A $30 Respectable Juicer
Posted: Sunday, June 28th, 2009 – 9:07 pm
I've been curious to try out home juicing for some time, but I've always had the impression that I needed to shell out a small fortune to get a decent juicer. That changed when I read a lovely little blurb in TimeOut Chicago about a $30 juicer that a lot of folks found success with. Plus it was on Amazon, and I'm hooked-up with free 2-day shipping there, so I couldn't resist.
I immediately put my new Better Chef IM550V to work, and loved it! The apparatus/juicing mechanism is rather interesting: you feed your plant matter down a chute where it meets a fast-spinning, mesh-walled basket whose bottom is laden with little teeth. These teeth tear right into the plant material shredding it into small pieces which are thrown against the sides of the basket. The juice is pulled out by centrifugal force through the mesh into one receptacle and the remaining pulp is thrown into another receptacle. All quite need I must say.
Here are some of my initial observations:
- What it can handle: I've juiced quite a few things, and the juicier the plant the better. Carrots, apples, pears, leafy greens, and even nopal catci went through this with no problem.
- What it can't handle: Wheatgrass. Well, it's not impossible to get wheatgrass juice out of it, but it's certainly not easy. Wheatgrass I think is best extracted by grinding rather than shredding, so this thing just sits and spins on the wheatgrass without doing much, unless you really push the material down. I'm sure the juicing purists are going to lay into me for even suggesting using this for wheatgrass since shredding evidently destroys the chlorophyll in it that everyone is after. Anyway.
- Noise: It's not the quietest gizmo I have in the kitchen, but not deafening either. I make sure I have my veggies prepped and cut to fit the chute, so the juicer is only running when I need it.
- Clean-up: Mildly annoying, but perhaps I'm lazy. After each use, you need to cleanup about 6 different components. I'd recommend a good dish brush for getting the shredded pulp out of the teeth.
- Durability: I think it's pretty durable. It is plastic, so I afraid that some of the components that have to snap together may one day break, but things have been fine so far. In terms of the motor, it seems pretty strong. It's handled pretty much everything I've thrown at it, with only minor slow-downs on the wheat grass.
While this juicer isn't perfect for all applications, but it's a great, low-cost way to get into juicing.