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A lot of the juicers I see are really expensive, which makes me wonder if they have any significant benefit over my current food processor. I found a few articles (e.g. this one) which seem like they're saying that there's no huge difference between the two.

Do juicers just exist for people who are ultra enthusiastic about getting the best juice possible, or does someone who just wants to make juice once or twice a week need one?

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I think there's a big crazy going on now with Jucing.. I can imagine it's fun and healthy, but yea, they're getting expensive.. –  notthetup Jul 5 '11 at 9:03
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Depends on what you're juicing. If you're juicing something like a lemon/lime for lemon/limeade, you can just strategically slice and squeeze to get all but a couple mLs of juice.

If you're juicing something like an apple, you can cook it slightly and then use your food processor to make apple sauce, which can these be squeezed through a cheesecloth/pillowcase for a great deal of juice.

For everything else (practically at least), a manual juicer (like this) will do just fine and cost a maybe a few bucks.

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Your second link explains the main types of juicers. Here's another page with much the same information, including links to various brands of juicers.

  1. Centrifugal juicers first grate the food, then extract the juice by spinning a strainer basket at high speed.
  2. Masticating juicers use an auger in a sleeve to chew up the food and extract the juice by crushing it.
  3. I'd never heard the term "triturating" before this, I thought these were simply called twin-gear masticating juicers. In any case, they also chew up the food, and extract the juice by crushing it, in this case between the two interlocking gears.

I had to go to the fourth page of your Amazon to find the current version of the juicer we bought 14 years ago - the Angel One. It's a twin-gear juicer, cost us over $1000 at the time, it's REALLY heavy, but it does work well. Most reviews of different juicers say that a masticating type will extract more juice than a centrifugal and do it with less friction heating. I don't know if heating the food while extracting the juice is really an issue, but our juicer really is excellent at getting all the juice out very quickly. The pulp that comes out is very dry, although I tend to run orange or grapefruit pulp through a second time to get every bit of juice out.

So, like many things, there are some advantages to the very high-end equipment, but in addition to the $$, there are other trade-offs you have to think about before going that route in a juicer.

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Juicers are like those little slap-and-chop things; they might be a little easier, but they're really not necessary.

There's nothing you can do with a juicer which a you cannot accomplish using a hand reamer or combination of a blender/food processor and a strainer/chinois/cheesecloth.

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If you're looking to liquify and maintain the fiber, you may want to consider a Vitamix. It's a high end blender, which can be used for more than just juicing which gives it added value. It runs about $400USD.

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If you go this route, you can remove skin, seed fragments, and pulp by using a fine chinois as a filter, and pressing the solids at the bottom with a ladle to extract the last bit of liquid/puree. –  BobMcGee Jul 6 '11 at 5:14
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