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There are plenty of dedicated citrus juicers out there, and many of them do a good job. However, we wanted to look at machines that do more than just squeeze fruit — because what most can't handle is the vegetable drinks that are both popular and very good for you.
What we've arrived at is a selection that offers a variety of alternatives. Costs are on a par with many ordinary juicers, yet they all produce a wider range of healthy drinks and, in some cases, have other valuable features.
We do not accept products directly from manufacturers; we use our own funds to purchase the same “off-the-shelf” products that you do. And when we've finished our testing and consumer reviews, we donate all these products to charities and other non-profit organizations.
All of these juicers work by chopping and pulping your fruit and vegetables in some way. This extracts more of the juice than squeezing alone, but you need decent power to do it well. There's also the question of how much space you need to find on your countertop, or whether the machine is light enough to move in and out of a cupboard.
It's a bit of a nuisance to keep going back and forth to the machine, so a good juicer will have plenty of drink capacity and won't require you to empty the pulp every five minutes. It's also a bonus if cleaning up afterwards is as simple as possible.
You can reintroduce some of the pulp into your juice for additional roughage, and for the vitamins and minerals it can contain.
The top juicers have a number of features designed to make your life easier, to prolong the life of the machine, and to allow you to experiment with different flavor combinations or even different foods.
During our extensive review process, we discovered a pretty big variation in prices, but there are some very good juicers even at the entry level. If you choose to invest a bit more, you'll get extra features and functions, and there are quite a few remarkable machines on the market.
Juice should be ingested on an empty stomach. This helps your body absorb the most nutrients from it.
Weighing in at under 6 pounds, the Black & Decker JE2200B Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor is easy to move around, but at approximately 13 x 9 x 9 inches, it is also small enough to find a permanent countertop space in many kitchens. Motor power is 400 watts, which might be a little low, but the manufacturer claims it's enough. While owners largely seem to agree, they do say that it's sometimes necessary to cut things up quite small to, (a) get them down the relatively narrow chute and, (b) not put too much strain on the motor.
Measuring 9 x 13 x 16 inches and weighing close to 10 pounds, the Hamilton Beach 67650A Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor is a noticeably larger unit - although a fairly standard format and still more compact than some. Power comes from a 1.1 horsepower unit, which is equivalent to around 820 watts, and the Hamilton Beach needs that extra juice because the chute is a generous 3". While most machines recommend at least minimal pre-preparation, Hamilton Beach suggests that some food can go in whole straight into the machine.
A cold press juicer typically produces more, as well as higher quality, juice than a centrifugal one. Cold press juicers also cost more than centrifugal ones.
The Cuisinart CJE-1000 5-Speed Juice Extractor is 15 x 12 x 19 inches and tips the scales at 14 pounds, which is the kind of bulk you probably don't want to move too often. To be fair, a lot of that weight comes from the powerful 1,000 watt motor, which makes light work of just about anything you can drop down the 3 inch feed tube. Like Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart is confident that it will cope with whole fruit and vegetables, thus reducing preparation time.
Weight of the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus Juice Extractor is a fraction under the Cuisinart, though not enough to have any real impact, and at 13.5 x 16.5 x 18.5 inches, it will demand the same kind of countertop space. Juicing power comes from an 850 watt motor, designed to cope with whatever you can feed down the 3 inch chute. Breville claims it will produce an 8 ounce glass of juice in 5 seconds - but that will depend on the type of fruit, of course. While Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and Breville all boast that you can put whole items in, each does point out that thick-skinned fruit like oranges and grapefruit will taste better if peeled first. Pits or stones should also be removed before juicing so that they don't damage the machine.
If juices are an integral part of your diet, then be prepared to do a lot of shopping — juicers take a hefty amount of fruits or vegetables to produce the quantities of juice required for balancing your meals.
At 14.5 x 15.5 and only 6.5 inches tall, the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer is a very different looking machine than the others in our top five. In spite of that relatively low height, at 17.6 pounds it's actually the heaviest and, with a motor rated at 2 horsepower (around 1500 watts), it is by far the most powerful. The Omega's approach to juicing is unlike the others, opting for a surprisingly low 80 rpm masticating system rather than the rapidly whirring blades of our other machines which can reach several thousand rpm.
The Black & Decker JE2200B Juice Extractor, while relatively small, comes with a useful 300 ml pitcher and 28 ounce pulp bin, so you shouldn't need to empty it too often. To make life easier at cleanup time, all the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
The Hamilton Beach 67650A Juice Extractor comes with a useful 20 ounce container/pitcher, but the tall design also means that there's plenty of room for your own receptacle under the spout. Although Hamilton Beach doesn't give an actual size for the pulp bin, it is more than adequate. As is common with modern juicers, the removable parts are dishwasher safe, although it's recommended that you rinse the filter under a tap first in order to remove the majority of the fibrous material.
With the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor, you don't just get a basic plastic juice container; you also get a 1 quart pitcher with its own lid. The pulp bin is 2 liters - which is over 60 ounces - so you won't be running back and forth with that very often. It also has a smart and very useful built-in handle. Cleanup is made easier by the fact that the removable parts are dishwasher safe and that there's a cleaning brush supplied.
If you don't want to use the pulp, you can put a plastic bag in the bin of the juicer before use, and then simply throw it away after.
Given that the Breville JE98XL Juice Extractor has similar dimensions to the Cuisinart, you would expect similar capacities. We're unable to find an actual measure for the pulp collector, but it's obviously much the same, and the juice jug, at 1 liter (34 ounces), is close enough to make no real difference. The comparison continues when it comes to cleaning, with many removable parts being safe for your dishwasher (and the inclusion of a useful cleaning brush). However, the filter basket and disk have to be cleaned by hand, which is not a major problem but may be a little inconvenient if you're in a huge hurry.
The Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer is different from standard juicers. Because of the way it operates, it doesn't have integral pulp collection – instead it's ejected as you go. There's a plastic container provided for this, and another for the juice itself, but it's perhaps not as elegant of a solution as the other juicers on our shortlist. Having said that, there's no doubt that it's effective, and your fruit and vegetables actually get squeezed twice, so maximum goodness is extracted. It's also a pretty easy clean up. There are more components than with the other juicers, but it's straight-forward to dismantle, and you can either put the parts in the dishwasher or run them under a faucet and use the brush supplied.
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
The Black & Decker JE2200B Juice Extractor is very much an entry-level model. That shouldn't be taken as a criticism, but it is reflected in the lack of features. Both cutter and strainer are stainless steel, which should ensure durability, but apart from that it's a question of putting in your fruit or vegetables, and pressing go for juice. Judging by the hundreds of positive reviews this machine has received, that's all many owners expect.
Like the Black & Decker, the Hamilton Beach 67650A Juice Extractor also has a stainless steel cutter and strainer. We've already mentioned the wide chute and high spout which add versatility, but there are also metal clips that lock the lid down firmly to prevent leakage. A useful booklet of juicing tips and recipes is provided and the manufacturer is keen to point out that the machine can also be used for making almond, rice, or soy milk. They claim this model will extract 24% more juice than a "leading competitor," but neglect to tell us who that is.
When juicing greens or herbs, pack them in a tight roll, place hard foods like carrots or apples around them, and then put them into the juicer. You can extract the maximum juice out of the greens that way.
Die-cast housings immediately give the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor a quality appearance, and this is backed up with a number of well thought-out features. Rather than just having a single speed, as is common, the Cuisinart has five, allowing you to vary the cutter to suit whatever is being juiced. Given that you can put quite large chunks in, this can help prevent jams or undue load on the motor. The filter disk is designed to reduce foaming, and the output spout is adjustable for flow and to prevent drips. This machine also comes with a recipe book.
Quality is also apparent in the construction of the Breville JE98XL Juice Extractor. Although at first glance it looks like a metal body, it's actually a heavy grade polymer - which is still pretty tough. Where the Cuisinart has five speeds, the Breville has two: 6,500 rpm or 12,000 rpm. The approach is the same - though clearly not with the same degree of variation, and one or two owners did complain that at high speed, fruit or vegetables could jump back up the feed chute. We must assume they forgot to use the supplied pusher!
Juice should be ingested on an empty stomach. This helps your body absorb the most nutrients from it.
When it comes to features, the Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer is in a different league - starting with the way it actually produces juice. According to the manufacturer, rapidly spinning blades damage valuable oxidants and enzymes. The powerful, slow-speed auger in the Omega prevents this. It also delivers considerably more force, so fruit and vegetables are squeezed once as they enter the machine, and then the pulp is squeezed a second time - which maximizes goodness and minimizes waste. That auger force also allows the Omega J8006 to operate as a multi-function machine. There's a food processor unit for chopping and different nozzles for mincing, so you can produce natural baby food, soy or almond milk, nut butter, several kinds of pasta, and even breadsticks!
You can find the Black & Decker JE2200B Juice Extractor for just $36, a $10 saving off of the normal list price. While it's quite a basic machine compared with some in our ratings, it does what it's supposed to. It's relatively light and compact, and while a few owners have doubts about its longevity because so much of it is plastic, there are plenty of others who are more than happy with the performance they get for the price. As one user pointed out, their local juice bar charges six bucks a time - so a decent home juicer for thirty bucks is a no-brainer.
Because slow juicers (or "masticating juicers") press the juice out of fibers as opposed to pulverize produce, the resulting juice retains more vitamins and nutrients.
The Hamilton Beach 67650A Juice Extractor is pitched as a quality machine, but at around $59 (list is $75), it's certainly not sold at a premium price. It's a bit more robust than the Black & Decker, has that wide feed chute which is definitely of benefit, and produces a good deal more power, so it should be no surprise that you have to invest a little more. It has a lot of satisfied owners, many of whom compliment it on the amount of juice it extracts and how easy it is to clean, although some found that taking the blade out was a bit fiddly. Several owners did report breakdowns, with some machines even coming apart during use, but there doesn't seem to be a single consistent problem, so perhaps one or two from a particular production run were faulty.
A list price of $270 testifies to the quality of the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor, but right now you can actually get one for as little as $118. It's quite a big machine, but it's also powerful and versatile. It's often compared with the Hamilton Beach because at first glance they're similar, but there are noticeable differences in both construction and performance - especially with the five speed options. It's much loved by its owners who like its appearance and how well it does its job - although a number did feel it left too much juice in the pulp.
You can also save big on the Breville JE98XL Juice Extractor at the moment as well. The standard price is $230, but it's offered on Amazon as low as $148. Breville has an excellent reputation for quality kitchen gadgets, and the JE98XL juicer is no exception. It's a well thought-out, stylish and efficient machine, and while it doesn't have the multiple speeds of the Cuisinart, none of its owners seems to care. It's undoubtedly one of the most popular juicers on the market right now. It's powerful, stable, and quieter than many owners expected. Some thought it left the pulp too wet - which seems to be a recurring theme with juicers - but others were delighted with how clear the juice was and how little pulp got through, so it's really a question of what you prefer.
Although you can currently save over $130 on the Omega J8006 Masticating Juicer, you're still going to have to pay out around $299, making it the most expensive of our top five juicers by some margin. So the question is, is it worth it? Most of its owners would give you a resounding yes. They would argue that none of the other machines reviewed comes close in terms of power and flexibility, and they'd be right. It's not just a remarkable juicer; it's a mincer, a chopper, and even a pasta extruder! Complaints are few, mostly related to speed - its major advantage in terms of the goodness it extracts is also a disadvantage because of the time it takes. That may be so, but hundreds of users are more than happy to wait.
Each of the juicers that made our top five is a good machine, but for us there's no doubt that the best juicer on the market right now is the Omega J8006. It's not cheap, but as happens so often with high quality kitchen gadgets, you get what you pay for.
If $299 is too much, the Cuisinart or Breville would be reasonable alternatives, but they neither produce juice of the same nutritional value, nor do they offer all of the additional functions. The slow speed auger of the Omega is designed to preserve enzymes and prevent the release of oxidants. Juice obtained in this way is better for you and will last longer. Then there's the question of sheer power. How many juicers are actually comfortable with wheatgrass? What about pine needles? And while you're sipping your tasty juice you can use the Omega to prepare baby food, soy milk, or pasta...
There are those who don't think it's worth the money, and if you just want a cup of orange juice every morning, this is not the machine for you. However, if you consume a wide variety of juices and want to experiment with new and interesting flavor combinations, you'll want to join the multitude of other satisfied owners and get yourself one of these.
How do you pick the best value juicer when each of our top five all offer such a great deal? Actually, although that's a difficult question in some ways, there is an easy answer: the machine that offers the best bang for your buck is the Breville JE98XL.
Look at it this way — a nearly professional-grad juicer for under $150. While none of the others is particularly expensive, and there are some very good offers around, it is the Breville that provides the best value for your money.
The Breville rivals the quality of machines more than twice as expensive - both in terms of power and features. It is produced by one of the most highly regarded names in the industry. The cutter and strainer are stainless steel, and all the pieces you need to clean can be popped in the dishwasher. One of many happy owners said, "it's the single best purchase I've made for my kitchen." What more validation do you need?
The best juice for you is made of leafy greens. Try to reduce the proportion of fruit in juice blend over time and add detoxifying ingredients like ginger, lemon or turmeric. It's an acquired taste but it does the body good!