Why buy a separate juicer for citrus fruits?
A common question for people unfamiliar with citrus juicers is why you would purchase a separate juicer from the one commonly used for other fruits. The reason is that most fruit juice extractors require a lot of preparation for citrus, including peeling away the thick waxy skin and removing pits or the majority of seeds. This is a big problem for citrus because it can make preparing something like an orange for juicing a daunting task.
In addition, citrus juicers offer options for regulating the amount of pulp that gets into your juice and are typically easier to clean than juice extractors, especially when the latter get clogged with pulp.
How does a citrus juicer work?
A citrus juicer typically requires you just to cut whatever fruit you are juicing in half, then press it against the juicer. Juicers typically press the fruit against a central reamer, which then turns on its own or against which you can rotate the fruit, then direct the juice through a spout and into your cup or pitcher. Some juicers have handles that allow you to apply pressure, while others hold the fruit automatically, and others still have a screw-pressure press function. Although not all citrus juicers treat pulp equally, most will prevent the pulp from getting into hard to clean places and some will allow it through with the juice more or less depending on your preferences
Choosing between different types of citrus juicers
There are three primary types of citrus juicers – squeezers, manual juicers, and electric juicers . Squeezers create juice by placing the fruit between two plates, then squeeze the attached levers together to force the juice out. Manual juicers are setup somewhat differently – the fruit is placed onto a ridged reamer and the juice is forced out by rotating it against the reamer. Electric juicers use the same design but make the process more automatic by having the reamer turn on its own while you hold the fruit in place. The best choice of electric juicer for citrus and oranges is a centrifugal juicer.
For both manual and electric juicers, look for those that have a lever handle on the top press since this makes it easy to control the pressure being applied to the fruit for consistent juicing.
Pulp regulation is a premium feature in citrus juicers that allow you to set how much pulp you would like to allow into the juice or filter out. This is especially important if you prefer no- or low-pulp juice, since many juicers without pulp regulation will leave you with juice full of pulp.
How messy is the process?
One of the common concerns about using a citrus juicer is how messy the process will be – after all, no one wants sticky citrus juice splashing all over the kitchen. The best juicers will have the reamer specifically designed to reduce the likelihood of splashing, such as a splash guard around the reamer or a plastic cover to keep any splashes from the fruit contained within the juicer. Moreover, many citrus juicers have a drip-stop spout to prevent slow leaks that can otherwise leave a puddle of sticky juice on your counter. In addition, consider whether you have to manually hold the fruit during the juicing process or whether the juicer has a built-in press with a lever that can keep you hands off the fruit and away from the stickiest part of the process.
Some electric juicers can spin not only in one, but in both directions. This reverse spinning action works more efficiently to get the last drops of juice and pulp out of citrus fruit compared to other juicers. Many electric juicers will automatically spin in reverse, while some will allow you to choose when to activate the reverse function.
Ease of cleaning
Ease of cleaning is extremely important for a juicer – after all, if your juicer is hard to clean, you will hesitate before using it. Juicers that have few internal parts and a well-designed storage area for discarded pulp are the easiest to clean. An especially important categorization here is dishwasher safe, since if you can simply drop your juicer into the dishwasher when you are done using it cleanup is a snap. The number of different parts that a juicer breaks down into also matters, since you’ll need to break it down and reassemble it after each use to clean it fully.
Price and warranty
Of course, you’ll need to consider your budget when considering which citrus juicer is right for your kitchen. Manual squeezers and juicers are typically the least expensive, although even prices for these can vary widely. Electric juicers have a huge variation in price depending on the amount of marketing and consumer research that went into the product design, as well as accessories and the addition of features like drip-stop spouts and reverse spinning. Many juicers, but not all, come with a one-year limited warranty – although this might not seem like a long time, it can add a significant peace of mind as you get used to using your new juicer.
One of the most important considerations in a citrus juicer is what materials it is made of. Since you’ll be drinking or eating the juice that comes out of the juicer, it is important that the juicer is constructed of food-grade plastic or stainless steel and that any plastic parts are free of toxic BPA. Stainless steel offers more durability in the long-term that plastic, especially if you plan to use your juicer heavily. In addition, consider opting for a juicer with dishwasher-safe plastic and stainless steel parts to make cleaning significantly faster and easier.
Although not make or break for most juicer purchase choices, small accessories like an included pitcher or a second plastic cover for juicing can be nice additions. These features allow you to get to juicing more quickly and, in the case of a second plastic cover, can allow you to juice multiple times before having to clean out the juicer entirely.