With the rise in popularity of juicing for health benefits, more and more people are looking to add juice extractors and juicers to their kitchen arsenal. But what exactly is the difference between a juice extractor and a juicer, and is one better than the other? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the key differences between these two appliances, compare their features and performance, and help you determine which is the right choice for your juicing needs.
What is a Juice Extractor?
A juice extractor is a type of appliance that extracts juice from fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens by grinding and then spinning produce at high speeds. Juice extractors separate the juice from the pulp through centrifugal force.
There are two main types of juice extractors:
Centrifugal Juice Extractors
Centrifugal juice extractors have a rapidly spinning blade inside a grated basket. As you feed produce into the top of the machine, the fast spinning action shreds it and pulls the juice away from the pulp through small holes in the basket. The juice collects in a reservoir while the pulp is ejected through a separate outlet.
Centrifugal juicers are the most common and affordable type of juice extractors. They operate at speeds between 3000 to 14,000 RPM. Higher speeds result in faster juice extraction but can also introduce more air into the juice, which causes oxidation and nutrient loss over time.
Masticating Juice Extractors
Also known as slow or cold press juicers, masticating juice extractors crush and press produce through a spiral auger at low speeds, usually between 40-100 RPM. This slower speed allows the juice to be extracted with minimal heat buildup and oxidation.
Masticating juicers produce higher juice yields and extract more nutrients than centrifugal models. However, they also tend to be more expensive and require more prep work like chopping produce into small pieces.
What is a Juicer?
The terms “juicer” and “juice extractor” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some key differences.
A juicer is a more broad category of appliance that separates the liquid juice from the solid fruit or vegetable matter. This includes juice extractors, but also:
Citrus juicers, also called orange juicers or lemon squeezers, are designed specifically for juicing citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. There are manual and electric citrus juicers.
Regular household blenders can also be used to make juices. Blenders finely chop and liquefy fruits and veggies with their fast-spinning blades. The resulting juice contains more fiber since there is no separation of pulp.
While juice extractors are juicers, not all juicers are extractors. Juicers is a more general appliance category.
Juice Extractor vs. Juicer Comparison
Now that we’ve defined these two terms, let’s compare juice extractors and juicers in greater detail across some key factors:
– Juice extractors separate juice from pulp via centrifugal force or crushing/pressing.
– Juicers encompass a wider variety of juicing mechanisms. Citrus juicers squeeze and strain. Blenders pulverize and liquefy.
– Juice extractors remove most of the pulp, yielding a clearer juice.
– Some juicers like blenders retain all the pulp in the juice for added fiber.
– Centrifugal juice extractors operate at very high speeds of 3000-14000 RPM.
– Masticating juice extractors and juicers like blenders operate at lower speeds Oxidation
– The high speeds of centrifugal extractors can introduce air and cause oxidation.
– Masticating extractors and blenders produce juice with less oxidation.
– Most extractors require little prep work besides washing fruits and veggies.
– Some juicers like blenders require chopping produce into small pieces first.
– Extractors work well for most firm fruits and crunchy veggies.
– Some juicers are better for specific produce like citrus juicers for citrus fruits.
– Masticating extractors yield up to 30% more juice than centrifugal extractors.
– Blenders yield the most juice as no pulp is discarded.
– Centrifugal extractors are the most affordable options.
– Masticating extractors and blenders range higher in price.
Ease of Use
– Centrifugal extractors are easiest to use with minimal prep work.
– Masticating extractors and blenders require more prep time.
– Juice extractors overall require more clean-up than other types of juicers.
– Blenders usually just need a quick rinse after juicing.
Juice Extractor Pros and Cons
Now let’s examine the key advantages and disadvantages of using a juice extractor:
– Extract juices quickly and efficiently, saving prep and juicing time
– Remove pulp and foam for clearer, smoother juices
– Centrifugal models are affordable and easy to use
– Compact size takes up minimal counter space
– Most extractors are dishwasher-safe for easier clean-up
– Great for juicing firm, crunchy fruits and vegetables
– Higher nutritional value than store-bought juices
– Centrifugal extractors can oxidize juice due to high speeds
– Not ideal for juicing leafy greens and herbs
– Can be noisy when operating at high speeds
– More parts to clean than a simple blender or citrus press
– Produce needs to be chopped down to size for feed tube
– Higher price for masticating and twin-gear extractors
– Some loss of fiber and nutrients compared to blended juices
Juicer Pros and Cons
Here are the main pros and cons of using a more general juicer appliance:
– Accommodate a wider variety of fruits and vegetables
– Retain more fiber and nutrients when no pulp separation occurs
– Versatile for creating juices, smoothies, purees, and more
– Lower oxidation than high-speed centrifugal juicing
– Quieter operation than most juice extractors
– Allow whole produce juicing with some models
– Dishwasher-safe parts for quick clean-up
– Require more prep work chopping produce for some models
– Citrus juicers limited to citrus fruits only
– Blender juices may be pulpy rather than smooth
– Juices may separate or need straining after blending
– Smaller feed tubes limit whole produce juicing
– Lower yield compared to masticating juice extracts
– Manual citrus press requires more physical effort
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Juice Extractor vs Juicer
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when deciding between a juice extractor and a juicer:
What You Want to Juice
If you’ll mainly be juicing firm fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, celery, beets, etc., a juice extractor is a good match. For leafy greens like kale and wheatgrass, citrus fruits, or creating smoothies and nut milks, a blender or citrus juicer may be preferable.
Speed and Oxidation
Centrifugal juice extractors oxidize juice more than slow juicers like masticating models and blenders. If minimizing oxidation is a priority, avoid high-speed extractors.
Do you want a pulp-free juice or do you prefer juices with more fiber and body from the pulp? Extractors remove more pulp than most juicers.
Yield and Efficiency
Masticating juice extractors produce higher juice yields than blenders and centrifugal models. If efficiency is important, they may be worth the extra cost.
Prep Work Involved
Centrifugal juice extractors require very little prep work. Juicers like blenders may require more chopping and prep time. Evaluate how much effort you want to spend prepping produce.
Centrifugal juice extractors are the most wallet-friendly options. Masticating extractors cost more. Blenders range from budget-friendly to high-end. Set a budget to narrow choices.
Frequency of Use
If you’ll only use your appliance occasionally, a basic centrifugal extractor may suffice. For daily juicing, a pricier masticating model or blender could be worth the investment.
Centrifugal extractors operate at high speeds that generate noise. If you need a quieter appliance, look for a masticating extractor or blender instead.
Juice extractors take up minimal counter real estate with their compact footprints. Larger blenders will require more space.
Ease of Cleaning
Juice extractors have more parts to clean than a blender or citrus press. Blenders usually just need a quick rinse. Consider your willingness to clean.
By taking these factors into account, you can determine whether a juice extractor or a juicer better fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Comparing Popular Juice Extractor and Juicer Models
To help you compare specific options, here is an overview of some top-rated juice extractors and juicers to consider:
|Mueller Austria Juicer Ultra||Centrifugal||1100W motor, 3″ feed chute, stainless steel strainer basket||16 oz||12,000-18,000 RPM||2 years||$60|
|Breville JE98XL||Centrifugal||850W dual speed motor, 3.3″ feed chute, stainless steel micromesh filter||8oz (low speed), 16oz (high speed)||6,500 RPM (low), 12,000 RPM (high)||1 year limited||$149|
|Hurom HP Slow Juicer||Masticating||150W motor, auger and strainer, 43 RPM, juice and smoothie strainers||16 oz||43 RPM||10 years motor, 2 years parts||$299|
|Mueller Austria Citrus Juicer||Manual citrus press||Dual cone and reamer design, stainless steel strainer and anti-drip spout||N/A||N/A||2 years||$16|
|NutriBullet Pro||Blender||900W motor, extractor blade, 24 oz and 32 oz cups with to-go lids||32 oz||N/A||1 year limited||$99|
|Breville BJE830BSS Juice Fountain||Centrifugal||1100W motor, 3.5″ wide chute, stainless steel micromesh filter, 5 speed settings||70 oz||6,500-13,000 RPM||1 year limited||$299.95|
This table highlights some of the most popular models in different categories at various price points. Use it as a guide to compare design, features, capacity, speed, warranty, pricing, and more.
FAQs About Juice Extractors and Juicers
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about juice extractors vs. juicers:
Which Makes Juice Faster?
Centrifugal juice extractors are the fastest option, producing a cup of juice in as little as 5 seconds. Masticating extractors and juicers take 1-2 minutes per cup of juice.
Which Gives the Best Yield?
Masticating juice extractors produce the highest juice yields with drier pulp. You’ll get up to 30% more juice compared to centrifugal models.
Which Is Better for Leafy Greens?
Masticating juice extractors and blenders handle leafy greens better than centrifugal models. The high speeds of centrifugal extractors don’t effectively juice greens.
Which Is Easier to Clean?
Blenders are easiest since they have the fewest parts and you can just rinse most away. Juice extractors have more components to disassemble and clean after each use.
Which Is Better for Travel or Commuting?
Many blenders come with portable cups, making them the best choice for juices and smoothies on the go. Most extractors are too bulky for travel.
Which Is Quieter When Operating?
Centrifugal extractors are the loudest, while masticating extractors and blenders operate much more quietly. Manual juicers have no motor noise.
Which Is Less Expensive Initially?
Basic centrifugal juice extractors start around $50-100 while high-end blenders can cost over $400. Masticating extractors fall in the middle price-wise.
In summary, juice extractors separate juice from pulp for smoother, clearer drinks using centrifugal force or crushing/pressing. Juicers is a broader category including extractors but also citrus presses, blenders, and other appliances.
Centrifugal juice extractors are affordable, fast, easy to use, and great for firm fruits and veggies. But they can oxidize juice and aren’t as good for greens.
Masticating extractors yield more juice and nutrients with less oxidation but are pricier. Blenders retain fiber and require more prep work but offer flexibility.
Consider what types of produce you’ll juice, your budget, prep time, yield, ease of cleaning, noise, and other factors to select the best model for your needs. Both juice extractors and juicers can be great appliances for homemade, healthy juices.