The top electric juicers

Updated on 18 March 2011 | 0 Comments

It's a great way to get some of your five a day, but not all electric juicers on the market will get the most juice from your fruit. Alessia Horwich gets fruity to find the best options out there

No morning in my house is complete without a glass of juice. But whilst I usually have a swig of long-life orange before running out the door, proper juicing is actually a great way of getting your daily quota of fruit and vegetables.

Trouble is, to make your own, you need a juicer. Which ones are worth buying – and which ones aren’t?

Get the right type of juicer

The first step to great juicing is to get the right kind of juicer.

There are two main types of electric juicers on the market.

The cheaper of the two, Centrifugal juicers have a fast-rotating metal basket with small holes in the sides and a blade at the bottom. The blade pulps the fruit and the speed of the spinning pushes the juice through the holes whilst the pulp is flung into the waste compartment.

Masticating juicers chew up the fruit squeezing the juice out and depositing the pulp into a separate container.

I tried two centrifugal juicers, the Cookworks juicer (a budget option at £13.29), the Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer (£74.99) and the masticating Omega Vert VRT350 (a cool £359.99).

How good was the design?

Although all three were easy to assemble, the two centrifugal juicers take up lots of worktop space, so you’d need some storage space. The Omega Vert is more streamline, but it does weigh a hefty 10kg.

The first big difference between the three is the noise. The sheer speed of the motor on the two centrifugal models makes a racket. The Cookworks model goes so fast that you can’t leave it running for more than two minutes in case it overheats.

The Omega is quieter, but slower. The Philips juicer has a wide feeding tube (you can fit a whole apple in it) and so you can load all your fruit and then turn it on giving you juice almost instantly.

The Cookworks is also quick, but its narrow tube makes feeding in fruit tricky and unless you turn it off between each load (a fiddly job as the on/off switch is badly designed), the speed sends pulp flying everywhere.

The Omega Vert’s feeding tube is somewhere between the two, and the mechanism sucks the fruit and veg into it without you having to push it down, so you can feed as you go without getting pulp all over the kitchen.

The containers for juice and pulp on the Philips model are also big for lots of juicing between cleans, and the jug fits snugly around the juice spout so there’s no spillage.

The Omega containers are cleverly shaped to fit close to the body of the juicer and they have a lip and handle for easy pouring. However, the Cookworks juice container is small and narrow, fills quickly and indents designed to make it easier to pick up make it difficult to clean.

Which fruits work best?

All three juicers made easy work of oranges, but the pulp from the two centrifugal models was very wet, with potential juice lost. The pulp from the Omega was a bit like damp cardboard after the first pressing – almost all the juice had been squeezed out – and you can re-squeeze to get even more juice.

The Omega produced the most juice, but the Philips wasn’t far behind, leaving the Cookworks trailing.

Apples went the same way, but the centrifugal juicers don’t deal well with small soft fruits, and when I tried grapes, the pulp from the Cookworks and Philips was really very runny and I only got a small amount of juice. However, the Omega produced the same dry pulp with the grapes and a good amount of juice.

I also tried spinach, which the Omega juiced without problems. But again the centrifugal juicers produced less juice and I found almost whole bits of spinach in the pulp buckets, which was a big waste.

What was the quality of the juice like?

The speed of the centrifugal juicers puts a lot of air into the juice and there was a lot of foam on the top of the juice from both the Cookworks and the Philips, and when left to stand, the juice separated out. But the juice from the Philips had less pulp in it and was cleaner to drink once you’d scraped off the foam.

However, the juice from the Omega was so much better. Clean and crisp, foam-free and totally clear, and there was lots of it. It’s also got two different filters, so if you do like your juice pulpy you can switch to one which allows more through.

Which would I buy?

If you want to juice daily and use wheatgrass, other leafy greens or make new health juices like cherry juice then the Omega the best of the three. However, it is extremely pricey at £359.99. But if you drink a lot of juice, it could be worth it. You’ll get more juice from the fruit you buy, there’s a 10 year warranty so it will last and the quality of the juice is superior.

Alternatively, if the idea of spending that much on a juicer fills you with horror, go for a cheaper masticating juicer – like any of these at Amazon.  

If you’re not fussy about a bit of pulp and foam, the Philips is fine. However if you’re only going to juice occasionally and you’re not that fussy about having a big range of fruits, go for a lever-arm citrus juicer like this one. You’ll get a nice glass of juice and you won’t have to spend a fortune.

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