Whether you have been juicing for years or you’re just getting started, there are some secrets to juicing you should know. Juicing is more than simply squeezing the goodness of fruits and veggies into your glass each morning and going on about your day. To truly understand why juicing works, you need to understand how juicers work.
So, how do juicers work? Commercially available masticating juicers chew through ingredients and then press the juices out. Another juicer type is called a centrifugal juicer which is like the spin cycle on a washing machine, spinning the ingredients at high velocity to remove the juice. Twin gear juicers require more manual power to press ingredients down the chute and through the gears.
That is the simple answer, but there’s so much more to learn about how juicers work. Your knowledge of these complex machines can make or break your juicing efforts and decide the success of your healthy lifestyle.
What is a juicer?
In the simplest terms, a juicer is any machine designed to extract the natural juices from fruits and vegetables. How much juice they produce and how easily they do it will vary widely between machines. Some of this has to do with the type and quality of your ingredients, too.
Knowing which juicers work best for which types of ingredients will be key to helping you purchase the right model.
What are the main types of juicers?
Juicers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. However, the most important thing you need to understand about juicers is that they are not all designed the same. What I mean by that is that all juicers work using one of three methods. The results of your juicing sessions will depend greatly on matching the juicer type to the desired results.
Masticating juicers are also known as “slow juicers” or “cold press” juicers. They tend to take a bit longer to process the ingredients, but they often result in much more juice being extracted. It’s the age-old balance between time, effort, and desired outcome. Do you spend slightly more time and effort to make sure the result is exactly what you want? Or do you trade in satisfaction for instant gratification?
With a masticating juicer, you’re going to get better results and higher juice yields for your efforts. I definitely prefer this style. You can check out the best masticating juicers here.
How does a masticating juicer work?
The masticating juicer requires the user to cut the ingredients into manageable pieces. This is where the extra effort comes in. You can’t just cram whole carrots into a masticating juicer and expect it to work flawlessly. That’s like expecting to shove a whole carrot into your mouth and swallowing just fine. Let’s be reasonable, folks!
However, once the pieces are cut to manageable sizes, you simply drop them into the chute and the juicer does the rest. A few extra minutes cutting veggies is worth it; trust me.
Masticating juicers get their name from the way they grind and cut through ingredients. When humans chew their food, they masticate. That means grinding, crushing, and cutting foods between our teeth. Instead of chewing all our fruits and veggies, we’re letting the juicer chew them for us.
Using a slow, rotating auger deep in the machine and the natural force of gravity (yay, science!), a masticating juicer can extract every last drop of precious juice from your ingredients, making the product much healthier. Plus, when you’re able to squeeze every drop from your fruits and veggies, you’re getting your money’s worth of both the juicer and the ingredients. I can wait an extra few minutes for that.
These juicers come with a screen to catch the pulp (the solid bits left over from juicing) and send the juice down another chute and into your glass or pitcher. You can’t get any fresher than this.
The shape of the auger, the motion of grinding, and gravity all work in tandem to get your daily juice into your glass with minimal oxidation and maximum nutrition.
Hey, do you like science? Because a lot of science when into creating the lightweight and speedy centrifugal juicer. Think of these juicers like washing machines for your veggies. They spin at incredible speeds, making juicing each morning an absolute breeze.
Centrifugal juicers tend to be smaller, lighter, and less pricey than masticating juicers. They can often handle whole or nearly whole ingredients. That makes the process of getting your juice faster. However, they can’t squeeze as much juice from the fruits and veggies as a masticating juicer does. You’re trading more juice for faster speeds.
How do centrifugal juicers work?
Like the spin cycle of a washing machine, a centrifugal juicer spins the ingredients, pushing the liquids to the sides. They feed the ingredients down toward a shredding plate at the bottom. As the ingredients spin and shred, the juice is released.
The spinning motion is what really sets this kind of juicer apart. It’s less about chewing, mashing, and cutting than it is about using the force of speed to pull the juice from the fruits and veggies. It’s extremely fast, forcing the ingredients to the sides of the juicing basket while the juice flows from the bottom and into your glass.
The main downside to these types of juicers is that the pulp generally stays in the spinning basket. This makes them fill up fast, requiring frequent cleaning. This is a big problem if you want to do large batches of juice at once. The basket can also become clogged.
Twin gear style juicers may sound simple and basic, and at their core they are. However, the technology involved is rather in-depth and complicated once you dive into actually using them. They can be quite pricey, but they tend to be very efficient if you get the right one. They aren’t suitable for drier ingredients though, so be aware of how much juice your favorite foods have.
How do triturating (twin gear) juicers work?
The deceptively simple design of the twin gear juicer is appealing to a lot of newbies to juicing, but don’t let it fool you. There’s a lot going on under the hood, as they say. Unfortunately, the lower end twin gear juicers require more manual labor in the form of pushing the foods down the chute, leaving plenty of room for clogged chutes and gears. Higher end models don’t have the same issues, so if you want to go this route, don’t skimp on the cost.
The triturating juicer uses two big gears to grind and crush the ingredients. As the food is shredded and ground, it’s also squeezed, releasing the juices.
The twin gear juicers are sometimes considered newbie-friendly because it sounds so simple. It’s just two big gears, right? But that is misleading. While it is just two big gears doing the juicing work, the juicer itself has a lot of parts that must be disassembled for cleaning and then put back together. This can be frustrating for those who don’t have the time or patience to learn this procedure.
That said, twin gear juicers are efficient and powerful if you get the right kind. Stay away from bargain brands of this style and you’ll be pleased.
Which style of juicer is best?
While I wish I could answer that question, I just don’t know your personal story. For me, a masticating juicer is a clear winner. I like the versatility in these machines, but I’m not usually in a hurry to get my glass of juice done.
If you need your juice fast, you might be happier with a centrifugal juicer. If a little elbow grease doesn’t bother you, you may prefer the twin gear style.
Masticating juicers are usually quite large and can be noisy, but they can chew through just about anything. Literally. Centrifugal juicers come in a variety of sizes but can be extremely loud. Twin gear juicers come in all shapes and sizes and will either be quiet or loud.
The bottom line is that you should pick whatever juicer fits your lifestyle and your juicing goals.
What does a juicer do? A juicer is a machine that extracts the natural juices from fruits and vegetables. They can be electric or manual.
Juicer vs blender? A juicer separates the pulp from the juice of fruits and vegetables. A blender chops up the pulp (the solid parts) of fruits and vegetables, mixing it with the natural juices and any additional ingredients.
Juicers can either be complex or simple, expensive or cheap. Choosing one that fits your budget and your health goals is an important step in a healthier you. Now that you know how juicers work, your choice should be much easier.