Which juicer should we buy for our juicing needs?
April 16, 2014 1:22 PM   Subscribe

We are interested in juicing everything from leafy greens to soft fruits to beets/carrots. I love the idea of the Omega J8003/8004 because of how good it is supposed to be with kale, and I love the idea of making nut butters and pasta, but I would hate to not be able to make pineapple or kiwi juice. Is it really as terrible for soft fruits as some reviewers claim?

I will be juicing primarily "healthy" green juices with a fruit thrown in for sweetness. My boyfriend will be juicing primarily fruit juices, maybe with a vegetable thrown in as long as he can disguise its taste. The pasta extruder/nut butter grinder feature of the Omega juicer is definitely a "nice to have" but not necessary. Which juicer should we get?

Do you have an Omega masticating juicer? If yes, how does it do with soft fruits? How does it handle oranges? Or do you have another juicer that is good at juicing EVERYTHING that you can recommend?
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Sweethome tells you more than you wanted to know about the how and why of picking items. They have articles on general juicers and citrus specific juicers.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:46 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not really a juice aficionado, but we had the vertical Omega masticating juicer. It was nice and it worked well, but it was a giant pain to clean. It also took some babysitting to feed the items, after making sure things were cut down to a small enough size. (We couldn't just feed a whole stalk of celery, for example.) And if you didn't clean it in a timely manner, the fiber got stuck in the mesh basket and you had to really scrub it out (instead of just lightly brush it out).

We now have a Vitamix blender, which is not a juicer. (There are also debates on whether you should eat everything, including fiber, when juicing or not.) However, it's fast to throw things in and it's fast and easy to clean. It blends for 45 seconds, and it takes about 1 minute to clean. (Literally. We timed.) We've been juicing basically every day since we bought it, whereas we only used the masticating juicer about once a week, and then not at all. We do about half fruits, half veggies (spinach and carrots, mostly), with some (homemade) yogurt and flax seed oil. Of course, we've also done other variations and made margarita and sorbet in it.

If we just want a small quantity of lemon juice for cooking, we use a hand squeezer thing.

We are 2 full time working professionals. So quick and easy is really important to us. We are also undecided about whether including all fibers are good for you. You may have other constraints w.r.t. time and fiber intake.
posted by ethidda at 2:14 PM on April 16, 2014

I have that model Omega juicer and love it. Super easy to set up and clean. Softer fruit will work, although you might occasionally need to filter out excessive pulp. A hard kiwi is fine, not so much a soft one. Pineapple works fine. I've also done oranges with no problems.
posted by perhapses at 2:22 PM on April 16, 2014

America's Test Kitchen reviewed a bunch of juicers and ultimately chose the same one that I own, the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. I love it- low speed for soft fruits/veg and high for the more dense fruit/veg. For a juicer, it pretty easy and quick to clean.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:20 PM on April 16, 2014

We too have the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. We absolutely love it. I would recommend it.
posted by Kitteh at 4:28 PM on April 16, 2014

Another vote for the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. I used to have a masticating juicer, and I disliked it, although I was sad to let it go because nut butter. It was a terrible pain to clean, however, and definitely needed to be babied when feeding fruits and veg in.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 11:01 PM on April 16, 2014

I have that Omega too. Different models slow juicers really can't be compared when it comes to cleaning. This one is easy to clean (that was one of my main considerations in choosing it). I usually just put everything in the dishwasher, but even washing by hand is very fast. I do agree though that it's not very good for soft fruit. I make apple juice a few times a year, and it's not a big deal to clean the screen after a few apples (and different kinds of apples would of course make a difference), but it's definitely not ideal (this is only an issue for pure apple juice - it handles it just fine if I make say apple/carrot juice and only have one apple among other ingredients). For oranges I still juice a simple citrus press, that just seems easier. If I wanted to juice a lot of soft fruit I think I would look at either a vertical slow juicer (no experience, but I read they are better with soft fruit) or buy both the Omega 8004 and a centrifugal juicer, which is still less expensive than some high end juicers cost by themselves, but I can imagine not wanting to have two big appliances.
posted by blub at 1:32 AM on April 17, 2014

I also vouch for breville. Went on a ten day juice fast with mine, and could not be happier! It even juices rind, has very few pieces compared to other juices, and is really easy to clean.
posted by Kestrelxo at 12:49 PM on April 18, 2014

I own the Breville and love it. Only two complaints are that I melted a pitcher in the dishwasher and had to replace for $27 and the place where the power cord goes into the machine is one of the most awkward choices in a kitchen appliance I have ever seen.

With that said, I have owned many juicers and Breville is making the best ones IMHO.

We are thinking of getting a Breville Juice Presser and pressed juice is so much better than extracted.

posted by silsurf at 11:54 AM on April 20, 2014

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