Centrifugal vs. Masticating Juicers
A new year has arrived, which means that December’s sugar and butter saturated grocery ads have been replaced by January’s kale and grapefruit. All those aisles of Christmas candy are being squeezed out by yoga pants and water bottles. Sales cycles follow our attention spans as much as the seasons.
I half expected the whole raw juicing kick to be the same deal. In one month, out the next. But I have been pleasantly surprised that it’s been one of those healthy habits that has actually lasted longer than New Year’s Resolutions (If you’re interested and/or skeptical about making & drinking raw juices, check out my 3-part series, Juicing on a Budget).
We owned a centrifugal juicer, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus (Amazon) for 3 years, juicing 4-6 times a week. Centrifugal Juicers extract juice by shredding the fruits and vegetables into small pieces and spinning out the juice through a fine mesh strainer. It was a solid machine that produced great juices. We started to notice the pulp was getting wetter as the blades got duller. Replacement parts were too expensive, so we started shopping around for a new juicer.
After hearing and reading about the benefits of masticating juicers, I decided to head that route this time. Masticating Juicers “chew” the fruits and vegetables by using an auger to crush them and press the juice through a mesh strainer. This slow, cold pressing helps avoid heat, foam, and oxidation while producing a high volume of nutrient-packed juice.
I read dozens of reviews, compared prices, and finally settled on a highly-rated, mid-priced Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer (Amazon). We purchased from Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a 20% off coupon, so it cost $240. That’s a significant chunk of change to spend on a kitchen appliance, but we knew it would get lots of use. If you’re still on the fence, check for used models on Craigslist or Ebay.
Six months later and we’re still getting used to the longer prep time and slower grind. I will stick with it, though, because I love the benefits of cold pressed juice from a masticating juicer. (If you want a really thorough review, check out The Wirecutter/Sweethome one here.)
If you are in the market for a juicer, here are some basic pros & cons I have found after using both types:
- Cheaper to purchase
- Has a larger feeder tube for produce (easier to prep)
- Best for carrots and other hard fruits and vegetables
- Louder machine
- Juice has a shorter shelf life due to oxidation
- Yields less juice, more foam, wetter pulp
- Easy to take apart and clean
- Quiet, powerful motor
- Great for hard or leafy green vegetables
- Juice is good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator (more nutrients & enzymes are preserved)
- Yields more juice, less foam, drier pulp
- More expensive to purchase
- Smaller feeder tube (produce has to be cut up)
Overall, if you are new to juicing, I’d start out with a less expensive, highly rated centrifugal model, like the Breville. You can find them for around $100-150 (or get a used model) until you are sure you are hooked on juicing. If you’re ready to commit to the big leagues, then check out the masticating juicers. Come on in! The juice is just fine.
I pour extra juice into pint-sized Mason jars to store in the refrigerator. They’re not great for grabbing and heading out the door, though, which, is the way I drink juice/eat breakfast 90% of the time. I love this Set of 6 Epica 18-oz Glass Beverage Bottles (Amazon). They’re dishwasher safe, with sturdy glass and lids that have a water tight seal. These would be perfect for storing in the fridge or hitting the road, fresh juice in hand. Amazon has these in stock and ready to ship!
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