Appliances

Product overview

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Juicers

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Make fresh juice at home with an electric juicer.

Centrifugal juicers are a standby in many kitchens. But manufacturers of non-centrifugal juicers claim that their machines produce better results. We've tested both types to see how they rated and also measured the vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium levels of the juices from our test to see if these claims stack up.

From our test

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Types of juicer

Centrifugal juicers

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Centrifugal or fast juicers have a rotating blade that cuts up fruit or vegetables at very high speeds and forces the cut pieces through a strainer to separate the juice from the pulp.

Pros

  • Generally cheaper than cold-press juicers.
  • Faster at processing.
  • Often have larger chutes, which means less chopping-up of ingredients.
  • Most have dishwasher-safe parts.

Cons

  • Can be noisy. Most of us perceive sound louder than 80 decibels (about as loud as a noisy cafeteria) as uncomfortable.

  • Can be bulky so difficult to clean in a sink.

Cold-press juicers

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Cold-press, slow or masticating juicers crush the fruit or vegetables using a slow-turning gear (auger) and then filter the juice through a screen. There are various styles: they can be single-gear, twin-gear, horizontal or vertical.

Pros

  • Usually quieter than centrifugal juicers.
  • Have smaller parts so are easier to clean in a sink than centrifugal juicers.
  • Some models can be used for mincing, grinding coffee beans, making pasta and noodles, baby food and ice-cream.

Cons

  • Generally more expensive than centrifugal models.
  • Take longer to juice than centrifugal juicers.
  • They have a smaller chute size, so you need to cut food into small chunks.

Features to look for

If you're thinking of buying a juicer, here's what to consider:

  • The fewer the parts, the easier it is to assemble, take apart, and clean.
  • A large chute means less chopping.
  • A safety lock on the lid means the juicer won’t operate unless the lid’s locked into place.
  • The juice jug should be big enough to hold a large amount of juice. If the juicer doesn’t come with a juice jug, check the spout can be positioned over a decent-sized jug.
  • Multiple speeds are ideal. High speed is good for juicing hard fruit or vegetables, low speed for softer ones. A reverse feature on a cold-press juicer is handy for unclogging it.
  • Make sure the blade can’t be easily touched through the chute, especially by little hands.
  • A streamlined design means less food can get trapped in crevices, making cleaning easier.
  • An external pulp container is better because less pulp is likely to build up around the sieve and clog it. The pulp container should also be big enough so you don’t have to keep emptying it.
  • Cleaning brushes are good for cleaning around the blade are and filters where fibrous bits can get trapped.
  • A smoothie attachment is good for processing soft fruits, like bananas, peaches, mangoes and berries.

Juicing tips

Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices are a quick, convenient way to get extra nutrients into your diet.

  • For best results, use fresh and well-ripened fruit and vegetables. Wash them and trim away any discoloured or bruised sections.
  • Peel fruits with hard or inedible skin, such as citrus, pineapple, melon, kiwi fruit and uncooked beetroot.
  • Remove other hard parts, such as stones from stone fruit, peel and pith from citrus fruit, and seeds from melon.
  • Chop the fruit or vegies into chunks that'll fit easily in the feeder chute.
  • Orange juice made in a juice extractor is generally frothier than squeezed oranges. And it takes more time to make – you have to remove all white skin, fibres and pith, otherwise they can leave a bitter or sour taste.
  • Juice apples, carrots, and celery with a chunk of fresh ginger for a delicious winter combination. Adjust the quantities to suit your tastes – add more apple for sweetness or more ginger for extra zing!
  • Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable are no substitute for whole fruit and vegetables, as most of the fibre is lost in the juicing process. The pulp needn’t be wasted though. Vegetable pulp can be used to make stock or in mince dishes and soups. Fruit pulp can be added to cake and muffin mixtures for sweetness – just reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.

Not so good for juicing

  • Starchy fruit and vegetables such as bananas and avocados are generally unsuitable for juicing.
  • Some manufacturers also recommend avoiding very soft or stringy fruit like some berries, stone-fruit, pawpaw, mangoes and rhubarb.

Cleaning your juicer

  • Wash up straight after juicing so the leftover pulp doesn't harden and get stuck in the sieve or filter.

  • Cleaning the sieve under running water with a hard bristle brush is the best way to remove fruit and vege fibres – some juicers come with a special brush to do the job.

  • Juicers with lots of cracks and crevices are the most difficult to clean.

 

Features for people with a disability

People with disabilities may find these additional features useful:

  • Look for a juicer which can be used one-handed.
  • Keep in mind that if you use a juice extractor you'll need enough hand strength to be able to cut up fruit and vegetables to fit into the food chute.
  • Look for a juicer which has minimal parts so it's easy to put together and pull apart.
  • Look for switches that are bright and large, and don't need a lot of strength to operate.
  • Look for a spout that's a good height and sticks out enough that any suitable jug can be used.
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