Fresh juice is a delicious and nutritious drink, and a great start to your day. With a good juicer you can enjoy your favourite combination of fruit and vegetables and even add herbs and leafy green vegetables.
Does a juicer save you money in the long run?
Juice bar takeaways can cost between $5 and $10 a hit. A daily juice may be healthier than a daily coffee, but it's certainly not cheaper. If you drink juice regularly, then investing in a juicer could save you a lot of money. Some models can be more efficient than others though, so you'll want to find one that can squeeze every last economical drop out of those fruits and vegetables.
Are juicers easy to keep clean?
If you're picturing beetroot juice splattered on your ceiling and apple pulp clogging your sink, we can understand your fears! Some juicers can be a real hassle to clean – some even leak and spray juice everywhere. Read our buying tips below to avoid getting yourself into a right old mess.
There are two types of electric juicers to choose from:
Centrifugal (fast) juicers
These spin at high speeds to pulverise the fruit or vegetables, and use centrifugal force to separate the pulp from the juice (hence their name). They're the most common, popular and affordable type of juicer.
- Often have wide feed chutes so you don't have to chop up the fruit so much.
- Can have cord storage.
- Most have dishwasher-safe parts.
- Most can juice leafy green vegetables and herbs.
- Most come with large juice jugs and pulp containers.
- Can be noisy.
- Filter can be difficult to clean, but they come with cleaning brushes.
- Can be bulky, but smaller options are available.
- Some parts spin at very high speeds resulting in significant vibration. Can have the effect that the juicer is 'walking' on the bench.
- Juice can be frothy and may not taste as good after a couple of days in the fridge.
Cold press (slow) juicers
Non-centrifugal or slow or masticating juicers can be auger (single gear), twin-gear, horizontal or vertical style. These are often called cold press juicers, but this is technically a term used to refer to a method of extracting oil from olives to produce extra virgin olive oil, so we prefer to call them slow juicers. These types slowly crush the fruit/vegetable and direct the juice and fruit out of two different chutes.
- Relatively quiet.
- Have smaller parts and are easier to clean by hand than centrifugal juicers.
- Can juice leafy green vegetables.
- Warranties are generally longer.
- Vertical types tend to have smaller benchtop footprints.
- Some models can be used for mincing; grinding coffee beans; making sausages, pasta/noodles, seasonings, nut butter, soy milk, baby food and ice cream; and making smoothies.
- Some people think the resulting juice is more palatable with less froth.
- Most have multiple parts that should be cleaned immediately after use so the juicer doesn't get sticky or stain They normally have no dishwasher-safe parts.
- Slow; models can take around 5 to 6 minutes juicing time.
- Horizontal types can be bulky, taking up valuable bench space.
- Tend to be available from specialist stores or online.
- Tend to have smaller chutes needing fruit and veggies to be cut into small pieces; and you sometimes need to give them a good shove.
Is a slow or fast juicer better for nutritional yield?
To find out, we sent samples of carrot juice, orange juice and green juice from all the juicers – nine slow and six fast juicers to a lab to be analysed for minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium). We also had the Vitamin C measured straight after juicing in the CHOICE labs. Our analysis suggests there's generally no type of juicer that fares better or worse for this, so we no longer test for this. Results can vary depending on factors such as seasonality; vitamin C deteriorates quickly so orange juice needs to be drunk straight after juicing. See our juicer reviews for results.
What about freshness?
Fiona Mair, home economist from CHOICE's test kitchen, assessed apple juice in our latest round of testing after five minutes, 24 hours and 48 hours for colour, texture, consistency, and taste, to see which juicer type produced the more palatable juice after a couple of days.
Slow juicers produce a smooth apple juice with some froth. After 48 hours the juice is fairly palatable. The smell is acceptable, it has a pleasant taste, and appearance is a cloudy pale green juice with some separation – some froth on top and sediment at the bottom.
The fast juicers don't fare as well: they produce a smooth but frothy juice, and after 48 hours there's a slightly unpleasant smell. The taste is OK but not as sweet, and there's an unpleasant aftertaste and cloudy amber appearance. There is separation with a thick oxidised froth at the top and sediment at the bottom.
Before you buy – look for the juicy details
Your juicer should have as few parts as possible, which fit together and dismantle easily. Parts should be easy to clean, with no corners or crevices to trap food and bacteria.
Unless your kitchen is huge, you'll want a juicer that takes up less space on your bench top. When you're paying a lot of money for one you want to keep it on the bench where you'll use it often; if you put it in the cupboard then you're more likely to leave it there. Juicers can be heavy, weighing around four to 10 kilos, so you don't want to be moving it around too often. Some vertical-type slow juicers are narrow in width and depth and take up less space than the fast juicers.
Needs to be big enough so you don't have to keep stopping the machine to empty it.
A large chute means pieces of fruit and vegetables don't need to be cut too small. An excellent chute size is one that can accommodate an average-sized apple.
Make sure the blade assembly can't be easily touched through the chute, especially by little fingers.
A large juice jug is preferable, with 1000ml enough to hold juice from 1kg of fruit and vegetables. You don't want to be emptying the jug halfway through processing. The jug should have a comfortable handle and a good pouring spout. Some come with froth separators or sieves.
If the juicer doesn't come with a juice jug, check that the spout is positioned to fit over a decent-sized jug.
Most slow juicers and some fast juicers have a smoothi attachment, which is great for processing soft fruits such as banana, peaches, mango and berries.
Great for cleaning around blade area and filters where fibrous bits become trapped.
Handy for keeping your bench uncluttered.
Make sure the controls are easy to reach.
Speeds (fast juicers)
Multiple speeds are ideal. High speed is good for juicing hard fruit/vegetables and low speed for softer fruit/vegetables.
Reverse feature (slow juicer)
A reverse feature is handy if you need to unclog the juicer.
Several stand (benchtop) mixers and food processors from brands such as KitchenAid, Kenwood and Magimix allow you to connect special juicer attachments to them. These are sometimes bundled with the mixer/processor already or can be purchased separately. Although this does away with having to buy a dedicated juicer, they can be a bit fiddly to operate and maintain, and they may not be suitable for certain types of fruit and vegetables.
Fast juicers range from $60 to $500, while slow juicers range from $300 to $700+. But we've found price isn't always the best indicator of performance. Some of the cheaper juicers perform just as well as the higher-end models. Check out our juicer reviews for some surprisingly juicy results.