A juicer is a kitchen appliance which is designed to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. Most juicers can also be used to make fruit drinks, and a high quality juicer can be a very useful addition to a kitchen. Many consumers engage in juicing because they believe that it will enhance their health by increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals that they consume. In addition, juicing is fast and relatively easy, especially if you keep fruits and veggies prepared, so it can provide a quick meal or snack.
Although similar to a blender, a juicer is not quite the same. Blenders can be used to make smoothies and other blended drinks which retain all the parts of the fruit or vegetable, while a juicer extracts juice and leaves much of the fiber of the produce behind. There are actually two types of juicers, designed for different purposes, and some consumers use both. Many kitchen supply stores carry a wide assortment of juicers and blenders, and staff can assist you in picking out the juicer which is right for your needs. Be aware that a good juicer can be quite expensive, because juicing is very hard on the motor, and a high-quality juicer is built to last. If you are buying a juicer which uses blades or inserts like a blender, be sure to ask about replacement availability, so that you can replace the blades, rather than the whole juicer, when the blades wear out or cannot be sharpened again.
A masticating juicer chews up the fruits and vegetables which are pushed through it, extracting juice while retaining some fiber as well. Many masticating juicers can be used to make nut butters, pureed foods, and fruit sorbets as well. A masticating juicer tends to be slow, because it extracts as much usable material from the food being fed through it, and it will produce juice, rather than a blended drink like a smoothie. These juicers are suitable for making wheat grass and carrot juice, two popular dietary supplements. Some consumers maintain that the quality of juice is higher with a masticating juicer, although it takes longer.
A centrifugal juicer spins blades around at high speed. The blades often resemble a grater, and are designed to quickly extract juice while routing the pulp out the back of the juicer and into a waste container. Typically, the blades are covered by an enclosure, with a hole to feed fruits and vegetables through. Centrifugal juicers are more suited to whole fruits and vegetables, and do not work as well with leafy greens. The juice produced tends to be light and tasty, although it does not have as much fiber as juice from a masticating juicer.