICERS
There are actually many types of cold-press juicing machines, including:
- masticating juicers
- press juicers
- platen juicers.
Because of their smaller size and lower price-tag, most in-home cold-press juicing machines are “masticating juicers.” We’ll dive more into this one shortly.
These machines are called cold-press juicers because they don’t warm the juice — the juice temperature does not increase during the processing and stays below room temperature. Because they do not get warm — or oxidized in the case of centrifugal juicers (discussed below) – the nutrients survive much longer.
In fact, fresh cold-pressed juices have a refrigerated shelf life of three to six days without additional preservation.
By contrast, “non-cold-press juicers” boil down to one machine: the centrifugal juicer.
(in case you’re curious, there is no word or phrase as a “hot-pressed”).
Juicing with a centrifugal juicing machine raises the temperature of the juice to well above room temperature, and at least as important, the centrifugal process aerates and oxidizes the juice being processed. The resulting juice has a ‘shelf life’ of under an hour! To get any nutrient value (and to avoid the juice from becoming disgusting) you MUST drink juice from a centrifugal juicer immediately after it’s created!
Now that you understand the categories of juicers and what makes them conceptually different, let’s go a little deeper . . .
WHICH JUICE MACHINE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
THE CENTRIFUGAL JUICE MACHINE
If you’ve just started juicing – perhaps you were feeling super-inspired by seeing the juicing movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” or a ‘juicer infomercial’ – you’ll notice that these TV promotions imply that a centrifugal model is the only way to go.
After all, they’re inexpensive (under $100 – or should be), juice quickly, and are easy to use.
Typically, centrifugal juicers come with large intake openings for produce so that you’ll spend less time chopping cucumbers, apples, and other fruits and veggies.
Centrifugal juicers also save you a whole lot of time by grinding through produce in just a few seconds. They’re really effective (that’s “effective”, not “efficient”) at fruit and vegetable extraction.
OK, SO WHAT ARE THE CONS OF A CENTRIFUGAL JUICER?
While centrifugal juicers are very powerful (and early models juiced a few careless fingertips), they produce less juice – sometimes, depending on the fruit or veggie, much less juice – than they’re cold-press brethren.
Because of the head of the motor, the speed of rotation of the cutting blades, and the “squeeze” of the juice through a fine-mesh filter, they’re hot! This is why juice bars that use centrifugal juicers pour the juice over ice to cool it off.
Also, the rapid cutting of the blades quickly oxidizes the juice, while at the same time pulverizing the plant’s cell walls that protect nutrients. This destroys plant enzymes.
What’s more, quickly spun juice tends to foam and froth as well – and when that foam separates and hardens, it just gets gross! In fact, you’ve probably noticed this.
THE MASTICATING JUICE MACHINE (AKA “CHEWING JUICE MACHINE”)
Masticating Juicers are in the “cold-press” family of juicers. They require more prep (you’ll likely have to chop the produce into the proper size for ‘chewing’ by the machine), and the juicing takes place at a much slower speed.
But, if you’re juicing for nutrients (like I do), you will call it “my precious.” And, if you want to store juice, because it does not oxidize and/or warm the juice, the juice stays fresh much, much longer than with a centrifugal juicer.
It’s yield output is very high – meaning that there’s less juice left in the pulp. In fact, masticated pulp is dry and ready for compost. When it comes to leafy greens like my spinach, chard or kale, or hers like cilantro or mint, a masticating juicer will simply kick a centrifugal juicing machine off the field. Indeed, if it’s green and leafy, a centrifugal machine yields almost no juice (which is why if you already juice with a centrifugal machine, you’re probably frustrated with it).
Nicer masticating juicers usually come with attachments that let you make everything from frozen sorbets to nut milks!
Lastly, masticating juicers are much easier to clean than centrifugal juicing machines. Trust me on this!
So, if you know you want to juice greens, herbs, or wheatgrass and not just fresh apple juice on occasion, then you’re absolutely going to want a masticating juicer.
MASTICATING JUICE MACHINE CONS
One word: buckaroos.
Costs alone motivate most people reach for a centrifugal juicer such as the Braville (which is a good centrifugal juicer) for under $100.
Good masticating juicers will run between $250 to $400 or more, depending on motor size, ‘mouth’ size, speed, and accessories (which are mostly gimmicks IMHO).
PLATEN JUICE MACHINES AND PRESS JUICERS
In case you’re wondering, large juice bars and grocery stores often use platen juice machines to create large quantities of juice. These machines use plates (called “platens”) to crush fruits and vegetables between them by pressing the plates together at a very high hydraulic pressures. These machines are large, heavy, require professional training to operate safely, and are expensive ($9,000 – $20,000).
Press juicers (also known as “home press juicers”) are smaller versions of the platen juice machines. While less expensive (often under $3000), they can be dangerous to operate – especially around children and pets.
The disadvantages of both of these machines is two-fold: (1) weighing in at over a ton for the platen machine and around 100lbs for the ‘home’ press juicer, they are extremely heavy, (2) the fruits and veggies are held in place between the plates by a porous bag that must be cleaned or replaced after each use, and (3) because you can’t just take them apart and put them in the sink, cleaning them requires a hose or spray bottle, and a sanitizing solution.
IN CONCLUSION . . .
- If you want to juice greens, there’s only one choice — a masticating juicer.
If you want the most nutritious juice, the masticating juicer is also the best option.
- If you are just getting started and not fully committed to juicing then a centrifugal juicer is an inexpensive ‘best’ way to start out on a budget.
- If juicing is a part of your daily ritual, then it might be time to treat yourself to a masticating juicer.
Whichever your choice, congratulations on taking another step into a healthier, more delicious world!