JUICING AT HOME
Ever consider a juice cleanse, only to find that a basic kit can top $100? Or pay $5 or more to sip on a single dose of fresh vegetable and fruit juice? Although some forms of "juicing" may not deliver the promised health benefits, don't let the price of pre-made drinks keep you from consuming extra vitamins and nutrients. Cheapism.com has identified home juicers under $50 that earn rave reviews. Of course, you'll also need to supply the ingredients, but this way you can try any combination that piques your interest and know exactly what goes into your juice.
PROCTOR SILEX 66331
Good Citrus Juicer Under $30
Est. Price: $15 | Buy it on Amazon
- 2 reamers, for handling both small citrus fruits like lemons and large ones like grapefruit.
- Pulp control for people who prefer juice without pulp.
- Very efficient at extracting juice, according to user reviews.
- Compact and easy to store, yet holds a lot of juice.
- Easy to take apart and wash.
- Comes with a 34-ounce container.
- Wirecutter's pick for best citrus juicer.
- On the noisy side, reviewers warn.
- A bit underpowered for large quantities of bigger citrus fruits.
- Some users report a lack of durability.
Takeaway: The Proctor Silex 66331 Alex's Lemonade Stand Citrus Juicer is as simple as can be. There is no setup; it's ready to go right out of the box, and juice dispenses directly into the attached container. Users say the machine is a snap to disassemble and clean; all the parts are dishwasher safe. The compact size makes it convenient to store even in a very small apartment kitchen. A dollar from every purchase goes to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity for childhood cancer.
Best Citrus Juicer Under $30
Est. Price: $25 | Buy it on Amazon
- 3 choices for pulp control.
- "Final spin" option gets the last bit of juice out of the pulp.
- Dishwasher-safe parts and easy to clean in under a minute, users say.
- Stable on countertop.
- Compact enough to store easily.
- Spout is made of flimsy plastic and liable to break off, according to online reviews.
- Inconvenient for making large quantities of juice, as pulp and seeds must be cleaned out periodically.
- Pulp sometimes clogs the spout.
- Some buyers report that it broke down after a short time.
Takeaway: The winning feature of this 25-watt electric reamer has to be the "final spin" option, which leaves no drop of juice unsqueezed, users report. In other words, users feel like they get their money's worth from the produce they buy for juicing. This Cuisinart juicer is easy to operate by simply pressing half a citrus fruit on the reamer. The reamer's universal size should fit any type of citrus, from limes to grapefruits. Many reviewers appreciate the ability to select how much pulp goes into the final product, which is a real differentiator.
BLACK & DECKER JE2400BD
Good 1-Speed Centrifugal Juice Extractor Under $50
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it from Walmart
- Easily juices fruits and most hard vegetables.
- Extremely affordable way to begin juicing.
- Compact size makes it easy to pull out of a cabinet and doesn't take up a lot of counter space.
- Dishwasher safe, and easy to clean manually.
- Small mouth; produce must be cut into small pieces before juicing.
- Does not come with a juice container.
- Some users complain that it's extremely noisy.
- Some incidents of leakage and other breakdowns.
Takeaway: The 400-watt motor in this centrifugal juicer is strong enough to get most of the juice out of produce. It has one speed, which makes it simple for beginners to use -- just turn it on. Non-slip feet keep it steady. The Black & Decker JE2400BD 400-Watt Juice Extractor works extremely well for fruit but leaves vegetable juice behind, according to reviews. In CNET testing, it didn't stand out among centrifugal juicers for juicing leafy greens. The site's reviewer suggests alternating soft and hard foods to keep from clogging the mesh around the pulp container.
HAMILTON BEACH 67602
Best 1-Speed Centrifugal Juice Extractor Under $50
Est. Price: $49.99 | Buy it from Hamilton Beach
- Powerful for the price.
- Wide 3-inch chute.
- Easy to clean; includes a cleaning brush and dishwasher-safe parts.
- Easy to operate -- with 1 speed, it's just on-off.
- Processes most fruits and hard vegetables very well, as long as they're cut into pieces, reviewers say.
- Users report making at least 1 quart of juice before the pulp bin needs to be cleaned out.
- Not stable enough, according to some reviews -- tends to move around the countertop while running.
- Doesn't extract all the juice on the first pass; some users put the pulp through again to get more.
- No pitcher or carafe included.
Takeaway: This 800-watt centrifugal juice extractor is a great starter juicer, according to its fans. Ease of use is a big reason -- there is nothing to do but switch it on -- and price is another. The Hamilton Beach 67602 Big Mouth Juice Extractor performs fine with most fruits and vegetables but, like many centrifugal juicers, it has trouble extracting much juice from leafy greens. Both the manufacturer and users recommend putting a plastic bag in the pulp bin to ease cleanup.
Good 2-Speed Centrifugal Juice Extractor Under $50
Est. Price: $41 | Buy it from Walmart
- 2 speeds, one for fruits and one for hard vegetables.
- Comes with a pitcher that separates the foam from the juice.
- Wide mouth means less time spent cutting up fruits and vegetables.
- Easy to take apart for cleaning and put back together; moving parts are dishwasher safe.
- Some users say too much produce is left in the pulp, so they have to run it through twice.
- Some reviewers have had problems with leakage.
Takeaway: Consumers who are not sure whether juicing is for them have found the Brentwood JC-500 Juice Extractor an affordable and easy way to start the practice. This 800-watt centrifugal juicer is fast and powerful, although it does not seem to extract all the possible juice from produce. Some users are fine with putting the pulp through the juicer a second time, when it comes out mostly dry, but others say that detracts from the ease of the process. While this model works well on fruits and hard vegetables, like many juice extractors, it produces very little juice from leafy greens.
Best 2-Speed Centrifugal Juice Extractor Under $50
Est. Price: $49.99 | Buy it on Amazon
- 2 speeds, one for fruits and one for hard vegetables.
- Powerful enough to liquify hard fruits and vegetables like carrots or beets.
- User-friendly for beginners.
- Extracts most of the juice from fruits and vegetables -- even leafy greens, if they are packed tightly enough.
- Can handle large pieces of produce.
- Comes with a cleaning brush and carafe.
- Funnel housing and juice cup are made of thin plastic that could break easily.
- Sometimes freezes when juicing hard root vegetables, reviewers warn.
- Some users report that this model has a short lifespan.
- Some buyers detect an awful odor out of the box.
Takeaway: Consumers starting out in the juicing world consider this 750-watt centrifugal extractor a good ally. Even some reviewers who have used expensive masticating juicers say it works very well. While the manufacturer says the Gourmia GJ750 Wide Mouth can handle whole fruits and vegetables, users suggest that cutting them in large chunks to make quick work of extraction.
LEXEN MANUAL WHEATGRASS JUICER GP27
Best Cheap Masticating Juicer
Est. Price: $53 | Buy it on Amazon
- Grinds leafy greens very well; the resulting pulp is almost completely dry.
- Simple to use, assemble, and disassemble.
- Actually can be cleaned in 30 seconds, as the manufacturer claims.
- Table clamp and suction base make it sturdy.
- Some users say hand cranking is a good workout.
- Very small hopper; produce must be chopped into small pieces.
- Can leak if not properly tightened.
- Difficult to crank when grinding hard vegetables.
- Not good for people with arthritis.
Takeaway: For juicing leafy greens without a hefty price tag, this manual masticating juicer does the trick. While it's not meant for fruits or hard vegetables, it can make juice out those, as well, although they must be cut up quite small and require a good bit of work with the hand crank. No reviewers seem to mind cranking this juicer by hand, and most consider it sturdy and durable.
JUPITER COMMERCIAL JUICE PRESS
Bonus: Commercial-Grade Manual Citrus Juicer
Est. Price: $88 | Buy it on Amazon
- Hefty and durable commercial-grade product.
- Juice doesn't get any pith in it to sour the taste.
- Works very well on pomegranates, reviewers say.
- Faster and easier to use and clean than electric citrus juicers.
- Suction cups on the base keep it from slipping.
- Doesn't come with different size cones for smaller fruits.
- Heavy and difficult to move.
- Can accommodate only a 4-inch container underneath.
- Handle can fall and cause injury if it's not locked, some users warn.
Takeaway: Manual commercial juicers built to withstand frequent, heavy use are not just the province of delis and juice bars. People with citrus trees, or those who just like to juice a lot of fruit, find them easier to use than electric juicers, which need to be cleaned out frequently. Rather than employ the spinning motion of a reamer, this manual juicer works by applying 2,300 pounds per square inch of pressure to get every bit of juice out of the fruit. It's made from heavy-duty cast iron with a stainless steel strainer and basket.
Bonus: Cheap Breville Juicer
Est. Price: $100 | Buy it on Amazon
- Comes with a 25-ounce juice container.
- Fast and makes a lot of juice.
- Easy to operate, take apart, clean, and put back together.
- Comes with a combination cleaning brush and spatula for removing pulp, rinds, and seeds.
- Does a fairly good job with leafy greens (reviewer tip: Wrap them around something hard, like a carrot or a piece of ginger).
- Extracts just about all the juice from most fruits and vegetables.
- The Good Housekeeping Institute's budget juicer pick.
- Not ideal for juicing leafy greens.
- Can be messy; reviews describe little pieces of food flying out of the chute onto cabinetry if the pusher is not in place.
- Small pulp catcher has to be emptied frequently.
Takeaway: This 700-watt centrifugal juicer is smaller than other Breville juicers but relatively inexpensive and highly rated. It works for smaller kitchens or people just dabbling in juicing. Although the mouth of the chute is large enough to accommodate large pieces of produce, users suggest that cutting smaller chunks results in more juice and drier pulp. They also report that the 14,000 RPM spinning speed quickly extracts the maximum amount of juice. Long-term users rave about this machine's durability, speed compared with a slow masticating juicer, and consistent, solid performance.