From Season 13: Indian Classics Made Easy
While citrus reamers tackle oranges and the like, juice extractors expand the options to almost any fruit or vegetable. These machines extract liquid in one of two ways: Masticating juicers use an auger that grinds the produce and presses it against a strainer; centrifugal juicers shred and spin the food on a serrated disk. Of the six models we tested (four centrifugal, two masticating), each style yielded about the same amount of juice from a measured quantity of produce, but centrifugal juicers, which operate at a higher rpm, tended to be louder.
Noise level aside, we discovered two downsides to the juices extracted from masticating models: They didn’t have as much flavor and they didn’t taste fresh as long. When produce is cut, it releases enzymes that oxidize some of the food’s flavor compounds, a process that degrades taste (and also causes darkening). But as a juicer continues to break down the produce, some of the enzymes also get broken down, rendering them inactive. The lower horsepower of the masticating machines doesn’t kill off these enzymes as efficiently as the higher spinning rate of the centrifugal machines, leading to juice that darkened and lost flavor when we let it sit overnight in the fridge. Conversely, juice from centrifugal machines was still bright and fresh-tasting after three days in the refrigerator.
In both styles, some models made us work harder than others. Juicers with narrow (2-inch-wide) tubes had us dicing apples into bite-size morsels and cutting pineapples into skinny strips, and some required that we tediously feed the food through the chute one piece at a time. One model had a tiny receptacle for catching pulp, forcing us to constantly stop juicing to empty it. Several juicers lurched and scooted on the counter. Some had six or seven complicated parts or tight crevices that trapped food, making the models harder to assemble and harder to clean—though most models came with a plastic brush to help dislodge stray shreds from the strainers.
Only one model excelled across the board. It breezed through pineapples, oranges, apples, and kale. It was not overly loud, even though it used centrifugal technology; it was easy to assemble and clean—especially since most of its parts are top-rack dishwasher-safe; and best of all, at $149.99, it was reasonably priced.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wüsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.