What Kinds Of Apples Are Best For Juicing?

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types of juice

When comparing apples to apples, no two are exactly alike. Sweetness, tartness, texture, size, and color all play a role in the flavor profile. If you want to juice with apples, it’s good to know how they stack up against each other. We’ve created this guide to help you profile different apple varieties so you can determine what will taste best when you pass it through your juicer. Over 2,500 apple varieties are grown in the United States alone, and over 7,500 are grown worldwide. That’s a lot of variation, but to keep things simple we’ve narrowed the playing field to our top 10 choices.

A Word About Juicing Apples

You might have heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But if you consume too many apple seeds, you may be facing a full-on emergency room visit. This is because apple seeds contain amygdalin. When you chew them, the amygdalin breaks down into hydrogen cyanide, a common poison. When juicing apples, it’s always best to core them to remove the seeds. This way, you can avoid concocting a nice cup of cyanide juice. While you would have to consume a large number of apple seeds to hit toxic or lethal levels, it’s better to avoid the seeds completely.

Our Ranking

Our top 10 apple varieties below are scored based on five factors: sweetness, flavor, tartness, texture, and affordability. The sweetness, overall flavor, and tartness can affect the palatability of your juice, and texture can determine if your juice is cloudy or clear. Affordability, of course, is up to you and your pocketbook, but for some people it could be the determining factor between two close contenders. The higher our number ranking, the more favorable the apple. For instance, an apple ranking 1 in tartness is probably intolerably sour, whereas a 5 would have a nice balance of tartness. A texture score of 1 would mean a mealy apple, whereas a 5 would be a balance of crisp and palatable.

10. Red Delicious

We would be remiss not to mention one of the most popular apple varieties in the United States. Red Delicious apples are not only ubiquitous and affordable, they’re also satisfyingly refreshing. The word “refreshing” is a key buzzword when it comes to juice. Unfortunately, what you gain in sweetness, you pay for in texture. This is one of the mealier-textured apple varieties. It’s also lacking in dynamic flavor.

  • Sweetness: 3
  • Flavor: 2
  • Tartness: 4
  • Texture: 2
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 3.2

red delicious

9. Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious is another common variety in the United States. These sweet-tooth-friendly apples are a beautiful yellow shade with a sweet, soft inside. They’re just as refreshing as Red Delicious but rate a little higher on the flavor profile. They’re an all-around decent choice for juicing.

  • Sweetness: 3
  • Flavor: 3
  • Tartness: 4
  • Texture: 3
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 3.6
golden delicious

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Pxhere

8. Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples are known for their bright green skin and sharp, tart flavor. The famous Granny Smith apple is typically used for baking or snacking, but it packs a tart flavor punch as a juice, as well. Pro tip: if you want to get more sweetness from Granny Smiths, try aging them in the pantry for a few months.

  • Sweetness: 4
  • Flavor: 4
  • Tartness: 2
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 3.8
granny smith

Image credit: Hadge, Wikimedia

7. Gala

Galas have gained widespread use due to their mild flavor, balanced tartness and sweetness, and affordability. Their status as a mainstay on grocery store shelves is largely due to their availability. Because they grow successfully year-round in both warm and temperate climates, they’re easy to produce consistently.

  • Sweetness: 4
  • Flavor: 3
  • Tartness: 3
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 3.8
gala

Image credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay

6. Arkansas Black

Though they’re a bit on the uncommon side, these nicely textured and floral-flavored apples pack a nice dose of sweetness and balanced tartness. Their signature wine-red peels make them beautiful to look at, but they’re great for baking, too. Add raw vanilla (not extract) to the juice for an extra wallop of flavor.

  • Sweetness: 4
  • Flavor: 4
  • Tartness: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 4
  • Score: 4
arkansas black

Image credit: Photo, Wikimedia

5. Fuji

The flavor notes in Fuji apples are enticing, which makes them another top juicing contender. With hints of honey and citrus, they provide a robust juice flavor that’s difficult to match. If you want the best flavor from a Fuji, it’s best to let it age for around three months.

  • Sweetness: 4
  • Flavor: 4
  • Tartness: 3
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 4
fuji apple

Image credit: FASTILY, Wikimedia

4. Pink Lady

This is a tart variety with an attractive pink blush. These apples rank nicely on flavor and texture. Their high acid and high sugar content make for a crisp, refreshing flavor. They’re also great for baking, but their juice can tend toward being more tart than other varieties.

  • Sweetness: 4
  • Flavor: 4
  • Tartness: 5
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 4.4
pink lady

Image credit: Apple and Pear Australia Ltd, Flickr

3. Honeycrisp

A great balance of flavor and texture gives these red-gold apples an edge into third place. Their delicate combination of sweetness and tartness makes them perfect for juicing, and they’re common to find in markets. They’re also a great option for making warm spiced cider.

  • Sweetness: 5
  • Flavor: 5
  • Tartness: 5
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 4
  • Score: 4.6
honeycrisp

Image credit: walfred, Pixabay

2. Braeburn

Braeburns are considered a benchmark among commercial apple varieties. They’re well-regarded for their fresh flavor, balance, affordability, and ease of production. They taste best when cooled below room temperature and are great for a variety of uses.

  • Sweetness: 5
  • Flavor: 4
  • Tartness: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Affordability: 5
  • Score: 4.6
braeburn

Image credit: Joy, Flickr

1. Winesap

This is an heirloom variety less commonly found on supermarket shelves. The Winesap’s gorgeous, balanced flavor and crisp texture make it one of the best apple varieties for any use. It’s a good choice for any spiced pie or cider recipe, and it will also make a perfectly delicious juice.

  • Sweetness: 5
  • Flavor: 5
  • Tartness: 5
  • Texture: 5
  • Affordability: 4
  • Score: 4.8
winesap

Image credit: Assianir, Wikimedia

And the Winner Is…

While many of the apple varieties above will make great juice, for pure flavor, balance, and nuance, a cup of Winesap apple juice takes the cake. Check around local orchards or farmer’s markets if you can’t find these at your local grocery store. Trust us, it’s worth the effort to hunt them down. Now that you know a little more about apple varieties, it’s time to make the tough choice. Of course, you can always just have fun with it. Try a few different varieties and see what suits your palate. You may be surprised by what you discover.