The juicer market can be complicated and confusing. We tested nine models, juicing more than 95 pounds of produce to find a winner.
Published Mar. 9, 2021. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 23: Cherry and Berry Desserts
Juicing at home saves money, allows more control over juice ingredients, and can be more convenient than buying premade juice—if you invest in the right juicer. To find the best model, we assembled a lineup of nine juicers, priced from about $69 to about $450, and put them to the test, juicing more than 95 pounds of carrots, kale, and grapes. We evaluated how easy they were to assemble and operate, their speed and efficiency, the quality of their juice, and how simple they were to clean and maintain. We were looking for a speedy, efficient model that produced great-tasting juice.
All juicers work in roughly the same way: They process fruits and vegetables into pulp and then force the pulp through a fine filtration screen, leaving the solids behind and creating, well, juice. The two main types of juicers—centrifugal and masticating—process produce differently. Both types have their pros, cons, critics, and devotees, and it’s important to know the differences before buying one. To get a full picture of what’s available to consumers, we tested both types.
Centrifugal juicers process produce by using a shredding disk (similar to that of a food processor), which is housed in a finely perforated filter basket. As the food is shredded into pulp, the spinning disk flings the pulp against the sides of the filter basket. The centrifugal force separates the juice, which is dispensed into one container, from the pulp, which is deposited into a second container. Centrifugal juicers are known for being relatively inexpensive and fast. But their swiftly spinning blades and powerful motors have given them a reputation for heating produce and introducing too much air, purportedly creating slightly warm, frothy juice.
During testing we found the centrifugal juicers to be powerful and loud. Some models wobbled and walked on the counter as they processed food, sometimes coming dangerously close to the edge of the sink or counter. And they were often messy: Some machines flung food from their feed tubes and onto our kitchen surfaces (and ceiling). But they can accommodate a lot of food at once; the models we tested have 3-inch-wide feed tubes that fit whole carrots, small apples, or entire leaves of kale, which eliminated the need for food prep. And they’re fast: Every centrifugal model in our lineup powered through a pound of carrots (about six carrots) in less than 50 seconds, with the fastest clocking in at 34 seconds.
Masticating juicers (also called “slow” or “cold-press” juicers) don’t have sharp blades. Instead, they use a spinning screw-shaped press called an auger to grind pr...
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.