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Which juicer to buy?

We are spending a fortune on the carrot juice at Costco and I thought it might be better to invest in a juicer. Which one?

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  1. If you can spend the money on it, go with the Champion Juicer. Best there is.

    5 Replies
    1. re: onocoffee

      How much, which model and where to buy?

      1. re: lilmomma

        I vote for the Champion too. It's about $200 and will last a long time. I still use it every year for my passover horseradish. In the 1980's I was on a carrot juice fast and was borrowing a friends centrifugal type Omega. When she needed it back is when I bought my Champion. I was halfway through a 50 lb. bag of carrots when I changed machines. The juice yield with the Champion was way more, and of a richer, sweeter, and darker quality. Under really heavy use 50 lb./wk for a year and a half, the motor did wear out and was an easy home replacement.
        I recommend using California carrots and chill them very thoroughly before juicing.

      2. re: onocoffee

        Ditto the Champion. Great juice quality, does more than just juice (do a search), and lasts forever. Get the commercial model, in black, because the nylon stains like crazy (it only came in white when I bought mine in 1988). Mine is being passed on to a friend because I just upgraded to a Norwalk. Do NOT go for any of the twin-gear or single-auger machines from Korea--they're mostly plastic and don't hold up in the long run, plus they subject the juice to a goofy magnetic charge that actually kills the enzymes (and why bother with the hassle of making juice if you're going to kill it?). Juicing is work, regardless of the machine, but you'll get the best juice for your efforts from a Champion and if you treat it right, it'll last forever.

        1. re: MacGuffin

          The champion is all nylon and stains are easily removed by soaking in bleach.

          1. re: phantomdoc

            I've had no luck with that but it doesn't matter much--the machine's longevity has been amazing. I only hope that my friend treats my old retiree with the respect it deserves.

      3. I really like my Breville one. It basically has 4 parts to clean only. Easy to assemble, easy to disassemble. If your juicer is a pain to clean, you will use it less. Trust me on that one. Make sure when you check out juicers, you ask the sales person if you can have a chance to take it apart and put it back together again so you get a feel for it.

        I got the IKON, but they are pretty much more or less the same design. The rest is about looks and if you care about how much plastic or not. William and Sonomas has a different die-cast Breville juicer that's exclusive to them. It has another disk/attachment that is better for soft fruits like berries and tomatoes. If you have a kitchenaid, I think that money could be better spent on the fruits/vegetable strainer attachment instead because I believe you're likely to retain more of your juice that way than having it ejected with the pulp.

        I would suggest you go with a model with a metal chute, no matter what you buy. The force exerted on the walls of chute can cause it to break over time if it is plastic due to the force of grinding the carrots. The force is then transferred to the chute. If it isn't strong enough, it will eventually crack.

        1 Reply
        1. re: moreana

          We've had the Breville Two-Speed Juice Fountain Plus for a few years and we love love love it. I've used it for everything from watermelon, apples, carrots and ginger to citrus for pitchers of margaritas. The pulp that comes out is always very dry, and it's really easy to clean by hand (but is also dishwasher safe).

          http://www.amazon.com/Breville-JE95XL...

          I know someone who has the super duper Breville one (http://www.amazon.com/Breville-800JEX...), and he loves it as well. Having used both frequently, I am totally satisfied with the cheaper one that we have.

        2. Can I ask a question? How does a juicer work? If you put unpeeled fruit in, and it separates the juice from the "pulp"... don't orange seeds and skin taste bitter? What happens to the seeds?

          And do you.. can you put bananas in? Peeled, to make a smoothy.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Soop

            There are several types of electric juicers. From wikipedia:

            -------------------------------------------------

            There are three main types of juicer: centrifugal juicers use blades and a sieve to separate juice from pulp; masticating juicers that 'chew' fruit to a pulp before squeezing out the juice; and, triturating juicers that have twin gears to first crush fruit and then press it.

            Masticating and triturating juicers can also juice wheatgrass unlike centrifugal juicers that cannot break the fibers of the grass.

            The single auger masticating juicer uses a profiled screw style moulding to compact and crush fruit and vegetable matter against a static screen allowing juice to flow through the screen while pulp is expelled through a separate outlet.

            Twin gear triturating machines are usually the most expensive juicers offering the best juice yield. Twin gear juicers employ two metal counter rotating gears to crush the juicing fodder. The precise tolerance of the gears allows the juice to flow through the gap between the gears while the large pulpy matter passes along the top of the gears and is discharged.

            -------------------------------------------------

            You wouldn't put a whole orange in there- for things with inedible-when-raw peels, like citrus and bananas (I prefer to put my bananas in the blender, though), you'd peel them. My juicer is a centrifugal one, so the seeds shoot out with the pulp into a separate container. I am not sure how masticating juicers handle seeds.

            1. re: sfumato

              Your Wikipedia article sounds a tad biased and is, in fact, inaccurate. Where's the mention of triturating/hydraulic press juicers? These are the most expensive and offer the best juice yield because they exert at least 2,000 of pressure on pulp to force out the juice--there's no possible way that a mostly plastic machine that probably costs $40 to build in Korea can compete with that. Twin-gear juicers tend to be made of plastic, including the lion's share of the gears themselves (which crack in a few years). They dull quickly, making it very hard to push things like carrots into the feeding tube. The exception to this would be the Super Angel, which is still being sold, although I've been told that the manufacturer has gone out of business, IOW: useless warranty. For that matter, I understand that the extras that came with that machine were abominably cheap, plus paint flakes off. In addition, I've read a number of reviews stating that customer support is poor for Korean-made juicers, i.e., the twin-gear and some of the single-auger. Go with a Champion--mine is vintage 1987 and still works fine. I think they're assembling in Mexico now but I understand that the quality is still excellent, plus the business is based here--no branch office representing an off-shore company. For the record, it chews up seeds, which I prefer for juices such as grape. You get a more complex, cream-of-tartarish flavor which takes the edge off its extreme sweetness.

              1. re: MacGuffin

                Cranky! ;)

                I don't know anything about other juicers, so I didn't know to mention triturating/hydraulic press juicers because I didn't know they existed.

                You're saying it's inaccurate by omission?

                Anyway, like I said, our Breville has been put through the wringer for a good 4 years now, and it's still a workhorse- no noticeable deterioration. The pulp that comes out is very dry, and we like the juice it produces. We are very happy with it.

                1. re: sfumato

                  Hmm, I was unaware that correcting incaccurate info was cranky. Ah, well. And I wasn't blaming you. I merely pointed out that the Wikipedia article was inaccurate. The fact that an entire category of juicers/method of juicing was omitted--the one that actually happens to produce the most juice--seems to indicate that it's biased as well. So in short, yes, it's inaccurate by omission.
                  One of my friends has a Breville but is planning to buy a Champion to replace it. I think he's not happy with its performance on leafy greens. A Champion isn't perfect for leafy greens, but I've found that if they're juiced with some fruit, the yield and quality are quite good, as is the taste. I especially enjoyed juicing fresh pineapple with a bit of curly parsley--for some reason, "green" really complements pineapple, especially if it's sweet.

                  1. re: MacGuffin

                    Nah, it was just the tone- came off a little aggressive! Perhaps it's just due to the usual problems with message boards: hard to extract intended tone.

                    The closest they get is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_W...

                    Maybe you ought to add a section to that Wiki article!

                    Anyway, same with ours- the leafy greens work much better hen wrapped in or around other fruit or veggies. I like V-8, so I do a lot of vegetable juices with the greens.

                    1. re: sfumato

                      I just bought a Norwalk <a week ago (the fulfillment of a 21-year dream, I might add); when I began doing research on juicing in 1988, I knew there was no way I could afford such a machine so I settled on second-best. I've read that you can achieve pretty similar results and yields by grinding with a Champion and then pressing with a K&K press or another juice press if you can find one. It's a much cheaper option to buying a Norwalk (but not nearly as cool, plus it takes up a lot more real estate). That's why I was somewhat peeved that whoever penned that Wiki article didn't mention the method. It really does produce the most juice. How could it not? Pulp is being subjected to a ton of pressure (I think some of the hand-presses claim more). But you have to be a zealot to get that involved, although it's the best way to go for cancer patients. Something MUCH cheaper works just fine for most people and as was noted previously, unless it's easy to clean (and weirdly enough, my Norwalk is a breeze--no screen to scrub, no plastic to stain), it's not going to get used.
                      I'll occasionally proof/edit a Wiki entry but compose one? Nah!

                      1. re: MacGuffin

                        How much do Norwalks run (if i can ask)? Are they super pricey?

                        1. re: sfumato

                          VERY. And in fact, the ONLY reason I was able to buy it was because I'd won money the week before. You can check them out here: http://www.norwalkjuicers.com/index.p... , and here: http://www.nwjcal.com/video.htm .
                          Your machine sounds like it's probably the easiest juicer to clean; this one is easier than masticating juicers like the Champion and the twin-gear models (unless you're making peanut butter or grinding cook meats, it just rinses clean). And you really do have to be kind of nuts or very ill (i.e. a cancer patient) to want something like this (I freely admit to being the former and hope to avoid being the latter). But the juice has no equal; it's like nothing you've ever tasted. It's so rich, it's almost like a liquer.

                          1. re: MacGuffin

                            Here is a u-tube video. It is worth watching. I've offered to put a woodworking vice in the Kitchen but the SO vetoed that.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf7tjE...

                            1. re: Paulustrious

                              That's actually the video in the second of the two links I posted; I think it's semi-associated with the Gerson Institute (cancer treatment) in California. The machine shown is the model prior to the newest one (they're very similar). The first link is more recent.

                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                Whoops - missed that - I saw the two links as one.

          2. http://www.omegajuicers.com/9000w.html

            I saw this one at a show once, and it looked amazingly easy to clean!!

            5 Replies
            1. re: BamiaWruz

              The Omega that I used (20 years ago) looked the same as in the link. If you are making a large quantity of juice you have to stop and empty the pulp, and paper filter, if you are using one, after every few pounds of carrots. If you are not using paper filter, you will have to spend more time scrubbing the tiny bits of pulp from the screen.

              1. re: BamiaWruz

                They're all a pain to clean to some extent. Given that, go with something that gives you the best quality for your efforts--isn't that one of the reasons you want fresh juice rather than commercial? The Champion's juice is of higher quality than that of a centrifugal juicer.
                For what it's worth, Omega is considered a very fine centrifugal juicer; they took over the Olympic brand which was touted as the very best of the centrifugals in the late 80's. I imagine they're still really good machines if you want to go that route. They used to be US-manufactured but I don't know whether or not this is still the case.
                Phantomdoc, you've had both machines; I've only had the Champion--which is actually easier to clean?

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    Cool! I have a friend talked into a Champion Commercial; I'll send him the link.

                  2. re: MacGuffin

                    Sorry that it took 3+ years to reply, The Champion is easier to clean.

                1. I bought the Jack Lalane yesterday at Costco ($89), as a machine to start on. totally new at juicing, I looked at Vitamix (still want one), and the Brevilles. I know I will buy a better one eventually, but am somewhat untrusting of my own 'this-looks-like-a-good-idea-today' impulse.

                  Anyway, used it today, first time - wow - was that delicious, easy, and easy to clean up.

                  I'm loving the discussion - thanks everyone - this is a great forum. :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Gretchen703

                    Congratulations and I hope you stick with it! A juicer needs to be used, regardless of how cheap or dear it is--one of the most dedicated advocates of juicing I know started with an inexpensive Braun back in the '70s. Should you decide you want to spend more later on, I reiterate my suggestion for a commercial Champion, especially now that there's an optional attachment available that allows it to effectively process leafy greens.

                  2. FWIW, I have the Champion. It has not let me down in any way. A Hell-For-Stout induction motor.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Hi, Taleo!

                      FWIW to anyone interested, the greens attachment for the Champion is getting a pretty consistent thumbs-down from Amazon users. Very disappointing, especially given Plastaket's reputation for producing high-quality juicers. :(

                      1. re: MacGuffin

                        Hey, Mac!

                        In fairness, I don't juice any greens and don't have the attachment, so maybe that is its Achilles Heel.

                        Talofa,
                        Taleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          It would seem so. I keep up with what's new in juicing and have long been a big fan of the Champion. I was so hoping that this was going to expand its customer base but lots of folks are complaining that the damned attachment is very short-lived and to add insult to injury, it's not cheap. How long have you had your Champion?

                          Talofa!

                          1. re: MacGuffin

                            Hi, Mac:

                            About 10 years, but it was in service long before that, Mod # G5-NG853S.

                            T

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Their longevity never fails to impress me. An excellent appliance.

                        2. re: MacGuffin

                          How does the base Champion model (w/o the greens attachment) do with in-between leafy greens like Kale? I won't be juicing wheatgrass, but I do like Kale.

                          1. re: csb95

                            You'd need to juice it along with something wetter, like a fruit. Kale's pretty dry and stringy so if you're planning on doing just greens, the Champion might not be a good fit.

                            Why don't you take a few minutes to call someone at Plastaket and run your needs by them? It's a toll-free call and they won't BS you: http://www.championjuicer.com/ . And for all I know, they might have improved the attachment by this time.

                            1. re: MacGuffin

                              Thanks so much! I'll give them a call.

                              1. re: csb95

                                If it's not too much trouble, let us know what happens.

                      2. Chek out Jay Korditch's Power Grind Pro. Tons of juice and little to no foam. I love mine!

                        1. @MacGuffin - I just registered on this site to ask you about your Norwalk. I am an acupuncturist who also specializes in diet. Coming to the realization that my patients simply don't have the time to prepare and ingest the variety of vegetables that I am suggesting, I have decided to set up a small business preparing individualized juices for each one. Some of my patients are very ill. I need the highest quality with no plastic, one that can potentially put out volume, and one that I can clean.

                          It seems, based upon everything I've read so far, that the Norwalk is the best for my purposes. Yet I read glowing reviews of the Super Angel and some people think the juice is even better quality. Also, some people recommend getting the Norwalk with the Wells presser. Why is that? Doesn't the Norwalk have press? Also I really would like to stick with one juicer - what do you recommend for my purposes?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sigmundine

                            This is flattering. :) Seriously, though, one thing at a time (I taking juicing and blending VERY seriously). And I'm going to suggest that we take this over to a thread I tried to start a long time ago and to which no one responded (a search for "Norwalk" doesn't pull it up, either): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608271 . I have responses to your questions ready and waiting to post as soon as you show up there. And to anyone else reading this who's interested in the Norwalk, feel free to migrate. :)

                          2. I have an Omega masticating juicer and it is really fantastic - easy to clean, and great juice.

                            The one issue that's not listed in the guide above is that the Omega juicer (and maybe most masticating juicers) don't do soft-pulp fruits like oranges very well. The juice backs up in the augur. It is fantastic for hard vegetables like carrots, and greens like kale or wheatgrass. You can juice a small amount of soft-pulp juice with no problem, as long as you alternate with hard vegetables like carrots to clear the pulp.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: calumin

                              I used a Champion for years and never had a problem with soft fruit.

                              1. re: calumin

                                calumin, i have the white Hurom and i believe we have the same experience with hard vs soft veg... also, i have to really cut celery and pineapple pretty fine, or the fiberous matter clogs mine, so i alternate fiberous with soft. I still like a masticating juicer: i don't find it a problem to feed different things in the tube in alternating fashion!

                                I still love my vertical juicer: it is quiet (very important to me), easy to clean, small footprint, quick and makes a LOT of amazing juice - very dry pulp. Ilike it a lot.

                              2. Only one comment on the Jack LaLane model? Well, the man himself sold me the juicer I have, 35 years ago. I use it every day and it has never failed me. Easiest thing to wipe out and clean. The pulp gets bagged and used for smoothies and baked goods-no waste. I enjoy fresh vegetable and fruit juices in the AM, in cocktails, etc.

                                I know there are super mega models out there for big bucks. Brands that multitask. The JLaL model cost me a whopping $100 bucks back then and has stood the test.

                                http://www.powerjuicer.com/power-juic...
                                Today you can road test a machine for less than $20.00

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Given the reviews on Amazon, I doubt the quality is the same as it was when you bought yours.

                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                    I have no idea, MacG. Has the machine changed that much over the years?

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      You tell me; here are the titles of a number of Amazon reviews: "Had it a few months and then it broke," "planned obsolescence on steroids !," "Do not buy! - major design flaw,"
                                      "Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! Shame on Jack...," "Juicer got juiced after a week," "BEWARE...cracked plastic screw after only 1st use.," "clogged very early, and broke in 2 months," "RIP-OFF! Rip-Off! Riiiiip-Off!," "Got 3 defective units :-(," and my personal favorite, "POS ALERT." Mind you, these were just a few of many.

                                      I haven't been juicing as long as you (1988) but I keep up with the technology (such as it is). I remembered that the LaLanne juicers got hosed on Amazon by owners. There was still a manufacturing base here 35 years ago; maybe that's why yours still works. It's certainly why I tell those who are set on a centrifugal juicer to check eBay for 1950's - 1970's Acmes. They still work beautifully and I'm pretty sure the filters are still available.

                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                        I haven't kept up with the technology or the history on the LL machine. I have seen new machines in use though and see no reason to buy a new one at this time. Thanks for the info though.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          You're right--why fix something that's not broken? Hang on to the one you have--they were clearly better machines at one time. And BTW, I used to love watching him and his two white Shepherds on TV when I was a kid.

                                2. Here's another factor you should consider if your main goal is to save money on carrot juice.

                                  I just pulled out the juicer that has been sitting unopened in my cabinet for 6 months. Its an Elite Personal Juice extractor that I bought for on clearance for $19.99!

                                  So, today I just juiced an entire 1 pound bag of organic carrots. The whole bag yielded a very tiny (maybe 4 oz) glass of carrot juice.
                                  Now, I'm not sure how others compare, or even if I was using it properly, but it occurred to me that maybe a higher quality juicer would have yielded more ..if not, I don't think you would be saving a whole lot over buying Costco juice,

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: susanbethcloud

                                    You're right--you don't know how others compare. A good juicer is a quality piece of equipment that give you more than decent yield and I'm guessing you used baby carrots. Juice yield isn't proportionate to weight--a lb. of baby carrots vs. a lbs. worth of adult carrots aren't going to give you the same amount of juice which is why I NEVER buy baby carrots for juicing, even though they're already peeled. I buy only the largest young carrots I can find.

                                    A cheap juicer not only lacks the mechanical chops to extract a lot of juice but it doesn't grind the produce well enough to release its juices.

                                    1. re: susanbethcloud

                                      Except the carrot juice I juiced at home isn't pasteurized like most of the store bought today is. Which is important to me.

                                      For me it's not about saving money, it's about having the freshest healthiest product.