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Comparing Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicers

Home juicing has become more popular than ever. However, a key question remains: which juicer should I get? With the enormous variety and difference between the different types: masticating vs centrifugal juicers, horizontal or vertical, quick or slow; the choices from which to choose can be mind-boggling, and citrus presses or smoothie makers have not even been listed!

As the health benefits of juicing continue to take center stage in our search for a healthier lifestyle, it becomes even more important to ask what sort of juicer to get. Here we distill the characteristics of the two main juicer types, masticating vs centrifugal juicers, and briefly compare them.

Centrifugal juicer

Centrifugal Juicers

Centrifugal juicers work in a manner that is quite similar to a very fine grater. Pieces of fruit are moved with a very fine mesh onto a rotating grating plate. The grating and spinning action combination removes the liquid from the fruits and directs it to a spigot tube in which a cup is placed. Inside the system itself, the used pulp is then gathered in a chamber.

This is the better-known form of juicer, generally less expensive and more readily available. These centrifugal juicers tend to be louder and work faster, thus producing more heat, ideal for harder fruits and vegetables. It is this heat that is supposed to be less optimal and that can cause fruit vitamins to be denaturized. If, however, you’re eager for a fast-fresh juice with minimal work in the morning, then these juicers can do the trick.

Pros:

  • Cheaper to purchase
  • Fast!
  • Has a larger feeder tube for produce (easier to prep)
  • Best for carrots and other hard fruits and vegetables

Cons:

  • Louder machine
  • Juice has a shorter shelf life due to oxidation
  • Yields less juice, more foam, wetter pulp

Masticating Juicers

The new breed of juicers that operate by ‘wringing’ the pulp of the fruit and vegetables in order to extract the juice are masticating juicers, also known as Slow Juicers. The machine presses the fruits against a mesh in relatively slow revolutions, centered on a cork-screw shaped masticator, called the auger, to decrease the amount of heat produced.

The masticating juicer delivers the juice through a tube, similar to that of the centrifugal juicer, particularly good for extracting juice from leaves and other soft fruit, and milk from nuts, while the processed pulp is externally churned out.

Masticating Juicer
For those looking to optimize the health benefits of juicing, the masticating juicer appears to be the juicer of choice, typically more costly than the centrifugal juicer. These were traditionally designed to operate horizontally with the auger pressing the fruit horizontally, but the newer models are now comparable to the vertical processing centrifugal juicers, allowing for a smaller footprint on the kitchen countertop.
Vertical Masticating Juicer

Other features include pasta extruders (make your own spaghetti or tagliatelle, food processor, and grinder) in a masticating juicer.

These juicers perform very well on both hard and softer materials, such as green leafies or grapes, despite the slow speed. The consistency of juice is high: the juice is thick, fresh, has very little foam in it, and can last for a day for two. Because the materials are squeezed very slowly, there is no heat in the juice to kill the enzymes and antioxidants.

Masticating juicers are typically multifunctional. Many can act as a food processor or grinder as well. Thus, more parts are also available. They are also more costly. But, due to the delicious, refreshing cold-pressed juices they produce, most serious juicers are fond of these devices.

Pros:

  • Easy to take apart and clean
  • Quiet, powerful motor
  • Great for hard or leafy green vegetables
  • Juice is good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator (more nutrients & enzymes are preserved)
  • Yields more juice, less foam, drier pulp

Cons:

  • More expensive to purchase
  • Slower
  • Smaller feeder tube (produce has to be cut up)

How They Work

The primary technique by which they break down the food that you put inside them to extract the juice is the key difference between centrifugal and chewing juicers. Centrifugal juicers have one blade that rotates to slice and dice food at a high speed, enabling the juices to flow freely. It acts a lot like a blender, in essence.

Instead of knives, chewing juicers use gears and grind food instead of slicing it. Some masticating juicers have just one gear and simply grind food on nearby hard surfaces, while others, operate like a meat grinder and grind food in two gears.

Things to Consider before selecting a Juicer

Masticating vs. Centrifugal Juicers Speeds

If you’re looking for a way to get your juice as quickly as you can, the centrifugal juicer beats the masticating juicer hands down. In contrast to the chewing action of masticating juicers, centrifugal juicers extract through centrifugal force. However, due to all the oxygen that is pulled into the juice as it is extracted, the juice from centrifugal juicers tends to spoil much quicker. Compared to juices derived from masticating juicers, you often seem to get more of a flavor and frothy beverage. Although the slower speeds are ideal for tougher fibers such as wheatgrass and spinach in masticating juicers.

Food Wastage

Centrifugal juicers are known to produce far more food waste than masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are not capable of breaking down food as well as slow juicers do. Although the spinning blades of the centrifugal juicer do remove juices from your food, they do not use the squeezing action of the masticating juicer.

Many consumers have made complaints about food waste from centrifugal juicers. They find themselves having to buy a lot of fruit and vegetables just to make a glass of juice. In comparison, the same quantity of fruit and vegetables would produce about one and a quarter to one and a half glasses of juice in a masticating juicer.

What Do You Want to Juice?

Mango, carrot, or pineapple juice—what is your preference? Start by asking yourself what you want to drink when you choose a juicer. If you have a taste for hard fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, apples, berries and citrus fruits, both centrifugal and masticating juicers would get the job done easily.

However, if you want to add soft fruits, leafy greens, sprouts or herbs to your juice, a masticating juicer is a better choice. Masticating juicers can usually handle frozen fruits and vegetables, too—centrifugal models can’t. There are even some masticating juicers you can use to grind coffee beans and turn nuts into nut butter.

Fruits and Veggies

How Much Juice Do You Need?

Are you very thirsty? As far as yield is concerned, the masticating juicer usually produces more juice than the centrifugal model. So, if you’re juicing for two or more people, then a masticating juicer might be ideal. Centrifugal juicers don’t offer as much juice, and so they’re best suited if you juice for two people or less.

How Much Space Do You Have?

If you make juice often, you’ll probably want to keep your juicer out on the counter for easy access. You’re going to want to choose a model that suits your countertop, and this clearly depends on how big your kitchen is and how many other countertop appliances you have.

Centrifugal juicers are usually compact, lightweight, fitting well in small spaces. Their vertical arrangement allows them to have a smaller footprint to protect some space for other equipment or food storage.

The masticating juicers tend to be heavy and voluminous. If you have little counter space or a small kitchen, you can have a harder time accommodating a masticating juicer.

How Soon Do You Need Your Juice?

Are you in the habit of juicing before a run? Think about how quickly you want your appliance to run while deciding between a centrifugal and a masticating juicer. A centrifugal juicer is probably the way to go if you want to juice a hard fruit like an apple in less than a minute in order to get on with your day. Masticating juicers are not so rapid, but for soft fruits and leafy greens, their longer juicing process is very efficient.

Bear in mind that juicing more quickly normally means a quieter unit. A centrifugal juicer can be pretty loud, so if you juice early in the morning, there’s a risk that you can annoy the rest of the family. Since a masticating juicer uses slower speeds, these machines are typically much quieter.

What’s Your Budget?

Your budget will help you decide, as with any purchase, which form of juicer is the best choice for your kitchen.

Centrifugal juicers, ranging from $40 to $150, are typically the most affordable. Depending on the number of features they have, masticating juicers usually cost from $150 and $1,500. Commercial-grade juicers tend to be those on the higher end of the spectrum.

What are the Recommended Features in a Juicer?

So, what are the golden juicer features you should look out for when shopping? We recommend the following:

Variable speeds

A multi-speed juicer is best since, at lower speeds, soft fruits typically perform better and hard fruits are juiced more efficiently at higher speeds. You get the best of all worlds with a variable-speed appliance.

juice containers

Clear container

To collect the juice, most juicers have some sort of receptacle. Pick a model with a transparent container so that you can see how much juice you have.

Pulp regulator

Do you want your juice with lots of pulp? Some people do, but others prefer to have it removed. Look for a juicer that allows you to adjust the amount of pulp in your juice so that you can adapt your drink to your tastes and any guest preferences you might have.

Generous pulp bin

When selecting a juicer, select one with a big pulp container so you don’t have to pause the machine often to clear it.

Large feed chute

The wider the feed chute, the bigger the size of the food you can feed and the juice you can make. A juicer with a small feed tube takes more time to use because the produce needs to be cut into smaller pieces to fit the machine.

Cord length

A juicing machine with a cord no less than eight feet in length allows more freedom in the kitchen. However, we recommend that cordless models be purchased. That way you will be able to easily conceal the cord when you are not juicing.

Choosing Between Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicers

It’s important for you to understand the different juicers available before deciding on the one you want to buy. Regardless of what you want to achieve, juicing is a great way to cleanse your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are in the market for a juicer, this article rounds up the main features as well as some basic pros and cons that are associated with each type, so as to help ease your burden when deciding between masticating vs centrifugal juicers.

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