Centrifugal juicers, they’re cheap but are they right for me?

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Centrifugal juicers
Centrifugal juicers

When Wade and I first started to look into the benefits of juice therapy as a way to improve health, the first thing we were struck by was the number and variety of juicing machines on the market. Today the question of which juicer to choose is even more complicated than it was 10 years ago.

Juicing, as you have probably noticed? Has exploded onto the health scene in the last decade, a number of manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon with different designs of juicer, this has made the decision of which juicer to choose infinitely more difficult and there seems to be little correlation between price and product quality.

Phillips Centrifugal juicer

Where do I start?

As with most people who start out juicing, the first juicer Wade and I invested in was the one that we could get hold of on the high street, I went out and got an off the shelf juicer as I didn’t know what else to buy and didn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on something that would sit around in the kitchen taking up space and gathering dust.

I think most people go down this route and the results can be seen by looking at the number of cheap second hand centrifugal juicers available on ebay.

The fact that you can pick this type of juicer up second hand for little money doesn’t say to me that they aren’t a worthwhile product or that a lot of people have been unhappy with their purchase it just means that there are generally more of these around in the marketplace and lots of people buy an entry level machine and then move on to more advanced forms of juicing.

Our first juicer

The juicer Wade and I first invested in was the Phillips HR1854 centrifugal juicer which you can see here.

Wade Tates first juicer
Wade Tates first juicer

There wasn’t any real thought or research that made us choose this juicer over any other, it was just what was available to us locally.

I paid around £60 for the juicer but you can get this type of juicer for less than half that price these days, sales volumes have increased and prices have naturally fallen enabling more people to enter the world of juicing

How cheap is cheap?

As most people quickly find out, juicing fruits and vegetables isn’t a low cost affair (especially when using berries) and there are a couple of ways you can look at it. You can buy a cheap juicer and get a lower quality juice with a lower juice yield (the amount of juice extracted per fruit) or you can buy a more expensive juicer and get a better yield with a better quality of juice. It all depends on what you intend to use the juicer for and how long you intend to make juicing part of your health regimen.

You need to discover what juicing is all about

Most peoples main priority when buying their first juicer is price and to be fair, this is the way you should go unless you are truly determined and committed to health renewal.  You need to discover what juicing is all about, the cost of the fruit, whether you can be bothered to invest the time in sourcing the best and most interesting produce and even if you have the space in your kitchen for another large appliance.

Centrifugal juicers are cheaper to purchase at the outset but they do take more fruit and make less juice so what you save on the actual juicer you quickly spend on fruit and vegetables. A lot of your produce will go into the pulp bin and ultimately into the trash as there are little to no practical uses for the left over pulp.

How does a centrifugal juicer work?

The Centrifugal juicer as it’s name suggests works on the principles of centrifugal force. The fruit is passed into the opening at the top of the juicer (in most cases whole) travels down the chute and into the main body of the juicer.

juicer screen from a centrifugal juicer
juicing screen from a centrifugal juicer

Your fruit then comes into contact with what is best described as a circular cheese grater that spins at high speed.

As the fruit comes into contact with the spinning grater the fruit is cut away and thrown outwards at high speed into the perforated outside edge of the grater and into walls of the plastic container, this force is what separates the juice from the fruit, the pulp is kept above the grater and the juice is allowed to flow through the perforations into a separate juice jug.

Pros and Cons

  • Because of the pressures and the heat generated in dismantling the fruit at high speed the quality of the nutrients contained in the juice are diminished.
  • This fairly crude method of juice extraction doesn’t actually squeeze the juice from the pulp so a lot of the juice is not extracted and remains in the pulp.
  • The juice machine cannot differentiate between large pieces of processed pulp and large chunks of unprocessed fruit, you often end up with large chunks of un-juiced fruit in the pulp bin
  • You cannot juice Wheatgrass with this type of juicer
  • You cannot juice Coconut with this type of juicer

 If you are experimenting with juicing and want to see if it’s for you, there are benefits to starting off with a juicer of this type

  • Cost of entry, this is the most cost effective ways of getting into juicing for a short period of time or just to try it out
  • Ease of use, these machines tend to be very easy to clean and operate
  • Preparation time, these machines are very quick to use, you can throw anything up to the size of a large Apple down the chute without the need for cutting and peeling and juice the whole thing in seconds.
  • Cleaning. Most of the components are dishwasher safe or can be rinsed out very quickly making cleaning very easy, usually there are only 4 part to clean, the most difficult being the juice screen
  • Exit cost, if you find juicing isn’t for you it wont have cost you a fortune and you can recoup some of your money by selling your juicer on ebay

Would I buy this type of juicer again?

The short answer to that is yes, if I were in the same position today as I was 10 years ago then yes, I would go out and buy this machine again because I didn’t know back then if juicing would become a part of our daily routine.

Would I buy one of these machines if I knew what I know now? No, of course not. This is only because the customer who purchased this machine 10 years ago and the customer I am now are very different people with different expectations and different needs.

Would I advise you as a beginner to buy one of these machines? Yes, because juicing is as much a process of self discovery as it is a process of learning about the juices, vitamins, nutrients and flavours that help you and your body in the healing process.

Understanding what your body needs and the best, most efficient way of getting it is as valuable a lesson as any lesson you can learn, we are all very different in our needs and expectations but we are also very different in what we can sensibly afford. I always look at purchases such as this as an investment, an investment in your health and future wellness and you can’t really put a price on that.

 

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