One of the harder things about cooking and choosing appliances is knowing they are going to do exactly what you want them to do. It can be hard to know when something is advertised if it is what you want or need. Some of those items are juicers and juice extractors, they sound pretty much the same thing right?
A juicer and juice extractor are not the same thing. The main differences between a juicer and a juice extractor are the cost, size and method and results. Juicers create a thick juice with bits and seeds in whereas juice extractors will simply create smooth juice.
In this article I am going to talk about what each of the products are, what they do and what the differences are so you can fully understand what you are looking for and what you are buying.
What Is A Juicer?
A juicer is a specific type of appliance which is primarily used for citrus fruits. Both electric and manual juicers typically have a cone-shaped head which you press your citrus fruit down onto. Upon pressing the fruit, the juice is squeezed from the flesh and is typically collected within the juicer.
You can get both manual and electric juicers, and there’s largely the same in makeup. They both have some kind of reamer that presses the juice out of the fruit, but the difference is that the electric reamer will typically move in order to get more juice.
The third type of juicer is a press juicer. These are, technically speaking, manual juicers, but they are a little more complex.
Typically, you align your fruit with the reamer in the appliance and then pull down on a handle to press the juice out of the fruit. This method of gathering juice is much easier and quicker, but the machines are typically more costly.
The advantage of juicers is that you will always get juice from the right part of the fruit, as odd as that may sound. When you juice orange with good technique, you will always get rich, sweet orange juice.
The disadvantage comes with bad technique. If you press too hard or twist too forcefully, you can end up getting some of the pith from the orange in the juice. This leads to a bitter taste overall, which is, of course, bad.
What Is A Juice Extractor?
A juice extractor is a much more aggressive appliance than a juicer. A juice extractor can extract juice from both fruits and vegetables. It starts off by cutting the item into extremely small pieces, before spinning the pieces at a high speed to separate the seeds and the skin. The final product, therefore, is pure juice, without any pulp or seeds.
There are two types of juice extractors: centrifugal, and masticating.
A centrifugal juice extractor works in the way that we described above – by cutting an object up into small pieces and then spinning to quickly separate the pulp from the juice itself.
Centrifugal juice extractors are also known as fast juice extractors, because, quite simply, they work very quickly. Without too much effort or time, you can easily add the fruit or veg to the appliances, and the juice will pour out almost immediately.
A problem with these centrifugal juice extractors is that they create an awful lot of noise. Do you know how your washing machine gets really loud when it’s on a spin cycle? That’s the exact problem that these juice extractors have – they get really loud.
Also, they have a small problem that might be more of an issue with long-time juice lovers – they struggle to process leafy greens. Because leafy greens are a little more delicate than comparable veggies, they tend to get overprocessed by a centrifugal juice extractor, leading to poor-quality juice.
The other type of juice extractor is a masticating juice extractor. They’re known as slow juicers since their mechanism is slower than that of the centrifugal juice extractor. The mechanism is made up of a slow rotating auger to crush the fruits against a steel mesh.
They do not shred or cut the fruit and veg, which makes them ideal for leafy greens. While they are great for leafy greens, they do have their share of other advantages too. For example, they don’t oxidize your juice like a centrifugal juicer does, leading to juice that stays fresher for longer.
Masticating juicers do have their disadvantages, too. For example, they usually have smaller feed chutes, which means that you need to do more prep work than with a centrifugal juice extractor. They’re typically also a lot slower and more expensive than centrifugal juicers.
What’s The Difference Between A Juicer And A Juice Extractor?
The difference between a juicer and a juice extractor is that a juicer does not separate bits out of the end product. Instead, you’ll always get a thick juice that contains seeds and small pieces of skin. However, a juice extractor only produces juice, every single time.
Typically, people refer to manual citrus reamers as ‘juicers’, while referring to upstanding machines as ‘juice extractors’. However, you can get electric juicers, so this isn’t a hard and fast rule -rather just a slight semantic difference.