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How to choose the best juicer

Lynn Wright / 25 May 2016 ( 21 June 2018 )

If you enjoy healthy juice drinks, then a juicer is the perfect kitchen gadget for you. We help you pick the best juicer for your needs.

Use our guide to buying the best juicer for you
Use our guide to buy the best juicer for you

What type of juicer you should buy depends on many factors, including how often you intend to use it. If you’re new to juicing, then an affordable, easy-to-use and easy-to-clean model will be perfect for creating healthy juice every day. Juice aficionados looking for maximum nutrition may prefer a more expensive masticating model.

Whatever type of juicer you choose, here are some key features that will help keep you motivated enough to use it every day.

Types of juicer

There are two main types of juicers available: affordable centrifugal juicers and the more expensive masticating juicers – also known as cold press or slow juicers. The difference between the two lies in the way juice is extracted.

Centrifugal juicers

Centrifugal juicers pulverise fruit and vegetables against serrated blades on the bottom of a rapidly spinning metal strainer. The centrifugal force of the spinning cutter separates the juice from the pulp and filters it into a jug. Centrifugal juicers have two speeds for hard or soft fruit and veg. More expensive models may come with a soft fruit disc so you can juice fruits such as berries.

With prices starting at around £40, centrifugal juicers offer an affordable introduction into juicing. Less bulky than other juicers, they’re easy to use and produce plenty of juice. However, the fast spinning action produces heat that can destroy nutrients in your food and speed up oxidation. Centrifugal juicers create lots of foam and they struggle with juicing leafy green vegetables.

Masticating juicers

Slow or cold press juicing retains more nutrients and enzymes, as the fruits and vegetables are slowly crushed by rotating gears and the juice pressed out through a perforated screen into the jug. You’ll get more juice than with a centrifugal juicer and as there’s less oxidisation during the process, you can prepare juices ahead and keep them in the fridge. They’re great for juicing leafy greens such as kale and spinach, and some can be used as coffee grinders, mincers, or for making ice-cream.

However, fruit and vegetables have to chopped into small pieces before you start juicing and masticating juicers can get clogged and are fiddly to clean. Although you’ll save money by buying less produce to juice, masticating juicers aren’t cheap. Expect to pay anything from £150 to over £500 for a premium model.

If you just want to make the occasional juice, a centrifugal juicer offers the best value for money. For dedicated juice fans and those with a bigger budget, then a masticating juicer is the way to go.

How to choose a new food processor

Juicer features to look for

Variable speeds Look for a juicer with multiple speed settings as this lets you extract the most juice out of your fruit and vegetables. Slow speeds are good for juicing soft fruits, like melons, grapes and berries, while high speed will power through firmer items such as apples and carrots.

Wide feed tube

Opt for a centrifugal juicer that has a large food chute that accepts whole apples and vegetables. This saves time spent pre-chopping fruit and veg. Most masticating juicers can only take small pieces of fruit and vegetable, so you’ll still need your chopping board if you choose this type of juicer.

Jugs and foam separators

 If you’re juicing for the family, look for a juicer with a jug large enough to hold a big batch of juice. Likewise, check you can fit a glass under the juicing spout, which saves on the washing up if juicing just for one.

If opting for a centrifugal juicer, make sure its jug comes with a foam separator. This helps separate the foam from the juice when pouring it into a glass, leaving it much clearer. Foam isn’t an issue with masticating juicer as they operate at slower speeds.

Drip-stop spout Designed to stop any remaining juice inside the spout from dripping onto and staining your worktop when you’ve finished juicing. Spouts that you can flip upwards are the most effective.

Pulp container

Many compact juicers store leftover pulp in an internal basket, while others eject it to a container outside of the machine. The latter is best if you’re making large quantities of juice, as you won’t need to stop midway through juicing to open up your machine and empty the pulp bin.

Safety locks

 Almost all juicers have safety features such locking arms or lid clamps that must be securely in place before the machine will start. Always follow the safety instructions when using your juicer.

Non-slip feet

 Small rubber pads underneath your juicer stop it from vibrating and moving when the motor spins.

Dishwasher safe parts

You’ll need to wash your juicer after every use, so choose a juicer with dishwasher-safe parts to help speed up cleaning time.

Soft-fruit extras

Some centrifugal juicers offer this extra attachment that lets you pulp soft fruits, such as berries, to make coulis or smoothie-like drinks. Some masticating juicers have additional wide sieves for the same purpose.

Should I choose a blender or juicer?

Juicers and blenders are two different kitchen gadgets suited for different tasks. A juicer extracts liquid from fruit and vegetables leaving behind a pulp of solid matter. With a blender, everything is emulsified together into a smooth liquid.

Blenders are great for creating healthy smoothies. Cheaper than a juicer, they typically take up less kitchen space and are easier to clean too. As all the fruit or veg fibre remains, your blended drink will keep you fuller for longer and you can add other ingredients such as ice, milk, nuts, seeds and crushed-up vitamin supplements to created delicious drinks.

However, many vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes aren’t suitable for blending and are better juiced.

Visit our juice and smoothie section for delicious fruit juice ideas

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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