As home juicing begins to get more popular, a central question remains: which juicer should I get? With the huge variety and variation between the different types: centrifugal or masticating, vertical or horizontal, fast or slow; the options to choose from can be mind-boggling – and we haven’t even mentioned citrus presses or smoothie makers!
As the health benefits of juicing continue to take centre stage in our quest for a better more balanced lifestyle, the question of what type of juicer to get becomes more relevant. Here we distill the features of the two main types of juicers – masticating and centrifugal and compare them briefly.
Centrifugal juicers work in a style similar to a very fine grater. Pieces of fruit are pushed towards a spinning grating plate with a very fine mesh. The combination of the grating and spinning action extracts the liquid from the fruits and channels it to a spigot tube where a cup is placed. The used pulp is then collected in a chamber within the machine itself.
This is the better known type of juicer, typically cheaper and more widely available. Perfect for harder fruits and vegetables these centrifugal juicers tend to be louder and work faster, thereby generating more heat. It is this heat that is supposedly less ideal and that may cause the denaturation of the vitamins within fruits. However, if you’re keen for a quick fresh juice in the morning with minimal work, then these juicers will do the trick.
Masticating juicers, also known as Slow Juicers, are the new breed of juicers that work by ‘wringing’ the pulp of the fruit and vegetables in order to extract the juice. Based on a cork-screw shaped masticator, called the auger, the machine presses the fruits against a mesh in relatively slow revolutions in order to reduce the amount of heat generated.
Particularly good at extracting juice from leaves and other soft fruit, and milk from nuts, the masticating juicer outputs the juice through a tube, similar to that of the centrifugal juicer, while the processed pulp is churned out externally.
Generally more expensive than the centrifugal juicer, the masticating juicer tends to be the juicer of choice for those seeking to maximise the health benefits of juicing. Traditional these were designed to work horizontally with the auger pressing the fruit in a horizontal manner, however the newer versions are now similar to the centrifugal juicers, vertical in processing – thereby allowing for a smaller footprint on the kitchen countertop.
Other functions in a masticating juicer include pasta extruder (make your own spaghetti or tagliatelle, food processor and grinder.
Not to be left out, are the specialist citrus juicers, purpose-made for extracting juice from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and other citrus fruits. These devices range from the large electric versions to the single hand-held devices.
Which Juicer Are You?
So if you’re in the market for a new juicer, these are some of the things to think about:
- I just want fruit juice, quick and relatively easy cleaning – Centrifugal Juicer
- I want high quality juice – Masticating Juicer
- I want to be able to extract nut milks – Masticating Juicer
- I only ever drink orange juice but I want it fresh in the mornings – Citrus Juicer