Which Juicer Is Best? A Review of 7 Juicers
There are many different kinds; masticating, cold-pressed, centrifugal and slow. Juices offer different features: Easy to clean, speed, higher juice yield, space-saving, durability and price. There are two categories: fast and slow; Centrifugal (fast) vs. cold-pressed/masticating/slow upright juicers (slow).
Centrifugal juicers usually have louder motors and the yield quality isn’t as high. Slow juicers include cold-pressed, masticating and slow upright juicers which use 1 or 2 augers to press out the juice. Slow juicers tend to cost more, but produce a better juice.
Here are my reviews on some of the most popular ones out there.
Slow juicer, $300. This is a great looking juicer with minimal set up and clean up. It is stainless steel which is nice because there won't be any staining. If the fruits or vegetables get stuck, there is a reverse button that helps clear this up. The parts to disassemble are small and cleaning the mesh is very little work. It is a masticating juicer so the yield is high and it works great with leafy greens. The downside of this juicer is that the chute is small. This means you have to chop your vegetables and will add to your prep work. This will not be a good choice for someone looking to juice large volumes.
Pros: High-quality, easy assembly, easy clean up.
Cons: Labor intensive, not ideal for large volumes.
Omega VRT 330
Slow juicer, $330. This omega juicer sits vertically which is great if you have little counterspace. I used this juicer for several months, probably up to a year until it started acting up. Halfway through juicing, it started to jam. It was difficult to disassemble the parts to clear out the jam and sometimes I had to wait for stronger hands to pull them apart. Then it started to create a lot of foam. So much that it was not drinkable. There is a rubber stopper underneath the main unit which would come apart during juicing and cause leaking, it was a mess.
I called the company and they suggested that I clean the machine with a solution that included vinegar, I believe (this was a while ago). It still clogged and the juicer has become pretty much useless. I am waiting to hear back from Omega to see how they can compensate me for my purchase of over $300. This machine is the biggest waste of money, avoid it!
Pros: See cons!
Cons: Becomes utterly useless with time. The filter will clog. After calling their support line for help and cleaning it how they recommended, it still didn't work.
Green Star Elite
Slow juicer, $400 - $550. This is considered one of the highest quality juicers as it uses masticating augers. The juice yield is high, especially on leafy greens. It has a horizontal structure and is similar to the Omega 8006 (not the Omega VRT 330). The parts to assemble and clean are pretty minimal. The horizontal shape takes up more counter space. The chute is narrow which again is like the Omega 8006. The main downside is the price tag and more prep work has to be done.
Pros: high-quality and yield
Cons: high-price, labor intensive
Slow juicer (cold-pressed), $2500. It is all stainless steel, which looks very appealing and is extremely sturdy. The system is unique in that it is a two-step process. First, produce must be triturated into pulp. Then a cloth is filled with just the right amount of pulp, then folded over into a neat package. You then place the pulp package onto the tray and turn on the press to raise. An enormous amount of pressure is used to squeeze out all of the juice creating a very high-yield.
Now the downsides are:
1) This is one of the most expensive juicers, if not the most expensive one on the market.
2) Using the triturating grinder, you must be careful. Before starting the machine, you must put your produce in the tube, followed by the pusher and only then can you turn the machine on. This is to prevent the motor from causing a carrot to shoot out like a projectile missile. You must remember this part each and every time you turn the machine off and back on.
3) The cloths used to juice need to be stored properly in the freezer.
4) When you operate the hydraulic press, which is slow, you must slow it down further as it begins to press on the pulp package. If not, juice can squirt out.
5) Since the press is slow, the entire juicing process can take a while. Of course, with any other juicer or machine, once you get the hang of it, you'll get a system going. You can triturate while you wait for the press to make it’s way to the top and slow it down at the right time.
6) You must put the right amount of pulp in the cloth package, fold it no larger than the top surface of the press and properly center it. The high price tag is offset by the fact that it can yield up to 50% more than other juicers. If you can afford it, this is a great juicer as long as you use it often and don’t forget the part about the grinder and come up with an efficient flow between the grinder and press.
Pros: Very high-quality, very high-yield
Cons: Very high-price, very labor intensive
Jack Lalanne Power Juicer
Fast juicer, $80. Here is a juicer that is on the lower end of the price spectrum. It is a high-speed juicer, so it does not preserve the nutrients as much as a masticating or slow juicer like the Green Star or Omegas or even the Norwalk. Assembly and clean up is fairly easy. It juices very quickly and the chute is large enough to fit a small apple. This makes it juicing extremely convenient and cuts the prep time down substantially. The downside: the parts are made of plastic so it will stain, but this is minor in comparison to the other reasons this is not my favorite juicer. It requires a tool to tighten the blade in and oddly, it does not include a pitcher for the juice. The handle to lock the machine in for use is difficult. The spout where the juice comes out sits low, so you’ll need to find a container that will fit underneath.
Pros: Very low price, large chute: minimal prep and minimal juice time
Cons: Low quality juice, plastic parts, no juice pitcher, requires a tool.
Breville BJS700SL Big Squeeze
This is a masticating slow juicer. The juice comes out with some pulp, so it is thicker which is actually really nice. The texture is like a V8. It also juices wheatgrass and you usually need a separate machine that can do wheatgrass alone, so that is a big plus. Another plus is there is a stopper to allow the juices to mix before dispensing it into the pitcher.
The chute is large and is divided in two: the larger one is for “soft” fruits like apples; the small chute is for hard fruits and vegetables like carrots and wheatgrass and this opening is too small. These two openings combine and lead to the same place anyway, so I don’t understand the functionality. The swing door for the softer fruit has a lever that either locks the lid down or releases it to flip open and is sometimes awkward causing the fruit to get jammed in the entry chamber.
This juicer has gotten stuck before and between K and I, we could not release it until the next day. We left it stuck and kept running water through to loosen it up. We hadn’t noticed that fiber had accumulated along the spout slowing down the juice coming out. This happened regularly.
The juicer is surprisingly very quiet, but despite all the pros, having 2 chutes, the strange lever (I could never remember which way was to lock and release the flip top and sometimes fruit would get lodged between the large chute and down into there both chutes meet. Pretty much every time I used it there were pieces left un-juiced inside.
There are two containers that can be nested, saving space. One is for the juice and other is for the fibers. It comes with 2 cleaning tools, which help some but in the end, you just need the brush to get all the fibers out of the screen. I prefer simplicity and like having less parts.
Pros: High-quality juice with some pulp, very quiet, juices leafy greens, herbs and wheatgrass; comes with juice pitcher & pulp collector.
Cons: Two chutes, a lock & release flip top is awkward, gets stuck regularly, hard to clean, too many parts.
Breville 800 JEXL Elite
Fast juicer, $300. The structure of this juicer is very similar to the Jack LaLanne: It has a large chute meaning minimal prep work and is a centrifugal juicer, so it juices quickly. This is both a pro and con. Fast juicers are said to oxidize the juice, but this also means that juicing is done in a zip. This is a huge plus for somebody juicing on a consistent basis. This Breville Elite version has two speeds, even low-speed is very powerful.
The Breville Elite has just one large chute that is straight and vertical, you can easily juice apples, cucumbers, carrots, celery just fine. It cannot juice wheatgrass, spinach or herbs but I don’t mind this since during the week, I eat plenty of cilantro and other leafy greens that are to hard to juice.
The stainless steel parts make the machine more attractive and will not stain like on a plastic machine. It comes with a juice pitcher with a lid that allows the juice to be poured out without the foam. This is a great feature because the foam means having bubbles in your juice which will cause the juice to oxidize quicker.
Assembling the parts on this Breville Elite is easier than the Breville Big Squeeze since the Big Squeeze has more parts. Both machines have notches and markings for assembly but the Big Squeeze isn’t as intuitively designed to put together. The locking handle on the Elite is easier to pull on and off and it’s obvious which direction it needs to go in order to set it up or break it down.
Pros: Large chute means minimal prep and minimal juice time. Pitcher keeps foam out of the pour, stainless steel, very easy to assemble.
Cons: Fast juicer does not yield high quality juice.
The best juicer is the one that you will use consistently. Juicing can be messy and time-consuming. Having a machine that is difficult to clean, set up or use can be discouraging and eventually will not be used. Overall, the Breville Elite is my favorite. It may not yield the most and is a fast juicer but this machine is MUCH more appealing to use a few times a week.