How to Pick the Best Juicer for Your Budget & Needs
Many people interested in health also like to juice fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re interested buying a juicer to make green juices at home, you’ll love this article that discusses the best juicers and how to pick the one for your budget and needs.
Potential Benefits of Juicing
Juicing has been rising in popularity over the past few years, with specialty juice bars planting themselves in all major cities (and even some of the smaller ones). The recent surge in popularity for celery juice has brought juicing even more to the forefront.
Depending on the juice you consume, it can have some pretty amazing benefits. Keep in mind that “juicing” refers to juiced whole vegetables with a small amount of fruit, not packaged fruit juice. Juicing has been found to have the following benefits.
1. Healthier gut microbiome
Due to the fermentable fiber present in cold-pressed juices, regularly consuming them could very well improve the health of your gut microbiome.
2. Supports detoxification pathways
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which are superstars for fighting free radical damage in your body. In addition, completing a juice cleanse allows your body to focus on detoxification rather than digestion.
See my full post about the risks and benefits of juice cleansing.
3. Improved digestion and immune system
When you complete a juice cleanse, you also get some of the benefits of fasting. This includes improved digestion, detoxification, and immune system function. See my recipe for Medical Medium celery juice.
4. Increased bioavailable nutrients
Juicing is popular partially because it allows you to get a high number of nutrients very quickly and easily.
When you juice vegetables and fruits, you’re getting tons of bioavailable nutrients without having to eat all of them (think: drinking four stalks of celery is easier than eating four stalks of celery).
How to Pick a Juicer
If you believe juicing will fit into your lifestyle and could be beneficial to your health, it’s best to invest in your own juicer. Buying pre-made juices at the grocery store or specialty shops can get expensive and it’s always best to drink juice fresh, ideally within 24 hours of making it.
Making your own juice also means you can control what’s in it and allows you to choose organic produce.
There are several options to choose from, from basic to all-the-bells-and-whistles. Here are some to consider, listed from the least expensive types to the most expensive types.
1. Citrus Juicer ($10-$50)
Citrus juicers are the most affordable and basic option. They can either be manual or electric. For occasional or small-batch juicing, a manual one should suffice. If you’re looking for large-batch easy juicing, go for electric.
Keep in mind that a citrus juicer is just that; a juicer for strictly citrus. You won’t be able to add other fruits or veggies to your juice with only a citrus juicer. A citrus juicer will also only juice the flesh of the fruit, so you must slice or peel the fruit first.
Recommended Citrus Juicers:
Manual: Lemon and Lime Squeezer
Electric: Cuisinart with pulp control
2. Centrifugal Juicer ($50-$100)
Centrifugal juicers have three main advantages: they’re affordable, quick, and easy to clean. For these reasons, centrifugal juicers are best for people who want to juice only occasionally or for those on a budget. By spinning quickly, a centrifugal juicer separates the pulp from the juice.
For people who are just looking for how to make celery juice, you can use this type of juicer, but a masticating juicer would be much better for this task (see below).
The disadvantages of centrifugal juicers are that they are very loud, less able to process greens or softer produce, and more likely to oxidize your juice.
Due to the heat generation of a centrifugal juicer, your juice is also more likely to oxidize. Oxidation is the process of juice being exposed to oxygen, which can decrease its nutrient content.
Recommended centrifugal juicers:
3. Masticating Juicer ($250-$400)
The advantages of masticating juicers are that they yield fresher, tastier juice, low oxidation, and give you the ability to juice both hard and soft produce (which means green juice). My vegetable juicer of choice is a masticating juicer.
A masticating juicer slowly crushes fruits and veggies between a screen and an auger, discarding the pulp and leaving behind the juice. Due to its slow pressing, there’s no heat to oxidize the juice. This type of juicer is popular with people who want to juice at least once a week.
There’s a smaller chute on this type of juicer, though, so prepping your produce is necessary. In other words, you’ll have to cut your vegetables into smaller pieces to help fit them into the feeding tube. Masticating juicers are also slower and pricier than centrifugal juicers.
Masticating juicers can come in both vertical and horizontal types.
Recommended masticating juicers:
4. Cold Press Juicer ($1,800+)
Cold press juicers are for the ultimate juice enthusiast. They can run into the thousands of dollars and should only be considered for commercial enterprises or if you have a medical reason that you need to have only cold press juices for the absolute optimal nutrition.
I do not recommend a cold press juicer simply because it is outrageously expensive.
Juicing in a Blender
Yes, you can make juice using a blender. If you’ve got a high speed blender and a nut milk bag, you’re all set to juice. This technique works well for the occasional juice consumer or those short on time. Keep in mind that this works best with high speed blenders, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec.
See my list of the best juicer blenders.
Here’s how to make juice in a blender:
- Add produce to a high powered blender. It’s best to prep produce beforehand to reduce the strain on your blender.
- Add about 1/2 cup of water to help get the blender blades moving.
- Blend until mixture is smooth and no chunks remain.
- Place a nut milk bag over a pitcher and pour juice over it.
- Squeeze juice through the bag with your hands to strain out any pulp.
See my dedicated post (including a recipe) for juicing in a Vitamix.
For green juice, you’ll want to go with a masticating juicer. These juicers can successfully extract juice from softer produce like greens. I recommend an Omega masticating juicer because it is more affordable than many masticating juicers and is a cult favorite for green juice.
Wheatgrass has a reputation for being even more difficult to juice than almost anything else. If you’re needing a juicer for wheatgrass specifically, check out this manual wheatgrass juicer. Your masticating juicer can also do the trick in a pinch, but for wheatgrass-only juices, it may be worth investing in a separate juicer.
If you’re looking for celery juice recipes, go ahead and invest in a masticating juicer. This one in particular operates at an optimal 110 RPM, meaning your juice is as slow-pressed, cold-pressed, and minimally oxidized as possible.
Other masticating juicers are able to juice celery as well, but if you’re looking to get the health benefits of celery juice, it’s best to be sure your juice is as fresh and nutrient-dense as possible.
This Breville centrifugal juicer is touted for its easy clean-up. It has only a few parts (which also makes it easy to assemble!), which are also dishwasher-safe.
For an easy to clean masticating juicer, consider the Omega J8006 (also the top choice for greens!) Clean-up is easy due to the fewer parts and easy assembly/disassembly. This is the juicer that I own and I love it.
For a compact juicer, this Breville vertical juicer will help you save on space and money.
Best Juice Recipes
Here are my favorites:
- Beet Juice
- Carrot Juice with Orange & Ginger
- Celery Cucumber Green Juice
- Celery Juice
- Detox Veggie Juice
Or, check out my round-up of the best juicing recipes for beginners.
When picking a juicer, it’s best to take your individual needs into consideration, including space on your countertop, how often you want to juice, what kind of juice do you want to make, and how much do you want to spend?