Entry-level juicers produce strained juice in seconds as blades spin at high speeds to chop your produce and push it through a mesh sieve. These centrifugal machines can be messy and loud, but nothing quite beats fresh juice at home, especially if you're using your own.
When it comes to picking the best juicer for your needs, there are a few. We tested eight of the best-selling and top-reviewed centrifugal juicers to find out which ones will give you the most OJ for your orange. So grab yourself a green juice or nut milk and keep reading -- here's how it all shakes out.
Hamilton Beach was the best performer when it came to getting the most citrus juice from oranges and green juice from kale (the top fruit and vegetable most juicers find on their grocery list). We also test apple juice for hard fruit (you'll find that winner below). This 800-watt juicer has just one speed. Every other juicer we tested was a twin gear juicer and had at least two speeds, proving more isn't always, well, more.
At just $60, it also takes the title for the best juicer on a budget out there today when you want to juice fruit and leafy vegetables. It's dishwasher-safe, too, which, in my opinion, is just as important as juice quality. My only complaint is that the Big Mouth doesn't come with a juice receptacle to place beneath the spout. Many other models do include this, but if you're juicing straight into your own glass or pitcher, it shouldn't be a problem.
True to Breville form, this vertical juicer felt high-end and looked great. The Breville JE98XL was a very close second to Hamilton Beach as the best juicer when it came to performance, and it gave me the best juice yield for apples of the group. This two-speed, 850-watt Breville juicer is pricey at $120, but it comes with a few nice features.
It includes a 1-liter juice pitcher, and more importantly, a "froth separator." This handy divider inside the pitcher keeps the frothy top layer of your juice retained while you pour the good stuff. Like all the juicers on this list, you'll also get a brush accessory for cleaning out the mesh sieve basket inside the juicer machine.
Oster's JusSimple juicer wins for best design. It was easy to use and easy to clean. The sporty red coating on the filter makes it easier to clean out than other uncoated metal models. A convenient rotating spout with open and close positions keeps juice from dripping on your countertops from the feed chute.
The JusSimple also has a wide, 3-inch mouth, so you'll do less chopping to fit your produce into the juicer. A lighted speed dial adds to the sophistication of this model. While it didn't give me the best results (the Oster came in fourth of eight), it was a pleasure to use and I'd be happy to give it a permanent home on my countertop if it were on sale.
The three juicers above were the best performers, but I tested eight juicers in total. Here are the other five models:
- Kuvings NJ Series Centrifugal Juicer: This juice was our third-place winner when it came to juice extraction. A bit on the expensive end at $149, but a good bet if you ever see it on sale.
- Bagotte DB-001: At just $60, this juicer is a budget model that can get the job done.
- Mueller Austria: This 1,100-watt juicer was too average in performance to warrant its $150 price.
- Cuisinart CJE-1000: This looks great, but performed poorly. It's also a steep $179.
- Black + Decker: This juicer was our worst performer, but it is an affordable way to try your hand at juicing for just $40.
How juicer testing works
Testing juicers means, well, juicing. We gathered up apples, oranges and kale to put these juicers to the test with varying produce textures.
To test the juicer's high-speed function, I cored and quartered three red apples (I used organic Gala apples in this round of testing). Next, I weighed the apples, the empty juice receptacle and the empty juicer on a large kitchen scale. Then, I juiced the apples on the juicer's high setting or, if there are multiple speeds, the manual's recommended apple speed.
The result was a pink juice with a light brown pulp. Once juicing was complete, I measured the filled juice receptacle and the juicer with its apple waste to determine just how much juice came out of the apples and how much of the apple ended up in the pulp container. This is the same method I used for oranges and kale.
I peeled three navel oranges and removed the fibrous center pulp. I measured them, and the empty juicer and juice receptacle. Depending on the juicer's shoot size, I trimmed down the oranges into wedges that fit the shoot.
For orange juicing, I set the juicers to their low speed, a good setting for soft fruit like oranges. Once the juicer was finished, I weighed everything again and took notes.
Juicer testing wouldn't be complete without a leafy green element. It's worth noting here that most centrifugal juicers won't do as well as a cold press juicer (i.e., a slow masticating juicer) for extracting juice from greens. Still, it is possible and some centrifugal juicers are up to the task.
Like apple and orange juice tests, I measure and record the weight of the equipment, as well as three large kale leaves. It's not necessary to trim here. Kale stems have plenty of nutritional value and will go through the juicer. I did see much less volume when it came to kale juice, so if you're keen on juicing leafy items, a masticating juicer might be your better bet.
All models compared
% Orange Juice Extracted
% Apple Juice Extracted
% Kale Juice Extracted
Black + Decker
Things to consider
Centrifugal juicers are fine for processing oranges, apples and many other fruits and vegetables. When it comes to greens, a centrifugal juicer won't be your best bet. It's important to think about what you'll be juicing most frequently.
Of course in all three tests I consider other factors besides weight data. I'd recommend looking for a juicer with a wide mouth, around 3 inches. That will significantly cut down on the amount of prep you need to do before you juice. I'm also a big fan of included juice pitchers with froth separators (For what it's worth, I also prefer pulp-free orange juice).
Other handy extra features include brushes (most juicers include one) as well as a cap to cover the spout and suction cups on the juicer's base to hold it steady on your counter.
No matter which electric juicer you select, I'd wager you'll get plenty of satisfaction out of turning extra fruit or homegrown product into a tall glass of refreshing juice. The fun doesn't even have to stop there. What did I do with all my test juice? I made frozen juice pops.