Crazy Sexy Juicer Smackdown

Juicer Smackdown: How to choose the best juicer

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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.

Masticating juicers rated in my smackdown include: Breville Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer, Hurom Masticating Slow Juicer, Omega Nutrition Juicer, and Champion Household Juicer.

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.

Twin Gear juicers rated in my smackdown include: Super Angel 5500, Samson Green Power Twin Gear, and Green Star Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor.

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.

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.

Best Juicer Buying Guide Infographic

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.

Crazy Sexy Juice & Smoothies E-Guide

Peace & cheers,

Kris Carr



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66 responses to Juicer Smackdown: How to choose the best juicer
  1. This is wonderful!

  2. I purchased an Omega Vertical (masticating) juicer. Do I have to peel my lemons & limes before processing them?

    • No you dont and I don’t and I wouldn’t :)

    • If they are waxed, I would peel them! If unwaxed and organic, chuck them in!

    • Oils in lemon and lime peel is supposedly more digestible, but things like oil in orange and grapefruit peel are indigestible. Still, sometimes too much lemon and lime peel give that really strong zest and during sitting time can become bitter. I still peel most of it off sometimes I leave a bit on for tiny zest.

      • For sure Catt. I once juiced grapefruits entirely and wow did I wind up dry heaving and holding on the to toilet bowl! Lesson learned. And agree lemons no problem. All Love! :-) <3

  3. Very thorough post, thank you! I’m curious, and this is an on-going debate in our field, but I’m a Vitamix’er not a juicer, I make a green smoothie every day. Where do you think that lands in your breakdown of nutrients, etc…? Would it fall under the same category as the Centrifugal Juicer? Also, why juice when you can use a Vitamix (or any pulverizing blender) to simplify things? (Meaning: very quick prep, very quick clean up, and you get the whole food in the smoothie, nothing’s removed.) In other words, are you getting something from juicing that you cannot get from blending?
    thanks,
    Leslie

    • i juice as well as doing smoothies. with juicing the vitamin and minerals from your food enter your blood stream within 15 to 20 mins. with smoothies its take up to 8 hours for your body to digest. that’s why i like doing both.

    • I was going to ask the same question! We follow the Feingold diet for my 6yo son, and the Vitamix has made that possible. Other than digestion, other pros or cons between the two????

      • When I am using mainly fruit, I like to make smoothies. The fiber slows the absorption of the fructose/sugar in the fruit. When I juice, I like to use mostly greens. For me personally, the main benefit of juicing greens is that I can consume a substantially larger quantity of all the amazing nutrients, much more than I would be capable of if I had to try and digest all of the fiber that goes along with them. I have a bit of trouble with slow digestion and I can’t eat very large quantities of food, juicing enables me to receive all the benefits of the greens without all the pain and discomfort.

  4. All I gott say(which is totally not true)lol..
    OMEGA J8004

  5. Bea said on July 16, 2014

    and for those of us who didn’t like the prep and cleanup on a centrifuge model (perhaps poorly designed)
    … Vitamix! {i’ll take a green smoothie instead of juice for a lot less hassle, thank you very much}

  6. This is great! I worked at the whole foods juice bar for a couple of months though, and I think it would be a great idea to include that one too :)

  7. Looks like I’ve got the right juicer here. Yay! Now, wondering what machines you recommend for making GREEN SMOOTHIES? So many options for those today too! The one I’ve been using is broken, so in the market for a new one. Thanks!

    • For smoothies I’d just go vitamix..but I guess any REALLY good blender would work..but why fuck around??get what you pay for with a vitamix…AND ESPECIALLY FOR SMOOTHIES.THAT’S WHAT I WOULD WANT TO USE..BUT THATS

    • I have a Vitamix and love it. It works great on smoothies and clean up is easy, very little waste. I put everything in my smoothies. I have friends however, that have the Ninja and love it as well.

  8. I’ve got the Hurom model, and have been using it for @ 2 years. It is great! good yield, and easy clean up. It takes little counter space, which is why I chose it. I blend sometimes, and my magic bullet is fine for me! Thanks for the review, well done!

    • I also have a hurom and love it for the same reasons you do. Mine’s at least 3 years old. I’m on my second Vitamix. The 1st one I got 40 years ago . It was still working but I gave it a friend about 7 years ago. It was the stainless steel square model. My present one is 7 yrs. old and I use it for raw soups, smoothies, etc. today I made Matt Amsdem’s eggless egg salad ( minus half the salt) and raw mayonaise.

  9. Kris!
    Every day I churn up a handful of kale, some blueberries, ground flaxseed, and maybe a piece of banana with water in my Magic Bullet. Takes seconds and a couple more to clean the cup. My hubby gets a smoothie.
    I love my bullet. I get the whole veggie that way.
    Lollie

  10. You are my hero Kris. I was intoduced to you by a friend of mine when i was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2011. She sent me your book Crazy sexy cancer and jolly ranchers. I am now 2.6 years cancer free and still love Kris who got me.over the hump! I can’t wait to see you in new york in September.

  11. My centrifugal juicer is on it’s last legs due to overuse. Should have bought a Breville!

  12. Queen of the Unicorns Kris, thank you so much for this helpful guide. I will be sending it to all my friends who ask the juicer question. I really love when you do these smackdowns, especially the deodorant one(!). They’re so useful and informative. x

  13. I had a Magic Bullet Juicer and stopped using it because I felt so bad wasting all that ‘left over’ stuff… I bet it was just a terrible machine. I best start saving some doll hairs and get me a good quality one. Juicing- Take 2! :D

  14. This is so cool, and would love to win this!

  15. Hi Kris. Love this post. Have a question though.

    I’ve heard from Jon Gabriel that juicing provides an immediately available source of nutrients because it’s basically predigested when it enters the stomach. If I created my juice in a standard blender would this still be the case? I know that fiber has the effect of slowing digestion so would it also slow down the absorption of the nutrients in the juice? Of course, you’d also have to drink straight away since a blender would destroy some of the nutrients.

    I suppose I could use the blender but then strain the juice through a nutmilk bag.

    Thanks

    Julia

  16. I have sort of a dumb question. Not that I would ever be able to afford one but how long does the juice last from the Norwalk Hydraulic Press? I would love to juice all of my juice on a Sunday for the week (oh what a perfect world it would be:).

    • Hi Trish,

      Norwalk juice lasts about 4 days.

      Cheers!
      Kris

      • Hi Kris!

        I’ve had three different centrifugal juicers and now a masticating juicer. I love your guide, but I’m wondering if the rating on the Norwalk is misleading. Researching what juicer to get, I watched videos of making juice with and cleaning Norwalk juicers. It seems to take WAY longer. It’s got so many parts to screw and unscrew and you gotta titrate it first then put it in the bag and then squeeze it out slowwwwwwly, so you gotta prep more than a centrifugal or masticating. It also requires the expense of those little baggies and washing and cleaning those, which I’ve never done but looks more of a hassle than scrubbing a centrifugal filter with a good brush.
        I actually find my vertical masticating juicer quicker to clean than the centrifugal because of the filter on the centrifugal requires more scrubbing. But it does have more parts to it that you have to take apart and clean that aren’t as straightforward.

        Thanks Kris!
        -Catt

  17. Thank you! Great info! I have had the Breville Centrifugal Juicer for 3 years now. Started using it during my second pregnancy because I had Preclampsia with my first pregnancy and was determined to be healthy. Made it all the way to 38 weeks and not just to 28weeks like my first pregnancy. I attribute it to a healthy change in my diet. Now my little boys now 2 and 4 drink my Mean Green juices and variety of others of course. Juicing changed my life! Again thank you for the info!

    • I’ve never tried to ask my nephews to drink a smoothie, because I think they might not like it especially they’re kids and all they want to eat are sweets. Maybe I should try this some other time. I’ll update you whether they’ll gonna try it or not. HA HA.

      • Hi make it fun! Call the smoothie a Hulk Green Super drink. I have a 6 yr old grandson and I made him a green monster Popsicle with spinach, banana, coconut milk and had loved it. I make him a banana strawberry shake…really a smoothie he loves it.. Just tell them it will make them strong , ! Make it fun and drink it with them… Have a contest who can drink the fastest?

  18. No lo tiene en español?

  19. Can you show me how to do the same thing without a $800 juicer?

  20. Our family newbies to juicing BUT we are loving it now :) makes sense to start with just one glass a day until u get rid of toxins.
    My teenagers love making these :)
    Thanks for all your advice <3

  21. Hey, Kris :) I totally agree with you that juicing is the right way to go when it comes to suppluying our body with everything it needs :) I like how you combine certain vegetables/fruits/spices/herbs in order to prepare different types of power juices :) It’s nice to see someone who has the same outlook on nutrition :)

  22. What if you are only able to afford the black and decker juicer but want to make this a part of your lifestyle? The info graphic makes me feel like I won’t succeed with a low quality juicer, but it’s all I have.

    • Green juice is great, period. Do what works for your lifestyle & give yourself props for investing in your health. :) xo, Kris

  23. Hi awesome Kris! I started off using the omega , loved it but not clean up. Then I foxglove red the vitamix…I love it. The reason I switched is because I wanted all the Nutrition. I started juicing because I was going through treatment for ovarian cancer…soo…which is the best to keep my bod strong and healthy . ? Ps what is shelf life of juice for each .?

  24. I’ve been making green juice every other day for 2 1/2 years with my Breville Multi-speed juicer (and loving it); however, the motor is burning out already. Is this a common problem? Will I need to purchase a new juicer every 2-3 years?

  25. I don’t have a juicer yet because there are so many to choice from. I thought the slow masticating juicers were the best because the juice lasts longer and they hold more vitamins. I bought your book and everything looks so good. I can’t wait to start juicing.

  26. Does anybody know which juicers are best at grinding up and giving you the skins to drink? We need to be consuming those skins for fermentable fiber right?

    http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/anti-cancer-foods-serve-up-some-fermentable-fiber/

  27. And what about citrus? Of the masticating and twin gear juicers, which ones are good at grinding a little citrus peel and pith?

  28. Hi!
    Great article, I found it from your juicing/smoothie ebook which I got tonight and am loving. I am from Australia and the brand most recommended is:

    http://www.oscarjuicers.com.au/neo-da-1000/

    It looks to be possibly like the Omega? Have you heard of the Oscar Neo and what are your thoughts on it please? I couldn’t figure out ‘what kind’ of juicer category it falls in to?
    Thanks!

  29. Could you do a Smackdown on deodorant please?
    Thanks

  30. Hey Sweet Lady… I’ve been following you for years (since your documentary came out) and love your fabu-attitude. I’m almost 72 and have had a Vitamix for a couple of years and I LOVE it and use it all the time. My favorite green drink is: cucumber, baby kale and spinach, celery, lime, 1/2 banana, apple, fresh ginger and coconut water. Using the Vitamix I use the whole, unpeeled veggie and fruit and it blends into a really nice “juice”. I’m just wondering if I really need a juicer? Drinking all the liquified fiber I think would be better for you rather than leaving it after the juice is extracted. What are your views on this? P.S. I’m always passing on your information to all my friends… some love it and some think I’m crazy. All I have to say is… healthy is better than the alternative!!

  31. what about Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer like?

    • I love juicing, even tho I also own a Vitamix for smoothies. My juicer is a Kuvings Quiet Upright Masticating juicer and I think it is fabulous! Has a very small footprint and very easy to clean, plus being a masticating juicer – I get tons of juice out of whatever I put in it!

  32. Hi Kris,
    Absolutely love your books, DVD, website and Facebook, but I have to disagree that the Breville multi-speed should get ratings that high. I ran out and bought one today, after having a Jack LaLanne that was working just fine, but I was intrigued by your Smackdown and thought I’d “upgrade”. I don’t think it’s that easy to clean, and it had some features that bothered me. The metal “guide” in the chute is sharp and I actually cut myself trying to clean it tonight (ouch!), then the spout never stops dripping when you turn it off after juicing. Not so wonderful! :-( My Jack LaLanne has a stopper on it, which is great. No dripping as you disassemble it to clean. Breville had a better yield and drier pulp, but I’m not happy enough with it to keep it. It’s heading back to Bed, Bath & Beyond tomorrow. I still love ya, but I’m not in love with this Breville – sorry!

  33. Hello there Lovely…….Whats your thoughts on the nutri bullet? The one on Tv and that guy David Wolfe loves? Many Thanks xx

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  35. Hm? Am surprised the Green Star did not rate as well as Samson on usability? As I have a Green Star 2000 for many years I observed the gears are much bigger than Samson’s that I have worked with doing demos, etc. Also the Samson did not handle as much produce or wheatgrass. Also Samson would stop (over heat). Although BOTH have Korean engines, only can run the GreenStar all day with no overheating. Then again both for this reference are older models. All Love! :-) <3

  36. 5 years ago I replaced my plastic/stainless centrifugal juicer with an ANGEL twin gear and I am still very happy! My husband & I began juicing 7 years ago, I was going through sooo much greens to produce 2 glasses of juice each morning, and got fed up with the wear on the plastic parts of my old juicer. (it was looking like the greens were etching the plastic so I was wondering if we were ingesting the plastic!) I decided I wanted a completely stainless steel juicer. After researching centrifugal vs twin gear I was sold on what the twin gear offered: efficiency; less greens for more juice, more nutritional impact and the complete stainless steel offered easy to clean and no plastic etching. Our ANGEL sits proudly on our kitchen counter, still worth every penny!

  37. Hi folks,
    Just an FYI. Everybody is always raving about Vitamix blenders. I bought one from Costco in April 2014 and in October it burned up. I didn’t abuse it. I didn’t use it every day. Heck I didn’t use it for over a month while my arm was messed up. Costco gave me a full refund. Recently I became friends with a raw food chef on FB who told me that BlendTec was a better machine so I bought one. I’ve been using the refurbished BlendTec that I got for a $100 less than the Vitamix at Costco for a couple weeks now. I have to say it’s a much better design all the way around and has just as much if not more power. It has presets for 6 common uses which work exceptionally well. What really surprised me was is didn’t come with a pusher stick thingy. It doesn’t need it, ever!

  38. I love my Omega 8006 (masticating). After cleaning the basket on my Breville Juice Fountain (centrifugal) for a long time I was glad to go to a masticator. I have found the masticator much easier to clean than a centrifugal. The basket is a killer to get clean on the centrifugals; it takes forever to get all the pulp out of the mesh especially around the rim.

  39. LOVE IT, Kris! Thank you!!!! I ALMOST got the Samson Twin-Gear juicer when I was looking. Ended up getting the Omega Nutrition Center in April. After reading your post and looking at your chart, maybe I should have gone with the Samson – way more yield! Oh well, still love my Omega! I juice daily now.

    I must subjectively disagree with Clean-Up rating for the Hurom masticating juicer. It was a beast! Lots of parts with metal mesh that needed to be SCRUBBED with a little brush! The instructions say you can run through with water to “self clean” – don’t be fooled! If you plan to use daily, you really need to completely disassemble and hand wash like anything else. Was NOT fun. I returned and bought Omega a few months later.

    NOTE to people (like me) who don’t have lots of $$$ to spend on juicers! Go to Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s easy to get their 20% off one item coupon (sometimes they’ll just give it to you in the store!) and for some of the above juicers, that could be $100 off! ;-)

  40. Kris, i am a 2 year cancer survivor and have been making very conscious food choices and this year I made the decision to start some kind of juicing. I have been making fruit smoothies with water and banana puree ice cream with a magic bullet. I want to progress to a better machine soon but what else can I do with the bullet that I have? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  41. it’s really so cool, and would love to win this

  42. I have a juicer at home and I clean it with white vinegar and baking soda and it really works well. Regards! Brent Cross Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  43. With your wheatgrass juicer you are only a few days away from wholesome nutritious juice.
    This is perfect for those who are always on the go or want the opportunity to make one portion of smoothie quickly and conveniently.
    There are many options available with the Jack Lalanne Juicer
    leading the list.

  44. crazy question. I have a Vitamix and it seems to work fine. I know it makes smoothies not juices. Can you explain the difference? It seems that the more whole food I get the better and there is little to no waste? Help!

  45. Vuosisata leffa musiikkiopisto vaikutusvalta koivuniemi puolisotilaallinen luonnonvara mestari eskola.

    • Nice article! If you ask me I’d say Breville juicers are the best as they are particularly good for making green juices and smoothies.

  46. Could you do a Smackdown on deodorant please?
    Thanks.!