How hard it be to choose a juicer? After all, extracting juice out of fruit and vegetables is indeed a very simple thing to do. The very first juicer was probably just a rock.
However, once you have taken the big step towards a healthy diet and decided to start juicing, you will be all but swept off your feet by the avalanche of information. To begin with, there is no such thing as a simple juicer: there are vertical and horizontal juicers, manual and electric ones, press juicers, triturating, masticating, centrifugal, steam juicers and wheatgrass juicers, and the list can go on. The cheapest manual juicer will cost you under 2 EUR on Amazon, but, if you have a taste for luxury, you can opt for the Hurom Slow Juicer HW Profi that costs around 1,200 EUR.
In short, the variety is bewildering. If you are the kind of person that prefers to do thorough research before making a well-informed decision, this article will certainly be helpful. In it, we are going to have a closer look at two major juicer types: Centrifuge juicers and Masticating juicers.
A Washing Machine with an Edge
Centrifugal juicers have a rotating flat blade at the bottom. As you feed the machine pieces of fruit or vegetables, the blade spins, sort of like the drum of a washing machine, shredding the contents. The pulp is then separated from the juice by the centrifugal force and pushed out through the strainer.
A Slow Grinder
Masticating juicers are also called Slow Juicers or Cold Press Juicers. Instead of shredding your apples or carrots Jackie Chan-style, this one takes a slow-and-thorough approach. A slow masticating juicer uses a slowly rotating gear to grind the fruit and veggies into a pulp. The auger inside the juicer rotates at only 80-100 rpm, which means it does not suck any air in and, therefore, causes less oxidation to the final product.
Let us now look at the most important factor: nutrition. The way that the juice is extracted from your foods affects its nutritious value, so it’s important to understand which juicer does a better job preserving all the valuable elements for you to enjoy and benefit from.
The centrifugal juicer produces juice a lot quicker than the masticating one, but the speed leaves too little time to properly break down the cells of the fruit or vegetable, and the juice is oxidized because of the oxygen that is brought in as the blade rotates. This results in the juice that is not only somewhat bleak in color but will also spoil faster. These juicers also have a reputation for destroying the nutrients due to heating up in the process, but that is rather an urban legend – modern juicers do not produce enough heat for it to become destructive.
The cold press juicer breaks the cells and membranes down much more thoroughly due to the tiny apertures that the ingredients are sieved through. The grinding releases nutrients and enzymes but does not involve extra oxygen, so the juice you get from such juicer has a richer color, less foam, and a longer lifespan.
Centrifugal juicers are the right choice if you’re looking to reduce the prep time to a minimum. With these, you can use larger pieces of fruit or even entire uncut fruit with some models, and the juicer will have no problem dealing with big chunks – a real time-saver.
Slow masticating juicers are touchier in that sense. If the pieces that you try to shove into the masticating juicer are too large, the appliance will jam or even break. Thus, you need to take your time cutting things into smaller digestible pieces; otherwise, you’ll end up having to do some costly repairs.
The amount of waste produced by the juicer is also tied to the method that the particular juicer uses to break down the foods. The centrifugal juicer releases the juice through the use of its blade, breaking the fruit and vegetables into small pieces. The blade is also less efficient if you’re trying to juice berries or leafy greens – simply cutting them up is not enough to extract the juice they contain.
The masticating juicer, on the other hand, uses its slowly rotating auger to squeeze the juice out with a lot of force. In the end, the cold press juicer does a better job producing more juice and less waste from the same amount of fruit than the centrifugal juicer.
Speed or Quality?
By now, we have established that the fast juicer that yields a less nutrient-filled product, while a slow juicer takes more of your time but retains more of those vitamins to keep your healthy. Which one should you choose, then? There is no simple answer to this except for one general recommendation: don’t go for the cheapest stuff. Modern juicers are complicated contraptions that can be expensive to repair, so it makes sense to have the ones made of higher quality materials – it extends your juicer’s life and ensures better performance. Also, the best masticating juicers of the newer generations don’t take as much time as their ancestors used to. Instead, they have fewer and improved details which keep the timing reasonable and don’t affect the quality of the juice.
The Summary: Pros and Cons
- Less prep time
- More oxidation
- More waste
- More prep time
- Less oxidation
- Less waste
The final choice depends entirely on your needs. If you are looking to save time and are planning to mostly juice hard fruit and vegetables, go for the centrifugal juicer. It is fast, can deal with big chunks of hard foods, is cheaper than the masticating juicer, and is easier to clean and repair.
If you do not prioritize speed and want a quieter device for juicing softer foods and leafy greens, masticating juicer may be the one for you. It is generally more expensive and needs more prep time, but it produces higher-quality juice with a longer shelf life while turning out less waste. Best cold press juicers come with a bonus – besides juicing, they can also be used for making things like baby food, sorbet or even face masks.