I’m swimming in a sea of juicing and blending right now, and I couldn’t be happier. My newest book, Crazy Sexy Juice, was just released on October 20th, and for weeks I’ve been chatting with all kinds of curious folks about the whats, hows and whys of sipping your produce. It’s been so fun spreading the good word on the impact that a regular intake of nourishing juices, satisfying smoothies and decadent nut milks can have on our health and lives.
Now, I could talk about this stuff all day, but as I realized I was getting a lot of the same (great) questions over and over, I figured it would be helpful to bang out some info-packed blogs on the healthy beverage hot topics. I covered the difference between juicing and blending a few weeks ago, and ran through how to choose a blender last week. Today it’s time to help you make an informed decision on a very exciting piece of the super-drink puzzle: picking a juicer.
A Great Juicer is a Great Investment
There are plenty of green machines on the market to satisfy any budget, although the cheapest ones may not always make you happiest. Think of your juicer purchase as an investment in your long-term wellness, energy and radiance. We want to squeeze every possible ounce of goodness into our glasses. Unfortunately, crappy juicers can produce crappy yield. If you’re going to spend money on high-quality, organic fruits and vegetables, and time preparing them for juicing, you might as well be sure that the machine you use helps maximize their nutrients and power.
In general, there are two main categories of juicers for non-commercial use. I’ll explain them more thoroughly in a moment, but the basic difference is that one works quickly and is easy to clean but isn’t necessarily top-of-the-line when it comes to the longevity of your juices. The other creates juices that may contain more nutrients and enzymes and can keep for a few days, but takes more time and can be harder to clean than its quicker counterparts.
Frankly, the choice you make 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 masticating or twin gear juicer. On the other hand, if you’re a working mamacita who knows that she’s going to make her green juice only 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. So for best results, choose the juicer you’ll actually use!
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 that fits your life. That said, make sure to read reviews and do your own research.
My centrifugal juicer is my go-to companion. I love it mostly because it’s fast and easy (like some of my old boyfriends). Centrifugal juicers have a wide mouth to feed your fruits and veggies into, which means you don’t have to cut produce into itty-bitty pieces beforehand. Big timesaver.
So, how do these babies work? Your veggies and fruits are pushed through a chute into a fast-spinning mesh basket with a grated bottom. The produce is shredded and spun, sending the juice through the mesh and into a pitcher while the pulp goes into a separate basket. Voila!
On the downside, they’re pretty loud, and the high-speed spinning causes the juice to oxidize faster than it would with slower speed juicers. For this reason, it’s best to drink juices from a centrifugal juicer right away to ensure the most nutrients and best flavor and color. However, if saving some juice for later means that you drink more juice, then by all means store your juice in an airtight mason jar and keep it in the fridge till you’re ready to enjoy it—I won’t tell the health police. But know that centrifugal juices probably won’t last overnight—at least not with their fresh flavor intact. They also aren’t very good with certain leafy greens, sprouts or herbs. But as you’ll soon learn, there are some helpful tips for maximizing the yield on these delicate ingredients.
Popular choices for centrifugal juicers: Breville Juice Fountain Compact (a smaller juicer, great for apartment living) and the Omega. While I haven’t tried all the choices on the market today, many of my readers also love the Cuisinart Juice Extractor, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro and the newer versions of the popular and affordable Jack LaLanne machines. Once again, do your research before you invest and make sure there’s a good return policy if you’re unsatisfied.
Masticating Juicers (AKA Slow Juicers)
These lovelies operate a bit like our pearly whites—they use a single gear (or auger) that chews up your produce in order to break down the fibrous cell walls and extract the juice, which is gently squeezed through a stainless steel screen. Masticating juicers tend to have a higher yield than centrifugal juicers, and therefore dryer pulp. Because they run at slower speeds, you’ll get less oxidation and more nutrients. Plus the juice lasts longer. Store it in a tightly sealed mason jar and refrigerate, and it should keep for up to 48 hours. Score! And if noise is a concern, masticating juicers are the way to go. They purr like kittens.
Popular choices for masticating juicers: Hurom Slow Juicer (my personal favorite, which includes a 10-year warranty), Omega 8006 Nutrition System Juicer, Omega VRT350, Breville Fountain Crush Slow Juicer, Champion Household Juicer.
Twin Gear Juicers (AKA Triturating juicers)
Twin gear juicers operate at even slower speeds than masticating juicers, which means these rock star machines extract the highest yield and retain the most nutrients in your liquid sunshine. They grind and press the produce between two interlocking roller gears and slowly squeeze out the goodness. Because there’s less oxidation, you’ll get up to 72 hours of nutrient-rich juice—provided you store your juice in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. The other advantage of twin gear juicers (and masticating juicers) is that they make the most of leafy greens and even wheatgrass, which, as I mentioned earlier, don’t yield as much juice when processed with centrifugal machines. You can even make nut butters in these bad boys.
Both masticating and twin gear juicers are powerful, health-producing machines but they have a few downsides: the whole process of making a juice tends to take a bit longer than centrifugal. The prep involves cutting the produce into smaller sizes because their mouths are typically narrow. Feeding the juicer takes time because the gears turn slowly. And finally, the cleanup can include a few extra steps because there are often more parts to rinse and scrub. In addition, sometimes pulp can slip through. No biggie. You can either strain it or just enjoy the extra fiber.
These juicers are also more expensive. All that said, they’re still the go-to choice for health gurus and advocates.
Consider all of these factors when you’re thinking about the juicer you want; there’s no point having a fancy machine if the time you need to spend cleaning it outweighs your juice craving in the first place!
Popular choices for twin gear juicers: Super Angel 5500 and Green Star Elite Juice Extractor.
Norwalk Hydraulic Press
Last but not least: the slowest, most effective badass on the scene. If you’ve won the lottery, robbed a bank or inherited the family jewels from your Aunt Trudy, check out the Norwalk juicer—which costs around $2500. This machine literally presses (as in uses a hydraulic press) the juice out of fruits and veggies, including tough-to-juice grasses like wheatgrass. This powerful juicer provides 50 to 100 percent more juice than other machines, and the juice itself will stay very fresh for up to three days.
Because Norwalk machines are so expensive, they’re used mostly at healing centers or for commercial purposes—including the cold-pressed juices you may have come across in juice bars. You can’t walk into the local Target and buy one. Generally you have to procure them online or from a juice bar that sells them. But, hey, a gal can dream!
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Before you select a juicer, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s my budget?
- How much prep time am I willing to invest in my daily juicing?
- How much cleanup will I be willing to do on a daily basis?
- What’s more important: the shelf life of my juice or the time/effort it takes to prepare it?
- How much space do I have?
- Will I be juicing wheatgrass?
So much great info here, thank you! I’ve had a Breville for years and it’s still my go-to for my morning juice and it’s easy to clean and maintain.
I ordered and received your book , filled out all of the paper work with my Amazon order number but have yet to receive the gifts of streaming lectures that you offer on your blog/website. I was looking forward to listening to the discussions. Thanks.
Hi Julie, thank you so much for your support of my new book! We’re validating all claims individually and your access is on it’s way. xoxo
” I love it mostly because it’s fast and easy (like some of my old boyfriends).” 😛 Love to start the day laughing, thank you!!
This made me smile too!! 🙂
I laughed out loud while reading this part too 😀
Thanks so much for the very informative and helpful blog. I have a Breville Fountain Crush Slow Juicer and also a 15 year old Jack LaLanne Juicer. They are both great! I do like the fact that the juice I get out of my Breville does last longer ( slower oxidation) . I do use the pulp I get from my Jack LaLanne and put it in my banana bread! Makes it really delicious!
Thank you again!
You are the best !!!!!! 🙂
I just read Julie’s comment. I too received your new book but have not received my other gifts as well.
Please email [email protected] and we’ll make sure you get your bonuses asap. xo!
My Kuving’s slow juicer is the best by far. It’s a slow juicer with a big mouth. Clean up is super easy and quiet with a great warranty. Excellent yield. Only part I don’t like is that I have to chop my celery into small pieces before putting it in or else it’ll clog up. So far that’s the only vegatable that I use that I have to chop. The rest I just dump and go. I used to own a centrifuge jucier which I found to work fast, easy and no chopping veggies but not as much yeild per vegatable. I didn’t realize how loud it was until I got my slow juicer. So between slow and centrifuge I guess it’s really up to what you want? Quick and fast, go with centrifuge. For quality and more yeild go for a slow jucier. Just FYI veggies and fruit do get expensive if your not growing your own.
I have a question that I do not see addressed in your blog. Perhaps you have covered in your new book. I have a sensitivity to grass and gluten, so is wheatgrass something I would even want to try? Thank you for shedding light on this subject.
Hi Sue! Good question. If you have a grass allergy or are sensitive to it, definitely check with your doc first before giving wheatgrass a try. As for gluten, there’s none in wheatgrass (I actually did a quick video on this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f7hiRXA2U. It’s a few years old, but has the info you need). Also, if your doc does give you the green light to experiment with wheatgrass, start out slow—it can make some people feel a little sick at first. Hope that helps! xo
Great Article 🙂
I have a Champion Juicer and I absolutely love it. It does tend to get to warm if I make
more than a quart at a time.
I have been juicing for 30 years and I am on my second Champion. Great Machine
Vitamix. Your opinion?
I love my Vitamix. It is for blending though not juicing but I feel is the best on the market even though it’s expensive. I have had mine for over 5 years and it still works great. Worth every penny. Check Amazon, Overstock.com and QVC for best price.
I am new to this whole juicing thing.
What juicer do you recommend for beginners?
Hi Alex, a centrifugal machine would be a great one to start with.
I downloaded your book yesterday ( IBook)
Where can I find the confirmation number ?
Can I still receive the gifts
Hi Gracie, email us at [email protected] and we’ll sort it out for you so you can get the bonus gifts. xo!
What can I eat mostly for my cholelithiasis, it is 2,5 cm big. And what can I do for eating I have lymphoma bone marrow type B to prevent recidivism and to be in the best condition. Thank you for respond.
You are particularly “magnifique” and when I receive an email from you it is so shiny and the sun appear suddenly. Thank you to be with me and us.
I’ve contemplated purchasing an inexpensive juicing machine. Wondering why the types you’ve mentioned are better that the infomercial juices that don’t separate the pulp but include it in the juice.
Seems to me that getting the extra fiber would be better.
I’d love to understand this whole juicing experience more fully.
Great question Elaine. Though those products say they are juicers, they are not. They are blenders.
Thank you. I imagine the juice gets into your system quicker!
just trying to find out which is the best juicer without reading about them all… any results.. good normally priced?
Hi Kris what Huron slow juicer model would you recommend it’s confusing help
Hi Kris! first of all thanks for sharing all your amazing info and goodness to inspire others! 🙂 a couple of years ago I bought a Champion juicer when I found out I had NHL follicular in my small intestine based on Chris beat cancer’s reviews/website. However, I never use it because I find that it doesn’t do well with greens at all and mainly stick with my Nutribullet which I know is not just juice. When I found your site and saw your video it looks like your centrifugal yields way more juice from greens than my masticating juicer. I believe I’m doing it “right” but every review says centrifugal yields less and I’m not finding that is the case. any tips? 🙂
Hi mj, hmmm that’s puzzling—the slower juicers *should* produce more because the pulp isn’t as wet. Also, sometimes i think we forget that it depends on the fruits and veggies, too. Some yield a lot of juice when you don’t think they will, and vice versa. Could just be the specific combination of one type of greens and your juicer. Definitely try mixing it up and see if that helps! xo
Thank you so much. For the first time I understand what’s to look for and purchase for juicing!
Great review on juicers today! I use the Omega 8600, it’s perfect for all the reasons you mentioned. Additional kudos for including an ‘”Adopt Me” section, passion with compassion.
All he best,
I just bought Crazy Sexy Kitchen because I love Crazy Sexy Juice so much! Your ‘voice’ is so fun and loving , I want to be a BFF!
I have a Champion that 24 years old. It’s older than my son! All metal and still going strong. I’ll upgrade eventually but meantime I’m trying your recipes and loving them. I need to get a smoothie makin’ machine soon. I use a NutriBullit and love it ( have done a lot of traveling with it! )but could use an upgrade for the more interesting smoothie recipes.
Thank you for sharing your journey and discoveries. I’ll be reading the rest of the Kris Carr collection soon!
FYI – I have read that the Omega VRT400HD juicer has a 15 year warranty. I am still using my VitaMix, but will be looking at an Omega when I am ready to start juicing.
I too purchased your book in October, filled out the verification information, but have not received the prizes.