A juicer is sometimes the go-to appliance for people who are looking to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. A quick search will turn up the websites of countless devotees who swear by juicing and credit it for dramatic health turnarounds.
If you are ready to jump into the world of juicing, there are countless models available across a broad price range. They might have different capacity, attachments or speeds. In general, juicers fall into one of three categories depending on the manner in which they extract juice from the fruits and vegetables. centrifugal, masticating and triturating.
While all three types are more than capable of filling your glass, they have different ways of getting there. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of each.
Pros: They’re easy to use and extract juice quickly. “Less than a minute in most cases,” says Garrick Dee, who runs the juicer review and recipe website Juicing With G. They also don’t require as much prep work, but Dee recommends looking for one with a wide mouth to accommodate more produce.
Cons: Centrifugal juicers tend to be louder and, in Dee’s opinion, don’t do as good of a job extracting juice from leafy greens.
Pros: Masticating juicers do a good job on leafy greens, are quieter and produce a better yield than centrifugal juicers, Dee says.
Cons: Juicing with a masticating juicer requires more prep time and takes longer, Dee says. They also tend to cost more than centrifugal juicers.
Pros: Triturating juicers, Dee says, yield more juice from both fruits and vegetables because of an adjustable cap that controls back pressure. “They’re another great tool for leafy greens.”
Cons: They often are the most expensive option, and they take up a lot of space. They may require some hands-on assembly. “The twin gears have to be assembled in a specific order, so there is a learning curve involved,” Dee says. And, more parts means more cleaning is involved.
What to consider when shopping
There are three broad questions you should consider when you’re looking for a juicer:
- How often will you use the machine?
- What type of produce are you juicing?
- How much are you willing to spend?
“If you’re juicing lots of leafy greens, you can go with a horizontal auger juicer,” Dee says. “It won’t clog up like a vertical auger juicer. The pulp ejection port of a horizontal juicer is straight, so there’s very little risk of clogging, while a vertical juicer has an L-shaped port that can clog if you don’t chop fibrous greens like celery.” However, a vertical juicer might work well for you if you’re juicing more fruits, or an equal amount of fruits and vegetables, Dee says.
Like any appliance, juicers need regular cleaning and care. “Make sure to wash it immediately after using it,” Dee says. You might be able to put some parts in the dishwasher, but others may have to be washed by hand. Consult your juicer’s use and care manual for specific cleaning instructions.
Dee suggests you look for a juicer with these safety features:
- Locking arms: “Look for something with a locking arm that locks the blade, bowl and cover in place and will prevent the motor from starting when it isn’t locked,” Dee says.
- Overload protection: Some juicers include features that shut off the motor if there’s an overload.
- Food pusher: “Make sure the juicer has a food pusher that pushes ingredients through the feed chute down to the blade or auger,” Dee says. “The last thing you want is dangling your fingers in those areas.”
Other routes to juice
Juicing has countless advocates who swear by its health benefits, and it is one way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Other appliances can help put you on the road to healthier eating, too.