Buying Your First Juicer

There are several different types of juicers. There are centrifugal, masticating, single-gear, and singer-auger juicers. There are juice presses. There are dozens of juicers and you can go on message boards to debate which is better.

Juice people remind me of BMW owners. They’ll argue forever over the most trivial details.

The debate is stupid.

Your first juicer needs to be fast, easy-to-clean, and inexpensive. If your juicer is slow or not easy-to-clean, then you won’t use it. If your juicer is expensive and you don’t like juicing, then you’ve just wasted a bunch of money.

These are two awesome entry-level juicers:

I did a bunch of research on the issue, i.e., I read Consumer Reports. The Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer 67650 is only $60 or so with free shipping on Amazon. I’ve had mine for six months and have juiced hundreds of pounds of produce. It’s still going strong.

The Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor is also a great buy, at $99. It’s more aesthetically pleasing that the Big Mouth Juicer.

Why are they good? First, they are fast. They will rapidly cut through carrots, beets, apples, celery, and other hard fruits and vegetables. You can juice a half-gallon of juice in about 15 minutes. If you just want a glass of juice, you’re done in 1-2 minutes.

Second, the price is right. Even the Breville at $99 is a good buy. The Breville and Big Mouth both have reputations for lasting a long time. They are well constructed and thus great values.

Finally, they are easy to clean. Everything but the blade is dishwasher safe. The only challenging part is cleaning the blade. There’s a special brush that comes with the Breville and Big Mouth. I timed myself, and it only takes 90 seconds to clean the blade after juicing several pounds of produce.

(Pro tip: Use one of your produce bags to line the pulp waste bin. That’s one less piece you have to rinse off.)

With those juicers, you are in-and-out of the kitchen, depending upon whether you’re making one juice or a full day’s juice, in 5-20 minutes.

If you really enjoy juicing, as I do, then you’re ready to step it up a level.

If you have a big budget a lot of of space, then the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor is awesome. (My boss just bought one for me to use at the office.) You can juice pineapple with the rind on. It’s a serious machine and also beautiful.

Like the above juicers, it’s fast. It’s easy to clean.

For Christmas, I’m going to buy myself an Omega VRT350 Heavy Duty Dual-Stage Vertical Single Auger Low Speed Juicer. The Omega juicer is slower than the above juicers. It’s main benefit is that it provides a higher yield. (Yield describes the relationship between the ounces of juice you’ll get out of a pound of produce. The more ounces per pound of juice is referred to as a higher yield.) Since I juice a lot of kale and other green leafy vegetables, the Omega makes a lot of sense for me.

But when you’re a beginner juicing, it doesn’t make sense to sweat the details.

If you enjoy juicing, you’ll never want to be without juice. You’ll wind up bringing your entry-level juicer to the office and buying yourself a nicer one for your home.

  • AnonJohn

    whats the difference between these and a vitamix lets say?

    • dangerandplay

      That leaves the cellulose intact, which makes it hardle for the body to absorb all of the nutrients from the food.

      Juicing does feel different. I can’t explain it. There really is something special about juicing.

      But I’m not a dogmatist. (If you watch YouTube videos or read juice blogs, these people act like juicing is a religion and that everything else is heresy.)

      I have a BlendTech, which works as well as the Vitamix but takes up less counter space. I blend and juice. Blueberries/raspberries/blackberries are hard to juice. So I’ll throw berries into the blender. I’ll also blend kale and other greens into a smoothie.

      I also have a food dehydrator to make raw kale chips. I also bake kale chips in the oven and slow cook veggies with roasts in a crock pot.

      So there is no One Way or Right Way.

      Sometimes I blend more. Sometimes I cook more. Sometimes I dehydrate more. Sometimes I juice more.

      The goal is to get as many servings of fruits and vegetables into the body as possible.

      • AnonJohn

        ordered the Breville yesterday. looking forward to some recipes

  • aneroidocean

    Really appreciate your tips on this. One of the girls I’m dating keeps talking about juicing. I’d like to learn more. Is there a primer that you recommend (like a “Juicing for Dummies” type FAQ?

    • dangerandplay

      More blog posts forthcoming.

  • w

    Great stuff D&P. Thank you. Did you combine IF with juicing? I’m thinking of having juice only every other day along with IF.

    • dangerandplay

      Yes, though it all depends. I’m on day 18 of a modified just fast. I have 48-64 ounces of juice (mixed with protein powder). Then one huge meal for dinner.

      I never train in a fasted state. I’ve tried it and hate it.

      • AnonJohn

        odd. i love it. i do it first thing every morning. and then i dont eat til about 1pm.

      • anarchyraliv

        same here. I hate training fasted.

  • Rojo

    I picked up a hamilton big mouth yesterday. Sears has them for $53 on sale right now. Which is a decent price. I appreciate the two articles as juicing was something I was looking into but I had not been sold on the idea.

  • Walt

    I’ve have 2 juicers – the Breville BJE200XL Compact ($99) and the Omega J8004 ($250).

    They are very different products. In my opinion, save your money and buy the more expensive Omega.

    The problem with the Breville is two fold – it does a horrible job with green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, celery, etc.) which are critical to any good juice. Second, after 8 months the blade on my Breville went dull (I used it daily). The cost to replace it? $50.

    So I bought the Omega. The quality of the juice was 10X better. The higher quality of the greens in the juice made a HUGE difference. Plus, I was getting a much higher yield of juice from the veggies/fruits. So, I was actually using less (spending less $$) and getting more juice. Yes, it was slower to juice, but clean up was faster. I call it a draw. And it has a 15 year warranty.

    • dangerandplay

      Celery is a hard vegetable and the Breville handles it well. It also does OK with kale.

      You are right that the J8004 is a superior juicer, although it’s not better than the Omega VRT350.

      But this post isn’t about dick swinging contests over the best juicer.

      It’s about getting guys who may have never thought of juicing or may have been skeptical about juicing, to consider starting to juice.

      You need to learn to give the right advice to the right guy at the right time.

      I don’t want guys having $250 counter top decorations.

      Plus, the Omegas make a pulpier juice. That isn’t what guys new to juicing are going to expect or appreciate.

      If a guy juicers, decides it’s not for him, what’s he out? $60-100. He could probably sell one of those entry-level juicers on Craiglist for 75% of what he paid.

      If he, like me, decides that juicing is awesome, then what’s he out? Nothing. He’ll buy another juicer eventually and be glad to have a spare one hanging around.

      • walt

        Totally agree – people need to start somewhere. I started with the cheap one and moved up to the Omega.

        For the record, I was skeptical of juicing when I started. I got into because of a friend. But once I started I couldn’t stop. After 18 months, I still juice 4-6X per week as a meal replacement.

        The change in diet along with yoga helped me lose almost 25 lbs in the first 4 months.

        Juicing is awesome!

  • Gannicus

    Do you make juice to consume later? Like, could I make juice at night to take with me the next day?

    • dangerandplay

      I’ll sometimes freeze them in ball mason jars, pack them in a cooler in the a.m., and bring them to work.

      People will claim you will lose some nutritional value, but that has not been my experience.

  • Chi_Banger

    Prime pro tip, I hate to clean and the the Breville 800, that’ll save me some time, I can never seem to find kale, at the market, what benefits does it have an is there an comparible veg? Thanks! You’ve been my favorite blog since Real Made Men went off the air.

    • dangerandplay

      ANDI is short for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. The ANDI score is based on a food’s content of: Calcium, Beta Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Lutein & Zeaxanthin, Lycopene, Fiber, Folate, Glucosinolates, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and the food’s ORAC. (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity measures how many free radicals a food will “destroy.”)

      “1000” is a perfect score, and any good over 100 is very good for you.

      Top ANDI Foods to Juice

      Collard, mustard, & turnip greens 1000
      Kale 1000
      Watercress 1000
      Bok choy 824
      Spinach 739

      • Chi_Banger

        Great to know, thanks!

  • Interested

    I have the Breville 800 and it works well for me. It’s quick and easy to clean.

    For those of you who want to understand a bit more about juicing and also get some motivation just watch the movie, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. The guy did a 2 month juice fast and the results are impressive. It also explains in great detail the value of juicing.

    It’s on Netflix and you may even be able to watch it free at the movie’s website.

    Juicing on a daily basis puts some serious spring in your step. It’s pretty shocking to experience how good it makes you feel once you make it a habit.

  • FFY

    Thanks for the suggestions. Can’t wait to start.

    I’ve been getting tired of cramming pounds of broccoli and carrots and what not, and everyone’s testimonials is finally convincing me to get it on this.

  • humphreyvanweyden

    I blend raw veggies (kale, carrots, etc.) in my Blendtec regularly but I don’t own a juicer and I’ve only had a few juice drinks. I’ve recently doubled the amount of kale I’m blending and I’ve certainly noticed increased digestive/gas/bloat symptoms which is one reason causing me to take a second look at adding juicing to my repertoire. I don’t have a dishwasher so the juicer cleanup has always been a deterrent for me.

    Regarding juicing, I’ve read there’s an insulin spike? What do you think of the insulin spike and does it bother you at all?

    Regarding future articles I’d love to see some of your favorite recipes.

    Do you use the protein powder for convenience or do you prefer it to food like eggs?

    • Rojo

      Just to comment on the clean up issue, I do not have a dishwasher either. However, the cleanup (at least for the hamilton big mouth) is quick and easy. If you bag the waste bin, then you have 3 parts + your glass to wash. The plastic pieces are quick and the only thing that takes a big of time is the blade. You’re looking at 5 minutes tops, in my experience.

      • dangerandplay

        Yeah. The only “hard” part to clean is the blade and that takes 90 seconds tops..

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  • May

    I have to ask permission to go to my website.

  • Darren

    Do you eat meats and shit still mate or are you just straight out juicing every meal with protein powders mixed in? Or is there enough protein in the veggies to keep up with your training?

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