Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicers – What’s the Difference?
What exactly is the difference between all these juicers you’ve been looking at? What do masticating and centrifugal even mean? Is one better than the other? Do they juice things differently? Should you purchase one of each for juicing different kinds of fruits and vegetables?
Read on for a brief overview of each juicer’s design, their benefits and challenges, and what you can and can’t juice with each one. By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with the information needed so that you can make the best decision.
Let’s first take a look at how each type of juicer is designed and how it works.
The Masticating Juicer
Best suited for: Juicing fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens with the best possible texture & flavor.
A masticating juicer has a chute at the top that fruits or veggies are fed through; a plunger pushes them down (so you don’t accidentally juice your fingers). As the crushed food passes through a tube and into the rotating blade, the juice is extracted from the pulp. (Depending on the type of masticating juicer you’re looking at, there might be one or two augers for crushing the food.) The juice then travels through many tiny holes (or a single hole) on the underside of the tube while the pulp or fibers of the fruits/veggies are pushed out the end into another receptacle.
Juicing with a masticating juicer takes longer than it does with a centrifugal juicer, working at about 80 – 100 RPMs. However, there are some benefits to this slower process.
Mastication means to chew, chomp, or crush, which is exactly what this juicer does. This type of juicer takes all of the fruits and vegetables, chews them for you, spits out all the fibrous material, and gives you all the good juice. The big benefit of this slow process is that the juice retains more of its vital nutrients. Less heat is introduced during the process so the juice doesn’t oxidize as quickly. Reducing oxidation not only helps to preserve more nutrients in the juice, but it also gives the juicer a better taste and texture.
The pulp that’s produced from a masticating juicer is also dryer, meaning most of the juice is juice squeezed from the pulp. Juice produced with masticating juicers can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 72 hours and still retain its quality. So you can take your time juicing enough food to last you for three days, which can be a huge time-saver!
Cleaning. Let’s face it, pretty much any juicer that has tiny holes for expressing juice is going to be a pain to clean. If you do decide on a masticating juicer, you might want to choose one with a single auger. These have a larger hole at the bottom for expressing juice, making them pretty easy to clean.
Masticating juicers can be a little bit pricier than centrifugal juicers. But… can you put a price tag on your health?
I didn’t think so…
What You Can and Can’t Juice
Masticating juicers can juice just about anything. These machines are especially great for juicing greens since they extract more juice than other types of juicers. So if you’re planning on juicing a lot of wheatgrass or kale, a masticating juicer will work great, especially a dual auger one.
The Centrifugal Juicer
Best suited for: Juicing hard fruits and vegetables under tighter budgets or time constraints.
If you’re familiar with how a centrifuge works, you probably already have a good understanding of how this type juicer operates. With a centrifugal juicer, fruit and veggies go in the top and are pushed down with a tamper into a fast-spinning centrifuge that features tiny holes. This is where the juice gets pushed out one side and the pulp gets pushed out the other.
There are a few benefits to purchasing this type of juicer.
First off, they’re generally much more economical (price-wise) than their masticating counterparts. You can pick up a pretty good quality centrifugal juicer for less than $100.
These are also great if you don’t have a lot of time to stand around juicing all day and want your juice fast!
You’ll have to drink this juice quickly. Juice that is produced with centrifugal juicers contains a lot more air and thus oxidizes faster. Whereas the masticating juicer rotates at 800-1,000 RPMs, the centrifugal juicer can rotate anywhere from 3,000 to 22,000 RPMs. Also, the pulp that is produced is wetter, meaning you get less juice. However, you can always strain the pulp through a nut milk bag or similar device to extract more of the juice.
When it comes to cleaning, centrifugal juicers can be a little easier to work with than masticating juicers. They generally seem to have fewer parts to wash, although the actual centrifugal component can be a pain to clean with all of its tiny holes. With either type of juicer, make sure you have a good, stiff-bristled plastic brush to clean them with.
What You Can and Can’t Juice
The centrifugal juicer is great for juicing hard fruits and veggies (think apples and carrots). It’s also great for juicing things with higher water content, like watermelon and cucumbers. However, they’re not super great at juicing leafy greens. These foods don’t contain a lot of juice, to begin with, so if you are planning on juicing a lot of greens, you might want to look at the masticating juicer instead.
Which Should You Choose?
Masticating juicers are best suited for anyone who wants to juice just about anything, including leafy greens, and wants the best possible flavor and texture.
Centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, are best suited for anyone with a tighter budget or less time who mostly juices hard fruits and vegetables.
Juicing is a great lifestyle choice that can produce many benefits, from increased energy to clearer skin and better digestion. Getting a juicer, however, is an investment. Centrifugal juicers are generally less expensive, so if you’re not completely sure that you’re going to be juicing long-term, this might be the right choice for you. If you intend to incorporate lots of green juices into your diet, however, a masticating juicer might be the best choice.
Before you make your final decision, you may want to consider these things:
What is your budget? What are your health goals? Are you more concerned with quality or quantity? Are you planning on juicing for a few days at a time? Does the machine come with a warranty? (If you are purchasing a more expensive juicer, you might want to make sure there is one attached to it.) And finally, does this juicer serve any purpose other than juicing? For example, some masticating juicers come with different attachments that allow you to make nut butter, ice creams, or sorbets.
Taking these things into consideration will help you to make the best-informed decision when it comes to picking the juicer that best suits your health and lifestyle goals.