Juicer Smackdown: How to choose the best juicer
Hiya Sweet Friends,
The other day I got a hilarious email from one of my closest pals. Here’s what she wrote:
“I hope you don’t want to poke my eyes out for asking this question, but you’re so educated on this stuff and I don’t trust anyone else but you! I think I need to upgrade my juicer. There are so many juicers to choose from on the market. Where do I start? Oh and if you haven’t blogged about this, you should. It’s all so confusing!”
When I think about all the diet and lifestyle upgrades I’ve made, juicing takes the cake. Once you get on the juicing train, you won’t want to step off. But you guessed it, ya need a juicer to make the fabulous stuff. So to help you get started, or take your practice further, I’ve done a deep dive on many of the popular juicers available today.
Which are the best juicers and why?
Frankly, that depends on your goals and your lifestyle. If you’re a hardcore raw foodie who wants to invest in a killer machine and you have some extra time on your hands, you might go full tilt with a twin-gear juicer. On the other hand, if you’re a working mama who knows that she’s only going to make her green juice if it’s relatively quick, and easy to clean up, then you might opt for a centrifugal model. Will there be some compromise in nutritional value if you go the easier way? Sure. But it all comes down to whether or not you’ll actually commit to juicing. Abandoned juicers make great dust collectors and door stops. So for best results, choose the juicer you’ll actually use!
I’ll just cut to the chase and let you know that I use a centrifugal machine most often. Between running my Crazy Sexy company, taking care of my furkids and traveling across the country to see you all, I need a juicer that makes life a little simplier. Maybe when life slows down a bit I’ll opt for a higher performing variety. For now, I’m totally happy because I’m juicing daily. But since everyone has different needs and budgets, I want to show you how I evaluate the many juicers on the market today so that you can choose a juicer tailored to your needs.
First, let’s learn about the four different kinds of juicers
Centrifugal Juicers use a fast-spinning grater to shred the fruits and veggies. The juice then gets flung through a strainer and out the spout, while the pulp flies up and into a catch basket.
- Pros: Easy to clean and use, juices fast, takes up less counter space, less expensive, juices fibrous veggies well, juices larger pieces of produce well (large chute).
- Cons: Not optimal for juicing greens, noisy, juice has shorter shelf life (20-30 minutes), nutrients oxidize quicker. Tip: I stretch out the shelf life by storing an extra juice in an airtight jar to enjoy later that same day—but it does lose nutritional value.
Centrifugal juicers rated in my smackdown include: Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed, Breville Juice Fountain Compact, Omega 4000 Juicer, Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro, and Black & Decker Fruit & Vegetable Juice Extractor.
Masticating Juicers (aka cold press, slow juicer, single gear) use one slowly turning screw-shaped gear that chews up the veggies and squeezes the juice through a stainless-steel screen. This action gently tears open the cell membranes in order to release the nutrients.
- Pros: Extracts more juice with higher nutritional value (enzymes included), less foam, longer fridge life (about 24-48 hours), quiet, less waste (drier pulp = less produce in garbage), most models also juice wheatgrass and make nut butters, ice cream, veggie pâtés and more.
- Cons: Takes longer to prep produce and make juice (a smaller chute means that you have to cut up fruits and veggies into smaller pieces), more difficult to assemble and clean, heavy machine, higher price tag.
Twin Gear Juicers (aka triturating) work at even lower speeds, slowly squishing the fruits and veggies between two gears until the pulp is nearly dry and almost all the juice is squeezed out.
- Pros: Juice stays fresh longer (about 72 hours), higher juice yield and nutritional value, versatile (juices wheatgrass and makes nut butters, ice cream, veggie pâtés and more), quiet.
- Cons: Takes longer to prep and juice produce (again, smaller chute, etc.), and clean the juicer, not optimal for juicing citrus, higher price tag, larger and heavier machine.
Norwalk Hydraulic Press is the Rolls Royce of juicers. It literally presses the juice out of fruits and veggies including tough-to-juice grasses like wheat grass.
- Pros: Provides 50-100 percent more juice, which contains 3-5 times the vitamins and minerals than juice from other machines (mostly used for commercial purposes). Juice stays fresh for about 4 days.
- Cons: Large and heavy machine. Very uber expensive! I dream of owning one someday.
And in case you’re a wheatgrass lover…
Wheatgrass Juicers work by slowly squeezing and pressing juice out of the tough wheatgrass fibers—similar to wringing out your wet clothes after running through the sprinkler on a hot afternoon. Wheatgrass juicers come in hand-crank and electric versions and while some are specific for wheatgrass, others will also juice leafy greens, some vegetables, and some fruits. Popular brands include: Lexen Healthy Juicer, Z-Star Manual Juicer, Chefs Star Manual Hand Crank, Handy Pantry HJ Hurricane. Remember, you don’t need a separate wheatgrass juicer if you have a masticating, twin-gear or Norwalk juicer.
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The Perfect Fit: Choosing the Best Juicer for Your Needs
Before you select a juicer, ask yourself the following questions, and be honest!
- How much prep time am I willing to invest in my daily juicing?
- How much cleanup am I willing to endure on a daily basis?
- What’s my budget?
- Will I be juicing wheatgrass?
- What’s more important: The shelf life of my juice or the time/effort it takes to make my juice?
- How much space do I have?
With your answers in mind, check out my Juicer Smackdown infographic. Pay attention to the categories that mean most to you. I hope this helps you pick out the perfect machine that’ll have you juicing for decades to come! Adopting this one healthy habit will increase your energy, reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, improve your mood and support your overall well-being. It’s like prevention rocket fuel!
The Ultimate Crazy Sexy Juicer Smackdown
The low-down on my juicer ratings: In addition to my experience with many of these juicers, I reviewed every unbiased juicer review blog or website I could find as well as the most “helpful” positive and negative Amazon reviews for each machine. Everyone’s juicer experience is somewhat subjective, but I hope that these ratings and detailed juicer stats give you the tools you need to make an informed decision.
Download a PDF of the infographic here.
Now that you’re ready to pick out the juicer of your dreams, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your juicing knowledge and recipe repertoire. Check out my Crazy Sexy Juice & Smoothies digital e-guide. There’s no better time than today to begin, spice up or revive your love affair with juicing.
Peace & cheers,