Kitchen Equipment: Juicers
One of the questions I get asked about a lot is what juicer I would recommend. I know that everyone has different sized kitchens, varying budgets and different requirements from their juicer – some people want to juice everyday, for others its more a few times a month – so there really isn’t a specific model that works for everyone. I have been lucky enough to try out quite a few over the last few months so I hope you find my reviews helpful for choosing which is best for you.
To give a little overview, there are several types of juicers based on the way in which they extract juice. Most household juicers tend to be centrifugal. This means that they extract juice by pushing the fruit and vegetables into a spinning plate, then extracting the juice through the mesh. This type of juicer works best with hard or soft produce but is less effective for juicing kale, spinach or other leafy greens. A masticating juicer works by crushing the ingredients through something called an auger. The action is much slower and so less heat is applied than with a centrifugal juicer. Not only does this mean that it can juice leafy greens a little more easily, but it also means that the juice will last much longer because less oxidization occurs as a result of the heat from a centrifugal juicer. Masticating juicers tend to be much more fiddly, bigger and pricier so there are benefits of either type.
If you are really into juicing, you have most likely heard of cold-pressed juices. This is the technique used by a lot of juice bars and is the most nutrient rich juice available. These work like a cross between the two types of juicers above, so they take up less space but without applying any heat, extracting the maximum amount of nutrients without applying any heat from the mechanism. For that reason, cold-pressed juice has a shelf life of about 3 days which is a big difference compared to centrifugal juicers where you should really drink up straight away for the greatest benefits. Cold-pressed juicers are the most expensive on the market and so I haven’t tried to use one myself. Most London based cold-pressed juice bars seem to use a Norwalk juicer, which is only available from the US and costs about $2,500 – so it’s a serious commitment to juice!
At home, I use the Sage by Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer. It’s one of the more expensive centrifugal juicers on the market, priced at £179.95, but it’s really awesome. It has a large feeding tube so you don’t really need to chop up your veggies or fruit before you put them in and there are 5 settings to get the most out of different fruit and vegetables. It’s also dishwasher safe, which is really important for me as it makes juicing much quicker! There is also a Pro model, which is £299.95, although these are pretty similar in shape and size but is just slightly more powerful – having used both I can’t see that there’s a huge difference between the two so I would go for the cheaper model. Having said this, it doesn’t juice leafy greens very well at all, so if this is really essential to you then I’d look at something like the Magimix Le Duo XL Juice Extractor juicer or a masticating juicer. In the US, you can get an equivalent one for $190.99 from Breville.
The Magimix is really compact, so its great if you are a little short on kitchen space. The feeding tube is big but an awkward shape so you have to still have to cut things in half but as I said it handles leafy greens a little better than the Sage models, it also juices things like mint much better. It costs about £129.95 and I think it is pretty good value although I would say that it does shake a lot when it turns on and off which can lead to spillages if you’re not careful! It was the first juicer I ever had and I really liked it, my mum still uses it and loves it too!
If you’re looking for a cheaper option that doesn’t take up that much space then the Philips HR1863/01 Viva Collection Juicer, which costs about £79.50, is pretty great. This juicer has a medium-sized feeding tube and is quite compact. It isn’t my favourite juicer as it’s quite difficult to clean (which is really important to me) and I wasn’t crazy about the design but if you are new to juicing then it would definitely be a great thing to start with while you get used to the idea of drinking your veggies! If you want something even cheaper but you’re not so fussy on how big the juicer is then I’d go with the Braun J300 Juicer. It comes with two speed settings and has a good feeding tube. Like the Sage model, it is quite big but it’s a good low-budget alternative if space isn’t too tight. I like the jug and cleaning brush as they make the process much easier and a lot tidier! This one is under £50 so it really is quite a great option.
All the juicers we’ve talked about so far are centrifugal. Personally I’m all about a centrifugal juicer as they’re easier to use, easier to clean and normally much smaller so I think they’re more practical for everyday use if you’re a busy person. I haven’t tried as many masticating juicers as I find them pretty fiddly, there are just so many parts to clean and put together! Whilst they’re not my favourite type of juicer there are some good models out there that I did like using. I really like the Tefal ZC500H40 Infinity Press Juicer, once you figure out how to use it it’s pretty great and trust me it could be a lot more complicated – some of these juicers come with about twenty parts! It costs about £130, which I think is a really good price for a masticating juicer. It has 3 feeding tubes, they’re all pretty small so you do have to spend a little more time chopping ingredients than with any of the centrifugal juicers but I do think it makes great juice, especially for making something like a ginger shot! The other masticating juicer I like is the Tribest Slowstar juicer, I have to be honest and say it’s very tricky to put together (it took me a few attempts first time!) but it makes awesome juice. It’s a little more expensive at £399.99, but if a masticating juicer is really important to you then I’d really recommend looking into this or the Tefal model.