Whether you want to juice to supplement your regular diet or as a form of detox and cleansing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re just starting out.
Don’t worry, though, we’re here to guide you from the absolute basics through to the finer points of juicing.
Now, if you’re looking to buy your first juicer, it can be confusing with so many choices at your disposal.
Due to their comparatively low prices and accessibility, masticating and centrifugal juicers are the most common juicers bought for home use over recent years. Both of these styles of juicer extract the juice from your produce by forcing it up against a screen. The difference is in the way the produce is forced.
A superior option falls outside the scope of today’s exploration of centrifugal and masticating juicers, and it’s a juice press. The two-stage grinding/pressing process of this method generates the most nutrient-rich and high-grade juice.
Let’s glimpse at these two popular juicers before we pit them head-to-head across the categories that count.
I. What is a Masticating Juicer?
Masticating juicers are also known as:
- Auger juicers
- Gear juicers
- Slow juicers
Produce is crushed very slowly in these juicers at around 100 RPM. After being crushed, it’s forced through a sharp screen.
The slow and intensive juicing process doesn’t introduce as much heat or oxygen as a centrifugal juicer will. The result is a much more nutritious juice.
Masticating juicers also tend to yield decent quantities of juice making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly option.
II. What is a Centrifugal Juicer
Centrifugal juicers, also known as centrifugal force juicers or fast juicers, are one of the most common types of juicers for home use as they give you instant results, and they’re also the cheapest option.
With these juicers, your fruit and veggies are flung through a feeding tube which forces them hard against a rapidly-spinning blade. Here, they’re sliced and spun into a sharp screen at high velocity. Hitting speeds of 6,000 to 14,000 RPM, these juicers are super-efficient.
If you’re just beginning your juicing journey, centrifugal force juicers can make sense. Maybe you don’t need big batches of juice, and you might not be concerned about extracting every last drop of nutrients from the juice. Your primary concern, instead, might be drinking your juice as quickly as possible.
OK, now you have a decent overview of how these juicers stand and fall, we’ll highlight how they fare when pitted mano-a-mano.
III. Differences Between Masticating Juicers and Centrifugal Juicers
- Prep time
- Food waste
- Speed vs quality
- Other applications
Centrifugal juicers certainly have their place in a kitchen, and when it comes to prep time, they beat off masticating alternatives.
Centrifugal force juicers make it easy to slip in large chunks of food to streamline processing. As long as the feeding tube’s mouth is large enough, you could shove a whole apple inside.
When it comes to prep, then, these juicers rule.
Try this approach with a masticating juicer and it will clog up the works. Even worse, you could jam and break the gears by trying to push over-large food chunks into the juicer.
With this type of juicer, you’ll need to devote a lot more time for cutting your fruit and veg up into small, manageable chunks. If you don’t think this is something you’ll have the patience for, consider a centrifugal juicer instead.
If you’re concerned about food waste – and who isn’t, right? – then a centrifugal juicer is much more wasteful. They can’t break food down as efficiently as masticating juicers. The spinning blades are certainly able to bring out the juices, but without the squeezing action you get with a masticating jucier, you’ll end up wasting lots of what you pile in.
If you scour the user reviews of these juicers – and over the coming weeks, we’ll be reviewing all the best juicers on the market – you’ll find a lot of blowback about wastage with these things. Many consumers talk of buying large piles of fruit and veg and ending up with little more than a glass of juice.
Now, give the other benefits of these juicers, this might be something you’re prepared to overlook.
If you used a masticating model, by contrast, you’d generate between 1.25 and 1.5 glasses of juice using the same raw materials.
So, if you’re shopping based purely on economy and wastage, stick with a masticating juicer.
If you’re hunting for juicers on a tighter budget, a centrifugal juicer should be half to one-third the cost of a masticating alternative.
You might be advised to look beyond the bottom line, though. Overall value is about more than the sticker price. If you’re intending to process lots of hard foods, or you’re looking to put your juicer through some heavy, sustained use, those extra bucks upfront may yield a much better long-term option.
If you buy the wrong juicer for your purpose, you could easily break a handful of cheaper centrifugal juicers and end up out of pocket and disgruntled with juicing. Never buy this sort of equipment on impulse and always take the time to think closely about your intended use.
As a compromise, you’ll find some degree of overlap between upscale centrifugal juicers and entry-level masticating juicers.
And, as an aside, you could opt for a citrus juicer if you want a bargain-basement starting point. The drawback here is that you’ll be very limited in terms of what you can break down, so unless you’re confident you’ll be using nothing but citrus fruits, steer clear and roll with a centrifugal force juicer instead.
Speed vs quality
Centrifugal juicers allow you to slice the food you feed in rather than grinding it. They works at a much faster pace than masticating juicers, so for anyone always crunched for time, these work well.
If you’ve been blown away by glitzy informercials where the host drops in a succession of while apples that are dispatched at high speed, you’ll have witnessed a masticating juicer in action.
Here, we return your attention to your intended use. If you only plan to blitz up some soft fruits like grapes, bananas, and strawberries, you’ll encounter no issues with a centrifugal juicer, and there’s no need to spend extra money on something with functionality you won’t take advantage of.
If, on the other hand, you intend to juice predominantly harder foods like apples or carrots, you might need to take a hit on speed and benefit from a more versatile juicer with the power to handle tougher produce.
Deciding to make this compromise is not without its benefits, though. With a masticating juicer, that time is time well spent, though. The juicer will extract more juices as it works even harder than a centrifugal model and breaks the food down fully so you’ll get more goodness from your glass of juice. Take celery and carrot juice, for example. A masticating juicer will deliver this in fine style, whereas a centrifugal juicer will yield very little juice at the expense of a great deal of waste.
If you’re concerned about the noise factor, a centrifugal juicer will typically create a fair amount of noise while a masticating juicer is quieter. This is due to the blades in the former revolving at such high speeds. The slower movements and gearing system of masticating juicers give you a quieter juicing environment.
Obviously, no juicer is likely to be whisper-quiet, but if you’re concerned about disturbing the family or the neighbors, avoid centrifugal models.
You’ll find that many masticating juicers work well for a range of applications from ice cream and sorbet through to baby food, butter, and a variety of nuts.
With a centrifugal juicer, on the other hand, you’ll be deprived of this flexibility.
IV. Final Thoughts
Well, maybe you came here today without the first idea what type of juicer to buy. We should also have cleared up any concerns you had about the difference between masticating and centrifugal juicers.
All that counts is finding what works best for you. We’ve highlighted the prevailing differences between these two common styles of juicer so you can easily see which, if either, would make the best fit. To reiterate, if you want to go all-in, consider instead a juice press. We’ll be diving deep into these machines too over the coming weeks.
Before you go, bookmark Oh Juice. We’re just starting up and we’ll be bringing you an update several times weekly to help you with all aspects of juicing, so be sure to come back soon. We’ll also let you know when we’re up and running on social media so you can share all your favorite juicing ideas. We’ll see you soon!