A Guide To Help You Buy The Best Masticating Juicer For You.
What is a Masticating Juicer?
The word “masticating” comes from a Latin root verb meaning “to chew”, which can be off-putting at first until you understand that masticating juicers more accurately simulate a natural process in order to extract the maximum amount of juice from fruits and vegetables.Masticating juicers usually contain a cutting or crushing element, which breaks up the fruit and vegetables, releasing the juice. This juicy pulp is then driven under pressure via an auger (similar in design and nature to a drill bit) against a screen that filters the juice from the pulp.
Masticating juicers usually operate at far lower speeds than centrifugal juicers, thus reducing heat and preserving the vital enzymes and nutrients in the juice. And because masticating juicers use slow torque to grind fruits and vegetables through a filter, nearly every drop of juice is separated from the pulp, resulting in far higher yields from expensive organic produce. The end result is a much thicker, purer, and more nutrient-dense juice than can usually be obtained with even high-end centrifugal juicer.
What is a Masticating Juicer Used For?
Once people become confident with the technology, masticating juicers can be used to easily and quickly make high volumes of juice from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Due to their slow auger design, masticating juicers are often far more effective from yielding juice from plants with low moisture content such as bananas, or soft, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and wheatgrass that tend to cause clogging in centrifugal juicers.
The high torque auger system in most masticating juicers also has the unique advantage that it can easily produce more complex results, such as making perfectly pureed parfaits from frozen fruits. Many masticating juicers are also equipped to “juice” and crush harder items like nuts, allowing them to produce rich and creamy nut butters. Likewise, many masticating juicers can extract the liquid content and rich nutrients from nuts like almonds or soy, producing non-dairy, 100% vegan, and completely lactose-free milks.
The unique extraction technology employed by masticating juicers also makes them excellent machines for making baby foods. By the use of a modified filter, masticating juicers can crush and homogenize a wide variety of both soft and hard vegetables and fruits, expertly blending them together to make wholesome, all-natural baby foods. With the right attachments, many masticating juicers can also be used to expertly mix and then extrude pasta in a wide variety of shapes, thus adding to the versatility of the machine. Some masticating juicers are even powerful enough to mince meat, herbs, spices, coffee beans, and other foods.
Advantages of a masticating juicer
- Extracts far higher yields of juice from expensive organic produce
- Operates at lower speeds, drastically reducing heat damage and oxidation to the juice
- Juice extracted from a masticating juicer has a much longer shelf life
- Slower speed operation makes the machine far quieter than high-speed whirring centrifugal juicers
- High torque auger system makes the machines versatile enough to also handle parfaits, smoothies, make baby food, juice even soft, leafy vegetables, as well as nut milks and nut butters
- Can extract juice from low-moisture fruits like bananas
- Tough enough to handle frozen foods to make instant smoothies
- Are designed for durability, usually covered by multi-year warrantees
- Can double as a food processor, spice grinder, and pasta machine, replacing other kitchen appliances
- Can be used to make all-natural baby food for a fraction of the cost of store-bought products
Disadvantages of a masticating juicer
- They work more slowly than centrifugal juicers
- Usually more expensive than centrifugal designs
- With more moving parts, they can sometimes require more cleaning
- Can sometimes require more prep ahead of time for bigger fruits and vegetables
- Often have smaller pulp reservoirs than comparably-sized centrifugal juicers
Things to Consider Before Buying a Masticating Juicer
Regardless of which type of juicer you plan to buy, it’s important to first sit down and make a plan as to what your juicing goals and desires are. Many people hear a news story or read an article about the health benefits of juicing and then rush out to buy a juicer before considering exactly how they plan to integrate juicing into their lives.
If you’re curious about juicing, or want to make a glass or two of juice a day from a few common fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and pears, then it’s probably best to start with an economical centrifugal model. But if your lifestyle has a strong daily juicing component, with a rich variety of recipes, then you might be ready to upgrade to a masticating juicer.
The second question to consider is whether you’re interested ONLY in making delicious, nutrient-dense juice, or whether you want a machine to replace several other kitchen appliances as well. Many compact masticating juicers do a wonderful job of extracting high yields of tasty juice but lack the torque power and attachments to make pasta, grind spices, or serve as a food processor. More versatile machines generally cost more, but can be a worthwhile investment for anyone interested in a permanent commitment to a healthier lifestyle.
It’s also important to consider the size, energy requirements, and design of the juicer. Some masticating juicers are quite large machines, taking up a significant footprint on your kitchen counter. Other models are smaller and more portable, and can easily be stowed away when not in use. Masticating juicers come in a variety of colors and designs, so it’s important to consider how well the machine will harmonize with the rest of your kitchen. If minimizing power consumption is important to you, it’s also worthwhile to note the wattage of each juicer’s motor to know how it will affect your monthly bill.
And last, but definitely not least, is investigating the cleaning process. Making juice is a messy process, and even the finest masticating machines will require disassembly and cleaning after use. Some juicers are made from components that are rated safe for dishwashers, while other units may require some hand cleaning. Many masticating juicers come with specialized brushes and cleaning utensils to properly maintain the machine, making it easier to keep the juicer looking clean for years of reliable use.
Single or Double?
Much like a bicycle, some masticating juicers are equipped with a single gear, while other machines have double geared motors. For masticating juicers with a single gear, the torque power is the same whether you’re juicing a soft fruit or a tough vegetable, which can add strain and friction to the process. Over time, single geared masticating juicers suffer from a lot more friction and stress, thus shortening their lifespan. Double geared juicers are able to ramp down to slower speeds when tasked with thicker pulp, allowing them to greatly reduce the friction load on the motor, enhancing its longevity.
Size and Storage
Nearly all masticating juicers for sale online contain important size measurements, a critical factor for deciding which juicer to buy. If you’re planning on juicing on a countertop or table with limited space, it’s important to calculate whether or not you have enough room for the machine to operate. The juicing process requires feeding fruits and vegetables into the machine, so it’s also important to remember that you will have a plate or bowl of produce next to you as you juice, so don’t forget to include this in your calculations.
Some people buy juicers for their portability, using them both at home as well as taking them to work or school in order to always have fresh juice on hand. If you participate in workshops or want to share the joys of juicing with your friends, it’s important to find a portable machine that can easily travel well.
Likewise, it’s essential to consider whether your masticating juicer will have a permanent home on your kitchen countertop, or whether you plan on storing it in a cabinet or pantry when not in use. Larger, heavier machines may be more ideally suited for a permanent spot on your counter, while smaller, shorter machines with included cord storage are better suited for keeping on a shelf or in a cabinet when you’re not using it.
Speed and Power
Completely different than centrifugal juicers, RPMs and speed is not an important factor to consider when buying a masticating juicer. Even the highest-speed masticating juicers rarely exceed 100 RPM, unlike centrifugal juicers which can easily surpass 10,000 RPM. Masticating juicers use a more powerful torque extraction process to separate juice from the pulp, so rotations per minute is not a determining factor for how well the machine can make high quality juice.
A good rule of thumb for masticating juicers is that the slower it spins, the better it will be at extracting juice. Masticating juicers able to down gear to low speeds can obtain huge juice yields from soft leafy greens like kale and wheatgrass, while the higher speeds are used for juicer fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples.
Motor power affects how much energy consumption the machine will use, but has little bearing on how effective the masticating juicer can be at extracting juice. More powerful units may work slightly faster, but it is only a small advantage, and not nearly as important as whether the unit can gear down for more difficult tasks or whether it relies on a single gear to obtain juice from a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.