With the health benefits of juicing becoming better known, you may be ready to take the plunge and actually purchase a juicer. There are two main categories of juicers: centrifugal juicers or masticating juicers.
Their names come from their method of operation. Simply put, a centrifugal juicer grates or shreds fruits and vegetables inside a spinning area. Centrifugal force separates the juice from the pulp. On the other hand, a masticating juicer does what it sounds like – it “chews” or crushes the fruits and vegetables as you push the cut-up pieces through a tube. Juice pours out one area while pulp is pushed out through another.
Centrifugal juicers tend to be the less expensive option. While they can handle most fruits and vegetables, they do not tend to do as good a job on greens. So if you are looking for health benefits from spinach, kale, or other dark greens, you may want to forgo a centrifugal model.
The masticating juicer tends to do a better job of actually extracting the juice. The pulp that gets pushed out will perhaps be drier than you expect, because so much juice has been extracted. That’s something to bear in mind if you’re concerned about the higher price tag of the masticating juicer. While it may cost more than a smaller centrifugal model, it’s more efficient at extracting juice.
There is also some consensus that the juice it extracts will have a longer shelf-life because it was made at a lower speed with less heat. The general understanding is that the centrifugal juicers’ higher speeds cause more foaming and oxidation in the juice that’s produced, which can cause damage to the enzymes and nutrients. Thus the juice may have slightly less nutritive value and a shorter shelf-life.
Let’s look at a full breakdown of the pros and cons for each type of juicer.
Centrifugal Juicers – Pros and Cons
- Fast juicing, takes less time than masticating juicers.
- Easy to clean. Mostly dishwasher safe.
- Handles large fruit chunks easily.
- Compact vertical design takes less counter space.
- Cheaper than masticating juicers.
- Excellent for busy/large families, events/parties — faster juicing and less food preparation time.
- Not too good with leafy greens and wheatgrass.
- Extracts less juice than masticating juicers.
- Less nutritional value. High speed and speed affects the quality of the juice.
- Juice may have more foam.
- Higher noise level. The high speed motor results in more noise.
- Shorter juice lifespan. Juice from centrifugal machines cannot be kept for long. Needs to be consumed immediately.
Masticating Juicers – Pros and Cons
- Better at extracting juice than centrifugal juicers. Higher juice yield.
- Very good at juicing leafy green vegetables.
- Higher nutritional value due to slow speed mastication.
- Can be used for other tasks (coffee grinding, herb mincing, baby food preparation etc).
- Juice has less foam.
- Less noisy. Due to the slow grinding motors, the noise level is very low.
- Longer shelf life. Because there is no oxidation, juice can be kept for more than 72 hours.
- Slow. Takes longer to juice than centrifugal juicers.
- More expensive. Prices can be much higher than centrifugal juicers.
- Needs more effort. Fruit and vegetables must be chopped into smaller manageable chunks before juicing.
- More bulky. Their larger lie flat design occupies more counter space.
So What Type of Juicer Should I Choose?
It’s simple. Consider the pros and cons of each juicer type and make a decision based on that.
I’ll make it even more easier for you…
Are you going to be mostly juicing leafy vegetables and grass? Is it very important that you juice greens every single time you use a juicer? Is the nutritional value of vegetables of greatest importance to you?
If the answer to all three questions is yes — pick a masticating juicer.
Are you mostly juicing watery fruits and only occasionally adding in vegetables? Do you like to get your juice fast without waiting too long?
If the answer is yes — choose a centrifugal juicer.
On a side note, if you can afford it…. buy both types of juicers. Get a centrifugal AND a masticating juicer. There are obvious pros and cons to each and they can complement each other very well. For example, if you’re doing fruit juice for a large gathering or party… use a centrifugal juicer. If you’re doing a hardcore vegetable only juice and have more time to spare, bring out the masticating juicer and work with that.
But if you can only buy ONE juicer, look at the pros and cons above and then make your decision based on that.
After you’ve decided what juicer type to buy, it’s time to look at what options you have available. Click this link for recommended centrifugal juicers and you can also see this link for recommended masticating juicers.