Juicing has become an increasingly popular way for health-conscious people to get more fruits and vegetables into their diets. The two main types of juicers on the market are slow juicers and fast juicers. Slow juicers, also known as masticating or cold press juicers, crush and press produce at low speeds to extract juice. Fast juicers, also known as centrifugal juicers, grind produce at high speeds to separate juice from pulp. Both have their advantages, but is one type better than the other? Keep reading to find out.
How Slow and Fast Juicers Work
Understanding the differences in how slow and fast juicers operate will help explain the potential benefits of each type.
Slow juicers, such as those from brands like Omega, Hurom, and Tribest, use a rotating auger at 80-100 RPM to crush and press produce. This masticating process mimics how humans chew food with our teeth. The slower speeds protect beneficial enzymes and allow time for ingredients to release their juice. Slow juicers produce minimal heat and oxidation, preserving more nutrients. They tend to be quieter than fast juicers. Many vertical slow juicers also come with attachments for making nut butters, sorbets, and pasta.
Fast juicers, such as Breville and Hamilton Beach models, use a spinning blade at 1,000-15,000 RPM to grind ingredients against a mesh filter. The high speeds separate juice from pulp very quickly. Unfortunately, the rapid oxidation can destroy some nutrients and enzymes. Fast juicers also tend to be much louder. Most don’t have attachments for food processing tasks beyond juicing.
One of the biggest factors in choosing a juicer is juice yield – how much juice you can extract from your fruits and vegetables. Many people assume that slow juicers result in higher yields because they fully crush and press produce. But many tests have found the opposite.
|Breville Fast Juicer||470ml||610ml||260ml|
|Hurom Slow Juicer||370ml||520ml||210ml|
As you can see from the table, the Breville fast juicer generated 25-30% more juice across all three sample ingredients. The reason is because fast juicers remove pulp right away, rather than letting juice sit in compressed pulp. Sources agree that fast juicers consistently produce higher yields.
Juice and Nutrient Quality
Just because fast juicers output more juice, doesn’t necessarily make them better. The biggest argument in favor of slow juicers is that their juices retain more nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Let’s examine if this is true.
Oxidation occurs when ingredients are exposed to air, causing nutritional decline. Slow juicers minimize oxidation by crushing produce at slower speeds before pressing out juice. One study found that juice from a masticating juicer had 6 times the antioxidant activity as juice from a centrifugal model. But oxidation also depends on how long juice sits before drinking. Overall, slow juicers yield juice with slightly less oxidation.
There are conflicting findings on nutrient retention for the two juicer types. Some studies show higher retention of vitamin C and carotenoids in juice from masticating juicers. But other tests found little difference in nutrient content between the juices. More research is needed. It seems that any potential increase in nutrients from a slow juicer is marginal at best.
Enzymes are delicate proteins that aid digestion. Some claim that slow juicers do a better job preserving enzymes since they don’t generate as much heat. But there isn’t much evidence to support that enzymes are destroyed by fast juicers. Both juices need to be consumed right away before natural enzyme degradation occurs.
In addition to juice yield and quality, pulp is another consideration. Slow juicers expel very dry pulp since all the juice gets squeezed out. The drier pulp makes great additions to baked goods, broths, and compost. Fast juicers leave pulp much wetter, so it tends to be more suitable for tossing out. But you can always use a slow juicer pulp for any recipe.
Ease of Use and Cleaning
Beyond what ends up in your glass, the overall juicing experience differs quite a bit between slow and fast juicers.
You’ll need to chop produce into smaller pieces for slow juicers, since their feeds are more narrow. This takes more prep work. Fast juicers come with large feeds that allow you to just throw in whole fruits and veggies.
As the names imply, fast juicers generate a glass of juice in mere seconds, while slow juicers take at least a minute. If you’re short on time in the morning, a fast model gets your juice ready quicker.
With their slower, grinding augers, slow juicers operate much more quietly than fast juicers. If you have sleeping children or noise-sensitive neighbors, a slow juicer blends in more seamlessly.
The components of fast juicers are generally easier to clean than the small spaces around augers in slow juicers. But some high-end slow juicers now come with brushes and other accessories to make cleaning simpler.
|Slow Juicer||Fast Juicer|
|Prep Work||More chopping required||Little chopping needed|
|Juicing Speed||1-2 minutes||30 seconds|
In general, slow juicers come with a higher price tag than fast juicers. Expect to spend $300 or more for a quality slow juicer. Decent centrifugal models start around $100. The difference is that slow juicers use a more complex system with sturdier materials that justify the higher cost. Keep in mind you can find great juicers at both low and high price points.
So are slow juicers actually better than fast juicers? There is no definitive answer. Here are some key takeaways:
- Fast juicers produce higher juice yields.
- Slow juicers result in better pulp for recipes.
- There are minimal differences in nutrient quality between the juices.
- Slow juicers require more prep work but run quietly.
- Fast juicers are quicker and easier to clean.
The bottom line is that both types of juicers can be effective options. The best juicer depends on your priorities – juice quantity, quality, prep time, noise, etc. If you want maximum yields, a fast juicer may be your best bet. But slow juicers shine when it comes to versatility and minimizing oxidation. Try out different models to see which juicing experience you prefer.