If you are new to juicing, you may be overwhelmed with the choice of juicers that are available to purchase. In today’s post, let’s have a look at the different types of juicers, each at different price ranges and juicing in different ways. It is important to understand the differences between the juicers before you buy one.
The four most common types of juicers that are available for home use are:
- Centrifugal or fast juicers
- Masticating or slow juicers
- Twin gear or triturating juicers
- Juice press machines
How does a centrifugal juicer work?
Centrifugal or fast juicers (for example, the Breville Juice Fountain® Elite) are the quickest juicers to use. They typically have a large feeding chute, which allows you to feed them with larger items or even whole items. This cuts down on preparation time.
The juicer shreds the produce at a very high speed, typically between 6,000 to 14,000 rotations per minute (RPM). When the produce hits the blade, the mesh with the sharp teeth shreds it into a pulp, while the juice is separated from the pulp by the force of the spinning blade. Then it is pushed through a sharp screen into a jug or glass.
Centrifugal juicers are popular because they are affordable and are relatively easy to use and clean. There is a debate that the heat created by the spinning speed destroys nutrients, but research hasn’t been able to confirm that.
Centrifugal juicers are great for juicing beginners on a budget and who can enjoy the juice immediately. If you want to pre-make juices for later consumption or make large batches of juice, the centrifugal juicer is not the best option and I would recommend you look at a masticating or twin-gear juicer.
Pros: These juicers are affordable, easy to assemble, juicing is quick and cleaning is relatively easy.
Cons: The juicing processing tends to be noisy, and the juice tends to separate and break down quickly.
How does a Masticating juicer work?
The masticating or slow juicer has an auger (gear) that crushes the produce and then presses it against a strainer to separate the pulp from the juice. The juice runs through the strainer into a cup, while the pulp will be pushed into a separate container.
The single auger rotates at a slow speed, anything between 40 to 100 revolutions per minute. This means that the juicing process takes a bit longer to juice the produce compared to the centrifugal juicer.
These are great juicers for people who are more serious about juicing and who want to prepare bigger batches of juices or who are looking for good quality juices (taste and texture). These juicers are also multi-functional, often with additional strainers to make nut butters and even sorbets.
There are two types of masticating juicers: the vertical masticating juicer (for example, Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer) and the horizontal masticating juicer (for example, Oscar Classic Juicer). Each type of masticating juicer also has its pros and cons. I prefer the vertical masticating juicer because it allows me to feed larger pieces of produce through the machine, for example, whole apples. But with stringy produce, like celery and ginger, I need to cut the produce into smaller pieces as the strings can clog the machine. Compared to the horizontal masticating juicer, you don’t need to cut ginger and celery into smaller pieces. But the feeding chute of the horizonal juicer is smaller than the vertical juicer, so you will need to cut your produce to fit through the feeding chute.
These juicers are ideal for people who are more serious about juicing, who want to maximise the nutrients in their juices and are willing to spend more time to make the juice.
Pros: delivers a good quality juice, works well with hard and soft produce, as well as leafy greens. Multi-functional.
Cons: Can be pricey, need to cut produce to fit the feeding chute (with a horizontal juicer), takes longer to clean.
How does a twin-gear juicer work?
The triturating or twin-gear juicer (for example, the Omega TWN30S®) has two augers (gears) that rotate at a slow speed, crushing the produce and grinding it into small pieces, and then pushing the produce against a mesh to separate the juice from the pulp.
The machine is exceptionally good at separating juice from hard fibers, but with softer watery fruits and it is not the greatest. It produces a high yield from the produce and a good quality juice – the juice can stay longer without degrading compared to a centrifugal juicer.
These machines are also multi-functional, with additional parts that allows you to grind nuts and seeds, making noodles and baby food and even chopping vegetables.
Pros: high yield, quiet, good quality juice, multifunctional.
Cons: Expensive, slow, take up more counter space than a centrifugal juicer, need to cut produce to fit the feeding chute, the machine is heavy, takes longer to clean, may contain higher amounts of solids or pulp and insoluble fiber.
How does a Juice Press work?
The hydraulic or pneumatic juice press (for example, Goodnature M-1) works in two stages to make a juice. First, the produce is chopped into the texture of a chunky salsa by the machine with a stainless-steel spinning blade. Second, the juice is then extracted from the chunky produce by placing it in a press bag and then pressing it under pressure, literally squeezing out the juice.
The juice that you get from a juice press is smooth, as it is filtered through the press bag. There is also much less foam compared to the other juicers, and you get a great yield from hard-to-juice items like leafy greens. It also offers a longer shelf life – between 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator without the juice separating. Another benefit is that these machines also are multi-functional. You can make dairy-free beverages from nuts, hemp seed and oats, and you can even make nut oils.
The downside of juice presses is the price tag. These machines are expensive.
These machines are great for juicing aficionados, and then of course, juice businesses and restaurants that offer fresh cold-pressed juices.
Pros: high-quality juice, longer shelf-life, multi-functional
Cons: the most expensive type of juicer, requires the use of reusable or limited-use press bags, current home juice presses are somewhat cumbersome to use and clean.