It's entirely possible that you're curious about buying a juicer. In case you haven't heard, juicing is trending. We're not talking about the Barry Bonds type of juicing, but the Jack LaLanne type. Recent claims have promised that drinking fresh-pressed juices can help you lose weight, boost immunity, prevent cancer and cleanse your system. Whether that's entirely true remains to be seen, but it can't hurt, right?
We're food editors, so we obviously don't hate food enough to go on a full-on juice cleanse. But it would be nice to incorporate those health benefits into our diet -- you know, to clean out all the totchos and doughnuts in there. The only problem is deciding which juicer to buy.
Unless you're a millionaire who can afford the original Norwalk hydraulic press juicer for $2,495, there are two basic types of options on the market for you:
1. Centrifugal Juice Extractors
Traditionally, this is the most common type of juicer. These typically utilize a fast-spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from flesh via centrifugal force. The juice and pulp are then separated into different containers. The problem with centrifugal juicers is that the fast-spinning metal blade generates heat, which destroys some of the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables you're juicing. The heat also oxidizes those nutrients, rendering less nutritious juice than a cold-press juicer.
We tried the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, $299.95 at Williams-Sonoma
2. Cold Press Juicers (a.k.a. Masticating Juicers)
These newer juicers extract juice by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Because they don't produce as much heat, they keep more of the fresh ingredients' nutrients intact. This is closer to what you'll get (but NOT the same) from a BluePrint type of cleanse.
We tried the Breville Juice Fountain Crush, $399.95 at Williams-Sonoma
After testing the juicers and doing some research, here's what we found:
|Centrifugal Juicer||Slow Juicer|
|Nutrient Retention||Not so great. The high-speed spinning creates some heat, which can break down nutrients.||High. This process produces no heat, thus maintaining more of the ingredients' nutrients.|
|Ability To Process Leafy Greens?||Less efficient. Far less of the juice is able to be extracted from greens.||Quite efficient. Great for fans of green juice.|
|Ability To Process Nuts?||No||Yes -- great for making your favorite almond or cashew milks|
|Noise Level||As loud as a blender||Very, very quiet (you can hear the television while you're juicing)|
|Speed||No advantage -- the two juicers, run side by side, juice at the same speed||No advantage|
Buy a centrifugal juicer if:
-- You use the juice mostly for cooking, baking or other processes where heat will eventually be applied
-- You're not picky about getting maximum nutrients
-- You're trying to save cash
Buy a slow press juicer if:
-- You're into cleansing, making nut milks and green juices, and you like fresh juice
-- You want to pack the most nutrients into your body as possible
-- You don't mind spending a few extra bucks
Clarification: Language has been added to this article to indicate that while masticating juicers do produce some heat, that amount is negligible in comparison to centrifugal juicers.
Here's how to incorporate that juice into some delicious smoothies: