First, realize that no juicer is perfect. In order to get some of the features that you want, you may need to sacrifice others, so decide what’s most important to you. By doing a little bit of research up front, you’ll save yourself time and money later. You’ll also avoid buying a juicer that doesn’t meet your needs, or has some unexpectedly unpleasant features that may just frustrate you. Now, let’s talk juicers!
I’ve drawn from the experience of seasoned juicers to come up with some key features that you want to consider when you’re looking at machines. Take these into consideration before you make any decisions.
How Dedicated Are You?
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a feature of a juicer, but it really is the first thing that you should consider when you’re buying one, because they can get pretty pricey. Even cheap juicers run about fifty dollars, and the high-end ones can cost five hundred dollars or more. Since the resale value isn’t that great, you may not want to spend big bucks on a machine until you know for sure that you’re going to use it more than a few times.
What Are You Going to Juice?
The type of juicer that you buy is largely dependent upon what you need to juice. For instance, if you want to use hard vegetables such as beets and carrots, or would like to use leafy greens and grasses, such as spinach and wheatgrass, you may want to avoid most centrifugal juicers because they don’t juice that type of produce as well as triturating or masticating juicers do.
How Noisy Is It?
If you’re the first one up and out the door, you might not want a juicer that’s going to wake the entire household. If you live alone or are going to make your juice when everybody’s up, this may not be as much of an issue. Another factor to consider that goes along with noise is vibration. Some juicers are so light that they’ll vibrate right off the counter while you’re trying to make your juice. If you can, turn the machine on before buying it. If you can’t, read reviews of the product to see what other users have to say about it.
How Long Is the Warranty?
Especially if you’re considering spending a significant amount of money on a juicer, you’ll want to ensure that your investment is protected by a warranty that covers it for at least one year. Most of the quality machines have one at least that long, and some of them even have limited lifetime warranties.
How Much Heat Does the Juicer Produce?
One of the major benefits of making your own juice is that you get all of the live enzymes and nutrients that are otherwise destroyed during the pasteurization process that storebought juice undergoes. The main heat source comes from the juicing process itself, specifically the RPM that the machine uses to extract the juice.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
Because fruits and vegetables are virtual magnets for bacteria that can make you really sick, you must clean your juicer each time you use it. If you’re going to be juicing regularly, you especially don’t want a machine that takes three hours and a degree in rocket science to take apart and clean. Choose a machine that has as few parts as possible, is dishwasher-safe, and assembles and disassembles easily.
Also, keep in mind that the natural dyes in fruits and veggies will stain plastic. If you’re going to keep your juicer on the counter, white might not be the best option.
How Much Space Does It Take Up?
Though juicers that are heavier may be less noisy and won’t rattle so much, they’re also more difficult to store. If you have plenty of cabinet space, or don’t mind the way that the juicer looks sitting on your counter, then this isn’t a concern. However, if you don’t have much storage space or don’t want your juicer sitting out, then you’ll want to take the size and appearance of your machine into consideration.
How Big Is the Cup and the Hopper?
This may not seem like such a big deal, but if you need to cut your produce down into smaller pieces in order to juice them, or if the cup holds only a few ounces, then the process may become frustrating and you’ll be less likely to stick with your healthy new habit. After all, most people don’t have the time or patience to spend two hours making enough juice to get you through the day.
Does It Leak?
This sounds like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, some machines are constructed so poorly that the juice leaks out as it’s produced. Check online reviews and inspect the machine closely if you’re buying one at the store. The leaked juice is not only a pain to clean up, it’s also a waste of your money, time, and effort, and is likely to discourage frequent use.
How Well Does It Juice?
One of the most frustrating things about using a juicer is dealing with the solid waste. If you open up the pulp container and it has as much pulp as it does juice, then you’re effectively throwing money down the drain. Typically, a machine needs to have at least one-fourth horsepower (186 watts) in order to properly juice anything. Do some research and pay attention to what other users say about any moisture left in the pulp. Try to go with a juicer that removes as much juice as possible. “Dry pulp” is a key phrase to watch for.