Buying a juicer can be a major investment, so knowing the facts about the equipment prior to making your purchase is only smart. Each type of juicer is great at producing the juice for which it’s been specialized, but buying one that doesn’t meet your overall needs can be an expensive, messy mistake. Let’s break these down and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Wheatgrass Juicers do exactly what the name implies: juice wheatgrass. They aren’t designed to juice anything other than wheatgrass, with the possible exception of a few small, soft fruits, such as grapes. These juicers come in both manual and electric styles.
Pros: The fact that you can get an efficient, affordable model if all you’re looking to do is make a nice green shot for health reasons or to add to a recipe.
Cons: It’s an expensive piece of equipment given its specialized, limited capabilities, and the fact that they’re often bulky. Especially considering that most decent juicers can handle leafy greens and grasses, this isn’t a necessary piece of equipment for green juicing anymore if you buy a suitable standard juicer.
Centrifugal Juicers are the least expensive juicers on the market and the type that most department stores carry. They extract your juice by shredding the produce and then using centrifugal force to spin the pulp against a strainer at extremely high RPMs. This is OK if you’re juicing soft produce, but these machines produce much more waste (wet pulp) than other types of juicers.
Pros: Speed and affordability.
Cons: Low efficiency (high waste); decreased shelf life, because the extraction process spins oxidizing air into the juice; and difficulty juicing grasses or leafy produce.
Masticating Juicers extract juice by literally “chewing” the food using a single auger or gear and then separating the juice as it chews. This process results in more nutrients, fiber, and enzymes being extracted from the pulp because of the chewing action.
Pros: Greater efficiency, less air in the juice, more nutrients extracted from the produce, and less nutrients lost due to heat or oxidization, because it operates at a lower RPM than a centrifugal juicer. Also, masticating juicers often do a good job with leafy greens and grasses. Many masticating juicers also homogenize your produce, so you can make baby foods, ice cream, sauces, or nut butters.
Cons: Higher cost, larger size, and more noise. A masticating juicer also takes significantly more time than a centrifugal juicer does.
Choosing the right juicer is an important part of your experience, so educate yourself about your options and choose wisely. Because there are so many different brands, and people juice for so many reasons, it’s difficult to make specific product recommendations, so just pay attention to what the various machines offer and match those features to what you intend to use most.