Juicing has become an increasingly popular way for health-conscious individuals to get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into their diets. There are two main types of juicers on the market – masticating and centrifugal. Masticating juicers are sometimes referred to as “cold press” or “slow” juicers, which can cause confusion about whether they are the same thing as cold press juicers.
What is a Masticating Juicer?
A masticating juicer, also known as a slow or cold press juicer, works by using a single auger or gear to crush and press produce to extract juice. The auger turns slowly, usually around 80-100 RPM, which doesn’t generate much heat and preserves more nutrients compared to fast juicers. Masticating juicers squeeze juice out of fruits and vegetables through a process that mimics chewing or mastication.
There are two main types of masticating juicers:
- Single auger – One auger crushes produce and presses it against a screen.
- Twin gear – Two augers work together to crush and press produce.
Benefits of masticating juicers:
- Slow speed preserves nutrients and enzymes
- Generates little heat so juices can be stored longer
- Extracts more juice and drier pulp from produce
- Can juice leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Quieter operation than centrifugal juicers
What is a Cold Press Juicer?
“Cold press” has become synonymous with masticating juicers because they operate at slower speeds and don’t heat juice as much. However, the term cold press actually refers to the extraction process rather than a specific juicer type.
In a true cold press juice process, produce is pressed with a hydraulic press at high pressure but low speed. This allows the temperature to remain low, below 120°F, minimizing heat damage to nutrients and enzymes. The juice is then bottled straight away to maintain freshness.
Cold pressed juices are typically made in commercial juice plants with large, specialized hydraulic presses. These types of industrial cold press juicers can generate up to 2,000+ PSI to extract juice very efficiently in large volumes.
Differences Between Masticating and Cold Press Juicers
While masticating juicers are often referred to as cold press, there are some key differences between true commercial cold press juicers and home use masticating juicers:
|Masticating Juicer||Hydraulic Press Juicer|
|Method||Single or double auger crushes and presses produce into screen||Uses hydraulic press at up to 2,000+ PSI to press juice out|
|Speed||Slow – 80-100 RPM||Very slow|
|Heat Generation||Low||Very Low|
|Ideal for||Home use, small batches||Commercial production, large batches|
As you can see, cold press juicers use much higher pressure to maximize juice yields. The ultra slow speed and extreme pressure minimizes oxidation and heat so juices can be stored for an extended time without deteriorating. However, these are very large, commercial machines not practical or affordable for home use.
Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicers
Now that we understand masticating and true cold press juicers, how do masticating juicers compare to centrifugal juicers?
Centrifugal juicers have a fast spinning metal blade that grinds produce into a pulp. The juice is then strained through a mesh filter basket. Centrifugal juicers can operate at speeds over 10,000 RPM, which generates a lot of heat and foam.
Here is a comparison between masticating and centrifugal juicers:
|Speed||Slow – 80-100 RPM||Very fast – 10,000+ RPM|
|Juice Quality||Minimal oxidation, retains nutrients and enzymes||Oxidizes quickly, loses nutrients|
|Juice Yield||Up to 20% more juice||Lower juice yield|
|Foam||Minimal||High foam levels|
|Noise||Quieter||Can be noisy|
|Leafy Greens||Excellent for greens||Not efficient for greens|
|Prep Time||Chop produce into small pieces||Little prep time needed|
As you can see, masticating juicers have some clear advantages when it comes to juice quality, yield, and nutrition. But centrifugal juicers require less prep time and are more affordable.
Should You Buy a Masticating or Cold Press Juicer?
Masticating juicers may closely mimic true cold pressed juices, but keep in mind they still lack the high pressure extraction power of industrial hydraulic juicers. However, they are the closest thing available for home use and much better than centrifugal juicers.
Here are some benefits of buying a masticating juicer for your home:
- Maximizes nutrients – The slower speed minimizes nutrient loss compared to fast juicers
- Cold pressed qualities – You get nutrient-dense juice with very little foam or oxidation
- Juice storage – Juice can be stored for up to 72 hours without substantial degradation
- Juice yield – Extracts up to 20% more juice from produce with drier pulp
- Versatility – Can make nut milks, baby food, sorbets and extrude pasta
- Easy to clean – Masticating juicers have just a few parts that come apart easily
The one downside is the higher cost of masticating juicers compared to centrifugal models. Prices range from about $200 to $400 for home use masticating juicers. However, fans of these types of juicers report the juice quality and yield is well worth the investment.
Top Masticating Juicer Models
If you’ve decided a masticating juicer is the right choice for your home juicing needs, here are some of the top rated models to consider:
|Tribest Slowstar||Minimal oxidation, includes homogenizing accessories|
|Omega J8006||Dual stage extraction, 15 year warranty|
|SKG Wide Chute||Large 3 inch chute, 10 year warranty|
|Aicook Slow Masticating||Budget option under $200, 3 inch chute|
|Hurom H-AA||Slow squeeze technology, 10 year warranty|
|Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer||Versatile, includes sorbet and smoothie screens|
These are all highly rated masticating style juicers that offer the cold pressed juice benefits you get from a masticating design. Each model has slightly different features that may appeal to different users based on priorities like budget, ease of use, versatility, or warranty.
Making Juice with a Masticating Juicer
Once you have a masticating juicer, you’ll want to follow some best practices to get the most out of it:
- Chop produce into smaller pieces to feed through the chute more easily.
- Alternate between soft and hard produce to keep the auger running efficiently.
- Minimize exposure to air by juicing directly into a glass and drinking right away.
- Combine fruits and vegetables to make juice more palatable.
- Drink juice within 24-48 hours for best flavor and nutrition.
- Clean the juicer parts thoroughly after each use to prevent clogging.
With a bit of experimenting, you can find great juice recipes that take advantage of the masticating juicer’s chill, slow squeeze action. Try mixtures like apple, carrot, ginger, beet, spinach, kale, cucumber, celery and lemon.
While masticating juicers are sometimes called cold press, true cold press uses extreme hydraulic pressure not possible at home. However, masticating juicers mimic some of the benefits of commercial cold press juicers. They operate at slow speeds to minimize oxidation, nutrients