Citrus juicers and juice extractors certainly have their appeal, especially if you like the idea of making your own juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. Use this juice maker guide to select one, whether for a glass of fresh-squeezed juice in the morning or a more robust mixture later in the day.
Getting started - Juicer guide
The nutritional benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are undeniable, but what about drinking them instead? If you were around for the ubiquitous infomercials of a decade ago, it was easy to buy into the myriad claims of easing muscle aches, alleviating high blood pressure, and even (in those pre-Viagra days) increasing sexual potency. The evidence says otherwise, because juice cannot be any better than the produce from which it’s made. It can even be less nutritious because it lacks most of the fiber of fresh produce.
Still, you might like the taste of fresh juice or find juice more palatable than a plate of produce. Here’s a primer on what to look for in choosing a citrus juicer, juice extractor, or an appliance that combines both functions. Whichever you buy, be prepared to buy lots of fresh produce—depending on your fruit or vegetables of choice. Some extractors get more out of produce than others, and the proportion of pulp to juice varies from fruit to fruit. And with extractors in particular, be prepared to clean pulp out of every nook and cranny after each use.
Types of juicers
The type of juice maker you choose depends on the type of juice you like to drink. If you plan to make only citrus juice, than a juicer is a fine choice. But if you plan to make your own carrot or vegetable juice, then an extractor is the better choice. Here are the types of juice makers to consider.
With a citrus juicer, you press cut halves of fruit onto a motorized reamer that extracts the juice. A trough around the reamer, depending on the model, may strain the juice as it flows into a container. Compared with a juice extractor, juicers we’ve tested have been a breeze to clean. They have fewer parts and don’t accumulate pulp in hard-to-clean corners and crevices. For this reason, we recommend them over extractors for anyone who just wants a glass of fresh-squeezed juice with breakfast.
The market for these appliances may have quieted down from the days of Juiceman infomercials more than a decade ago, but juice extractors still do the same basic thing: They use a rapidly whirling disk to cut fruit or vegetables into tiny pieces that are then spun to separate juice from pulp. Once separated from the pulp, the juice flows through a strainer and into a container. Whatever you put in still needs to be cleaned and prepared first. Fruits with waxed or hard peels, for example, need to be peeled—with any large pits removed. Vegetables must be cleaned and, in some cases, scrubbed with a brush. And some extractors, especially those that require full dismantling, can be a bother to clean.
Look for juice-maker features that make the machines easier to use, store and clean. Also make sure that the juicer accommodates the type of fruit or vegetable you wish to use without a lot of prep work. Here are the features to consider.
Clear juice container
With a see-through container, you can easily see the juice level. Better, though not universal among units we’ve tested, are visible markings in fluid ounces and milliliters.
Even models with long cords typically have some way to hide the cord when you’re not using the unit.
Removable parts, which must be washed after each use, can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Protects the opening of the chute where you insert produce for juicing.
Accommodates larger pieces of produce to cut down prep time.
Cords up to four feet or longer allow more flexibility in where you can place the unit.
This allows for some variation of juice pulpiness, though fully pulp free is not necessarily an option.
Find our latest appliances reviews on ConsumerReports.org.
ConsumerReports.org has no relationship with any advertiser on The Nest.
Copyright © 2006-2011 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.
See More: Buying Guides , How to