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The Best Juicers of 2021: Breville, Cuisinart, and More

We scrubbed the pulp from seven different juicers to find the best one.

4/23/2021 10:26:00 AM

We scrubbed the pulp from seven different juicers to find the best one.

We scrubbed the pulp from 13 different models to find the best juicers on the market.

Centrifugal vs. slow juicersIn shopping for juicers, you will notice that all vertical machines fall into one of two categories: centrifugal or slow. Knowing the difference will help you determine which style of juicer is best for your home kitchen’s needs.

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Centrifugal juicersare fast, powerful, and loud—on your countertop, the mechanical whirring and speed can make it sound like the machine is going to take off into space. This is because juicers of this variety feature sharp metal teeth that shred produce to a pulp while spinning at a rapid rate. They’re the best bet for making lots of juice in a short period of time, but you’ll also need to drink your yield more quickly; the juice from centrifugal models separates and oxidizes faster and usually contains more foam. Also, some believe that the heat generated by a centrifugal’s rapidly moving parts reduces the nutrient levels in your finished juice. On the plus side, however, they are usually less expensive than their slow counterparts.

Slow juicers,also known (unfortunately) as masticating juicers, take longer than centrifugal juicers to break down produce because the internal mechanism manually crushes and squeezes each piece as it passes through the shoot rather than tearing it to bits. The shoots are smaller on slow juicers, so you’ll have to prep your ingredients a bit more beforehand, but because there is no heat or fast-moving parts, the resulting juice has less foam and stays fresh for slightly longer. Slow juicers are quieter, easier to clean, and usually slightly smaller than centrifugal juicers. But they are more expensive as well.

How we tested the juicersBetween produce prep, carefully feeding fruits and veggies through the chute, and thoroughly cleaning pulp-caked strainers, juicing is a fairly laborious process. So finding a machine that youwantto use, despite the time and effort investment, is important.

We focused our testing on three of the most common juicer concerns: high juice/low foam yield, ease of use, and ease of cleanup. To compare like with like, we narrowed our product selects to all vertical juicers rather than horizontal ones, as the latter category tends to be cheaper but much larger and produces a slightly lower yield. Height, weight, size, and number of pieces to assemble/disassemble also played a role in the evaluation.

When we got down to juicing, we used the same amount of produce for each machine: half of an unpeeled cucumber, two carrots, half an unpeeled apple, one stalk of celery, three large leaves of kale (with thestem), one hunk of ginger (with the skin), 10 grapes, 10 blueberries, and half a lemon (with the rind). One at a time, we fed each item through the chute. We noted how the pulp came out, then measured the juice and foam. Then we disassembled and cleaned each product by hand, keeping track of how much

was necessary to remove juice residue and pulp.For each juicer, we also considered the following questions:Is it intuitive to assemble and use? Does it have any notable attachments or design features?Most juicers have similar parts: a pulp container, a juice jug, a basket, a blade or auger, a base, a feeder chute, and a food pusher. We made note of extras like brushes and alternate baskets, plus smart knobs, buttons, and speeds.

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Does it feel well built? Does the construction and ease of use justify the price?Juicers need to turn your food into smooth, drinkable liquid, so the heft and substance of the machines need to be up to the task. For all the scrubbing and fibrous material involved, it’s important that all the parts are going to withstand the work.

How much space does it take up? What’s the visual appeal?If you’re going to be using your juicer regularly, it’s going to take up valuable counter real estate. But how much? And if so, are you fine with keeping it out? If not, is it easy to store?Other juicers we tested

Breville Juice Fountain Cold($180) is a level up from the winning model, with a higher price point and bulkier design. It was easy to assemble and featured a very large chute, so we didn’t have to do any advance prep to our produce before juicing. But we found it slightly harder to clean than the other Breville models, with many ginger fibers stuck in the metal mesh basket, plus it was the loudest of any machine we tried. For $30 less, go with the Juice Fountain Plus.

TheBreville Juice Fountain Compact($100) was not as impressive as we’d hoped—the design eliminates the pulp cup, making the lid the receptacle for all the pulp. This made it more tedious to clean and didn’t actually save meaningful counter space (the machine is still bulky; the detachable pulp cup is the only component that makes it slightly smaller than the Juice Fountain Plus).

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