My love of juicing began by accident. A couple of years ago, I had all four wisdom teeth removed at once (not fun). Desperate for tasty foods that required zero chewing, I started visiting local juice shops, ordering everything under the sun—carrot juice, green juice, and tropical blends. You name it, I tried it. Then one day, it hit me. I could skip the fancy juice bar and make these fresh drinks at home. Even though my wisdom teeth eventually healed, my love of juice remained. And since then, my juicing journey has evolved: I’ve juiced with several kinds of juicers, branched out to different types of produce, and even tried my hand at more complicated recipes (some may have come out better than others).
Whether you’re an experienced juicer or you’re brand new to the world of juicing (hey, you have to start somewhere), the best juicers can make delicious, freshly-prepared juice with very little effort. Many juicers come with handy and speedy features like pulp containers (to make cleanup a cinch) and wide feed tubes (so you can throw in uncut produce, no problem). Some juicers even have attachments to make other foods like sorbets, nut milk, pasta, nut butter, and more.
The different types of juicers
There are two main types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating juicers. “Centrifugal juicers are fast, contain a blade, and are great for semi-firm produce like apples, beets, and celery,” Olivia Roszkowski, chef-instructor of Plant-Based Culinary Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education tells SELF. The prep time and the juicing process are quick with this type of juicer because it has a higher RPM, or revolutions per minute. While every juicer is different, Roszkowski says, “the higher the RPM, the more oxygen is mixed in, and hence more foam is created.” The oxidation also adds some juice discoloration, so if you’re not into foam, Roszkowski recommends skimming it off your cup rather than stirring it in.
On the other hand, masticating juicers use an auger (which resembles a drill) to grind and crush fruits and veggies. This can take more time since you need to cut the produce into small pieces before pushing it down the feed chute. As a result, they generally work better for leafy greens like spinach or kale. “Because the masticating auger moves so slowly, it is better able to extract juice from thinner, less watery items like leaves,” says Roszkowski. If you don’t mind waiting, a masticating juicer can give you the highest juice yields, but they also tend to come at a higher price. Roszkowski particularly enjoys masticating juicers and recommends alternating pre-cut produce, such as cucumbers and apples, with leafy greens to prevent the juicer from potentially becoming clogged.
How to choose the best juicer
When choosing the best juicer, you should consider price, ease of use, and quality. “Other things to consider when selecting a juicer include how often you will use it and variety,” Samantha Schleiger, MS, RDN, tells SELF. For example, will you use it for citrus only, or for all types of extractions, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and more? She mentions that you should consider cleanup (dishwasher-safe products) and your preferred juicing method when picking a juicer for your kitchen.
Lastly, Roszkowski adds that you should pay extra attention to the machine’s footprint, too. “Ultimately, select a juicer you see yourself using,” she says. “Do you have room to store it? Does it suit your counter space?” If you have limited cabinet or countertop space, there are many compact models available.
The best juicers
To help you figure out the best juicer for you, we asked food experts for some of their favorite picks, and we combed through reviews to search for the most loved ones available online. Below, you’ll find expert picks and popular models from highly-rated brands like Cuisinart, Breville, Nama, Hamilton Beach, Nutribullet, Omega, and more, available at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Sur La Table, Walmart, and Food52.