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    The Best Juicers To Squeeze Into Your Life

    Never pay for overpriced juice again!

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    Something about a fresh juice always makes us feel like we’re going to live forever. We know chugging down a refreshing glass of kale-celery-apple juice isn’t actually enough to erase the damage caused by late nights and ill-advised fourth slices of pizza, but it sure feels like it might! So we’ve put the best of the best home juicers to the test — looking at taste and volume of juice, motor wattage, and ease of cleanup — and picked the best juicers to help you kick that $9-a-day store-bought juice habit once and for all.

    Joe Murray Productions, Games Animation / Via

    Editor's Note: We're currently updating these picks! Check back soon for more.

    Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor

    Even mid-priced juicers can cost hundreds of dollars, so the skeptics among us didn’t have terribly high hopes when we set about testing machines in the budget category. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor, the least expensive of all the cheaper-priced picks we tested, was our favorite.

    First, a bit of general juicer info. When it comes to juicers, there are two major categories: single-auger and centrifugal. Centrifugal juicers use a fast-spinning blade and centrifugal force (science!) to separate the liquids contained in fruits and veggies from their solid parts. Single-auger juicers (aka cold-press juicers, masticating juicers, or “slow juicers”) have many names, but only one gear. They are — you guessed it — slower than their centrifugal counterparts. Single-auger juicers generate less heat throughout the juicing process, making them purportedly better at preserving valuable nutritional enzymes that centrifugal juicers’ heat can break down (although the evidence to support this isn’t universally agreed upon). Single-auger juicers are also generally pricier, so all the budget machines we tested were centrifugal. This centrifugal model gets the job done like a pro.

    The chute on this juicer — that’s where you insert whatever you want to juice — is 3 inches wide, or enough to fit half a medium-sized beet or a small apple. This cuts down on prep time, making this machine a good pick for anyone who wants a glass of juice within five minutes. Some reviews of this machine noted that it was slower than machines with more power (like the ones we tested in the $$ and $$$ brackets), which stands to reason, but it still makes a damn fine glass of juice in under two minutes, putting it neck-and-neck with its higher-priced competitors in this category.

    We tested apples, beets, kale, celery, and carrots, and this machine’s 800 watts were more than sufficient to create perfectly smooth juices in every combination. Some of the juicers we tried tended to be more efficient at extracting juice from one type of fruit or vegetable than another — which resulted in, for example, kale stealing all the thunder in our kale-apple-celery juice (such a diva). The Hamilton Beach had no such problem — the fruit and vegetable flavors were well-balanced in every juice we made.

    This model is easy to set up (not a given when it comes to juicers) and to use, with just a simple on/off switch. Every juicer we tested was somewhat annoying to clean, but this one was less annoying than most — its plastic parts are all dishwasher-safe, and if you want to cut down on cleaning time, you can line the machine’s pulp bin with a plastic bag.

    All the juicers we tested in this price category produced a significant amount of foam. You can always cut down on foam by using a fine mesh strainer, but we didn’t find it hugely off-putting, particularly if we drink our vitamin-brews right away. In short, if you want to drink green but not spend a whole lot of it, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor is your best bet.

    Get it from Amazon for $54.99.

    Omega Nutrition Center Juicer

    We talked a bit about the differences between centrifugal and single-auger juicers in our review of our $ pick, and while we don’t think a single-auger machine is a good choice for a budget-conscious home juice-maker, if you’re looking to spend a little more money, the Omega J8004 is the best mid-range machine out there.

    As we mentioned above, single-auger juicers are significantly slower than their centrifugal counterparts. The Omega has a smaller chute than most centrifugal machines, so it requires more chopping before you can get to juicin’. And at 150 watts, its strength doesn’t come from pure horsepower. It squeezes foods instead of grinding them, resulting in maximum efficiency. While the health benefits of single-auger juicers might be dubious, their efficiency is (at least based on our testing) truly superior. The proof was in the pulp: The fruit and veggie pulp that came out of the Omega was far drier than what any of the centrifugal machines in this category produced. No matter what fruit or vegetable we put down its chute, the Omega consistently yielded the highest volume of liquid. It also produced the least amount of foam. Win-win!

    This juicer is a great choice for anyone for whom noise is a concern (fear not, juice-loving parents of young children — while the Omega J8004 isn’t exactly whisper-soft, it’s significantly quieter than any of the centrifugal models we tried). It’s also a good investment if you want a machine that multitasks. While most of the other juicers we tried were single-taskers, this one comes equipped with attachments for food processing (it chops and minces!) as well as making pasta, frozen desserts, baby food, and nut butters and milks. (Full disclosure: We didn’t test its abilities in those non-juice realms, but multiple Amazon reviewers attest to the Omega’s strength across multiple categories — though a few complained that the nut-butter attachment was finicky.)

    This machine wasn’t our favorite to wash: It isn’t dishwasher-safe, it has a lot of small parts, and the juice gunk kind of worked itself in everywhere, so keep that in mind if you’re not a fan of handwashing. If you’re just making juice for one or two people, though, the cleaning will probably be less of an issue.

    If you’re still not sold on that single-auger life (fair enough — especially if speed and volume are concerns), we also like the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain, which was one of the least unwieldy models we tried — its pulp-catcher is built into the machine (fewer parts to lose), and it made plenty of tasty and not-too-foamy beverages. But if you want to get the most out of your produce, we think the Omega J8004 is the way to go.

    Get it from Amazon for $249.95.

    Breville Juice Fountain Elite

    Even after we were jaded from hours of juicer testing and millions (okay, tens) of cups of juice, the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite was a true treat to use. It was just so fast! And efficient! And yes, we’re not ashamed to admit that it just looked good. Would we say it looked “elite”? No, but that’s only because elite is sort of a weird adjective to ascribe to a juicer. But it was easy to use, super-speedy, and, dang, did it make a good cup of juice.

    The Breville is a centrifugal juicer. In our review of our $$ pick, we extolled the virtues of the single-auger juicer, and while we did test a few of those in the $$$ category, we didn’t think any of them performed much better than our choice for the $$ category, the Omega J8004 Nutrition Center — certainly not enough better to justify their higher cost. Overall, the Breville made the juice that tasted the best and required the least amount of time or energy. With a thousand watts behind it, this was the most powerful juicer we tested, and the speed with which it turned every fruit and vegetable we threw at it (er, placed carefully in its chute) was truly impressive. Of course, it was louder than its single-auger competitors (it sounded like a mid-volume blender), but it made such short work of everything from apples to kale to ginger to citrus that we barely had time to register the noise.

    This juicer has two speeds: one for softer ingredients like berries, cucumbers, and citrus, and one for harder foods like beets and carrots. This ensures that every food is juiced as efficiently as possible; if you juice soft foods at higher speeds, they tend to zip into the pulp container before being fully divested of their delicious liquids. Every juice we tasted from this machine was rich, well-balanced, and very low on foam.

    Like our $ pick, the Breville has a 3-inch chute, which makes it a great choice for anyone with limited time for prep work. Its juice jug has a 1.1-quart capacity, so you can whip up large quantities of juice without so much as taking a siphon break. And while we wouldn’t say cleanup was a breeze (the parts aren’t dishwasher-safe — wait, are we just lazy?), there weren’t a ton of small parts to clean, which we strongly appreciated.

    If you’re an avid juicer who’s short on time but still wants a seriously high-quality beverage, you can’t do much better than the Breville 800JEXL. Santé!

    Get it from Amazon for $278.12.