With various juicers available at a range of prices, it can be hard to choose the best model for your needs. We explain the differences between the main types to help you find the perfect juicing machine for you.
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 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.
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 oxidization 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.
For more information on buying a juicer, see How to choose the best juicer features.
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 recipes