You Spin Me Right Round Baby: Anatomy of a Juicer

Centrifugal vs. Masticating Juicers

There are varying schools of thought on juicers and people who prepare their own juice daily do tend to become attached to their style of juicer, whether it be a masticating or centrifugal juicer. If you’re reading this, I’m most happy that you’re considering juicing at all, which ever style you choose!

Many types of juicers are available on the market and they may differ widely in both quality and price. A centrifugal juicer is typically less expensive and is likely a great “starter juicer” for some who have never juiced at all, while a cold press juicer (also known as a masticating or slow juicer) many argue, will produce a superior quality juice as it allows for greater juice extraction from fruits and veggies and retains more enzymes from the vegetables and fruits themselves which allows for a longer refrigerated shelf life (generally up to three days). It’s likely that in juicing with this type of juicer, you will be saving money in the long run.

Let’s get to know each type of juicer a little better; hopefully, any hesitation you may have about purchasing one at all will be eliminated by the end of this!


breville centrifugal juicer

Centrifugal juicers are commonly found in retail outlets and are the lesser expensive of the two (an excellent juicer may start at $150). These juicers work to extract juice by pulverizing fruits and vegetables against a round cutting blade that spins at high speeds against a metal strainer. The centrifugal force generated by the spinning motion of the blade separates the juice from the pulp. You will end up with a bright, frothy juice on one end of the machine and the pulp remaining in a catch container on the other end. Here are the upsides: this type of juicer is easy to clean up. This juicer is quick, easy to use, easy to clean and…and this is important to many, the prep time is minimal. Because the fruits and veggies are fed through a pretty wide feeder chute, you don’t have to spend much time slicing and dicing beforehand. Even whole carrots make it through nice and easy! Here’s the downside to these juicers: they’re loud! Not many people mention this but I have kids who like to sleep in and let me tell you, I’ve resisted making a juice too early in the morning because, well, who wants to wake up to what sounds like leaf blowers in the kitchen?! Because the blade of the machine is spinning so fast, many will argue that heat is produced thereby killing some of the living enzymes before you take your first sip. Less juice is provided here and smaller leafy greens, grasses (wheatgrass), sprouts and herbs don’t juice as well here.


masticating juicer #1

These machines operate via a masticating (chewing) or cold press method. Unlike the more aggressive extraction and high speeds of centrifugal juicers, cold press juicers operate at slower speeds and gently press fruit and vegetables to “squeeze” out their juice. These juicers cost more (a good one may start at $350). Many fans of this type could argue that a higher quality juice is produced and it is true that more juice is extracted using this juicer. Here are the upsides: this type of juicer does well with sprouts, grasses, and all types of leafy greens. More juice is yielded and more enzymes are retained thereby allowing for a longer refrigerated shelf life (up to 72 hours). This juicer is quiet; no waiting until everyone in the house is awake to enjoy your green goodness! Finally, many of the masticating juicers on the market also allow for the juicing of nuts (for those of you ready to take the plunge into making your own nut milks or butters, this feature is a bonus for you). Here are the downsides: the initial cost is greater, sometimes significantly so, depending on the model. Next, there is more initial food preparation; you can’t just shove your fruits and veggies in this juicer, there’s a lot more slicing and dicing required beforehand. This type of juicer is slower; it will take more time to get to the good stuff for sure.

Here’s my take:

I just want you to start drinking juices everyday! Whether you purchase them from a reputable store that serves organic, raw green juices or you decide to invest in your own, what’s most important is incorporating them into your day. If you have never made your own juices, I would recommend that you get yourself a less expensive, centrifugal juicer. I have used the Breville Juice Fountain Plus for years and I love it! I purchased it for $150 dollars and have replaced the $50 blade a couple of times now. When I purchase a juice, it is cold pressed and for those days that I know I’ll be on the go with no time in the morning to juice myself, it’s really helpful to buy juices that I know will last up to a few days. Personally though, I love a juice made in my Breville. I have never had an issue getting plenty of juice from any fruits or veggies and juicing leafy greens have never been an issue for me here. In fairness, I had been warned about this issue so I devised a strategy of feeding smaller leaves (sprouts, for example) along with heartier ones (romaine) and have had no problem reaping all the benefits of both. And I love that it’s a little frothy on top! It tangy and fresh and, I don’t know, just somehow tastes ALIVE! Choose what will make sense for you, in your kitchen, as a part of your lifestyle! That’s what really matters here. More than anything, I want to encourage you to start to drink your greens. And, importantly, make sure, whether you purchase or make a green juice on your own, your ingredients are raw and organic, always, if that’s possible for you. Finally, enjoy!