When looking at methods to increase your intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables you may have come across two kitchen utensils, a juicer and a blender. Despite both of these machines offering you a way of increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, they are different.
A juicer uses blades or a press to push the juice out from the fibrous pulp creating a smooth drink, on the other hand, a blender uses blades at speed to cut the fruits and vegetables into smaller chunks without removing the fibre to create a thicker liquid consistency.
In this post, we’ll be looking at the key differences between a juicer and a blender to help you find the right machine for your kitchen.
What Is A Juicer
A juicer uses either an auger or a press (depending on the type of juicer) to separate the juice from fruits and vegetables. As the auger blades spin or pressure is applied to the press, pulp and pips are squeezed from the fruit and pushed into a container separate to that of the juice.
A juicer is designed to make juices which are smooth by removing the fibre without sacrificing the nutritional value of the ingredients.
Some of my favourite juicer recipes include;
Different Types Of Juicers
To truly understand the way a juicer works you have to consider the different types available. There are four different types of juicers; A centrifugal force juicer, masticating juicer, twin gear juicer, and a juice press – I won’t be explaining this last one as it’s not commonly used.
Centrifugal Force Juicer – A centrifugal juicer works by using a flat blade (also known as an auger) which is situated on the bottom of the machine to cut ingredients. These ingredients are forced against a juicing strainer using what’s known as centrifugal force.
These juicers are often available in a wide range of wattage (600 to 12,000) and can have multiple speeds which can be adjusted where necessary. While a centrifugal juicer produces more instantaneous results when compared to the other types of juicers, it’s much harder to clean and often leads to more waste as it’s unable to push all the potential liquid out of the pulp.
This excess waste also means you’ll likely need more ingredients to make a small amount of juice.
Masticating Juicer – Masticate means to knead or to grind a substance to a pulp, therefore unsurprisingly that’s exactly what a masticating juicer does. Often referred to as a cold press juicer, the extraction process is done at low speed and with nothing more than two super-strong press like objects, unlike a centrifugal juicer which uses blades at a high speed.
While a masticating juicer is more expensive many people prefer it as the functions allow for the juice to be broken down from the ingredients more thoroughly. This helps to maximise the juicers yield and minimise waste.
Twin Gear Juicer – The final and most expensive type of juicer is a twin gear juicer also known as a triturating juicer. This juicer uses two gears which are closely aligned to one and other to grind and pound the ingredients that pass between into a refined juice.
Double the power means a further increase in yield and a reduced amount of waste which is why a twin gear juicer is often seen as an investment commonly made by commercial juice companies.
However, given the complexity of this particular juicer, you’ll find that cleaning it in between uses can be time-consuming.
Advantages Of A Juicer
The advantages of a juicer are;
Smooth Juice – Many people struggle with the fibres content and thick texture of a smoothie. You’ll get none of this when using a juicer to extract juice from your ingredients without major nutritional sacrifices.
Disadvantages Of A Juicer
The disadvantages of a juicer are;
Cleaning – Cleaning a juicer is generally much harder than cleaning a blender due to the number of small shoots and multiple containers. The vast majority of these parts are dishwasher safe, but given the quantity are likely to take up significantly more space in your dishwasher compared to just the two items which need cleaning from a blender.
Pulp Waste – If not used responsibly then juicers can create a large amount of waste in the form of pulp. This pulp can be converted into other foods such as dips, burgers and crackers but this takes time and effort. Without this, the pulp (which can be up to 70% of the fruit and vegetable) is simply discarded.
Fixed Purpose – With a juicer, you can do little more than just juice. Over the last twenty years, we’ve seen an increasing number of combination kitchen utensils (the Instant Pot is a great example) which allow you to adjust the settings of the machine to apply different cooking practices to your food, none of this is possible with a juicer.
Ingredient To Juice Ratio – While you are able to reuse your pulp, the actual quantity of juice you’re getting from your fruits and vegetables is going to be limited. In fact, to make a 400ml juice you’re likely to need a
What Is A Blender
A blender is an electrical appliance which uses a set of blades to puree fruits and vegetables for smoothies and soups in a downward-moving vortex. The ‘blending’ process is often achieved as a result of the design and shape of the pitcher which holds the ingredients and sits directly on top of the blades.
Blenders often come with multiple blade types and different speed settings to allow for different items to be blended at different speeds (suitable for stronger ingredients such as ice).
Some of my favourite blender recipes include;
Different Types Of Blenders
There are multiple different types of blenders however, we’re going to focus on the two which are most directly related to a juicer;
Stick Blender / Immersion Blender – An immersion blender is a lightweight stick appliance with a handle on one end and a blade on the other.
Simply put the end with the blade into a container or bowl with the ingredients you’d like to blend, turn it on and allow the blender to work its magic. This type of blender is popular with cooks and bakers rather than those looking to make smoothies.
Single Serve / Countertop Blender – A countertop blender is made up of multiple removable components. The major pieces are the motor, the blade and the pitcher. The pitcher is the specially designed container which holds the ingredients, the blade often has a screw-on lid which attaches and contains these ingredients inside of the pitcher.
Once contained the other side of the blade will connect to the motor base of the blender and triggering the blade to turn. As the ingredients are trapped inside of the container with the blade they will be blended using a vortex type motion.
Advantages Of A Blender
Small & Compact – An immersion blender especially is a small and relatively compact piece of equipment which is suitable for kitchens that lack storage space.
Versatile – Blenders are incredibly versatile and can be used to mix together fruits and vegetables as well as ingredients such as protein shakes, pancake mixes, soups, sauces and milkshakes.
Affordable – Blenders are often cheaper than juicers. Even high-quality brands with a range of accessories and additional versatility after often cheaper than a juicer of the same calibre.
Easy To Clean – Given the small number of parts and relatively basic complexity of the machine it’s easy to clean. The majority of blender components which need cleaning (the blade and the container) are dishwasher safe.
Disadvantages Of A Blender
Doesn’t Make Juice – Blenders don’t juice fruits and vegetables like a juicer (some possible workarounds below).
What Is The Difference Between A Juicer And A Blender?
I’ve made a table below to highlight the key differences between a juicer and a blender. In my opinion perhaps the most important difference is the end product that either of these machines create.
A juicer creates a smooth juice by removing the fibrous pulp from the fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, a blender uses all of the ingredients and combines them together to create a thicker consistency in the form of a smoothie.
|Affordable||$33 – $300||$15 – $300|
|Drink Consistency||Smooth||Thick & Chunky|
|Waste Created||Up to 70%||None|
|Difficult To Clean||Some||Little to None|
How To Make Juice In A Blender?
As a blender is such a versatile piece of equipment it can be tempting to purchase this instead of or in addition to a juicer.
An in some cases (with some extra time and tools) this is possible, although probably only recommended on a small scale – I’m not sure you’d want to go to such effort if you’re making a juice once a week or more.
Losune at Simple Vegan Blog goes over this in more detail, however, the basic premise is that you blend your chosen fruits and vegetables together.
Then move the contents to a nut milk bag and manually push the juice through the bag. This allows the pulp to remain inside the bag and the juice to go through the bag into a container underneath.
Milk bags are small, reusable (can be cleaned and washed) and used to make a variety of different liquid drinks. My favourite is this one from Amazon.
Should You Buy A Juicer Or A Blender?
If you’re planning on making a juice more than once a week you should invest in a juicer.
If you enjoy cooking homemade foods from scratch and don’t plan on juicing more than once a month, then you should invest in a blender and a nut milk bag.
If you enjoy making a fruit/vegetable juice more than once a week and cooking homemade foods from scratch (making things such as dips and sauces) then you should invest in both a blender and a juicer.