Ok - It's been 25 years since I have had fresh vegetable juice.
Recommend this product?
Back when I was a fairly fit kid in my 20s, it was, "oh - this is cool - but I don't have the money or time to Juice - (all the prep and expense, - wasn't high on my priority list) lol!
However, as the years rolled on, and life, and weight crept in, I started getting back into Fit For life, increasing fruits and vegies.
(- and you know, if you Do have discipline, your taste buds and you will start craving fresh fruits and vegies after 3/4 days of eating. - as opposed to ez plastic food. (however, I still am a coffee, BBQ chips, and choc junkie)
2 weeks ago, Someone gave me a small cup of fresh carrot, celery, cilantro, and half a garlic clove. My taste buds went absolutely nuts - my body went "~HOODAH!~" What the heck is this?" Instant craving.
Not having the $ for juice bar prices, & knowing nothing about juicers - I asked a friend if I could borrow the juicer they weren't using.
(This was a Braun MP80 - not made anymore - countertop, ez, and higly recomended!)
I figured out the way it worked, and I began juicing. I didn't have any fancy recipies, I just threw in carrots and celery - whatever on hand. I was totally in heaven. Clean up took under 2 minutes.
The ex of my friend wanted it back - so after a week, I lost it.
Pathos! BUT! I learned alot about what I wanted in a juicer -
countertop size, seperate pulp ejector, strong motor, (250 watts) and up) easy locking safety lock, comes aprt EZ and clean up fast.
I had been researching on the web, now that I was a little juicer savy, (experiance does wonders) - and was looking also in classifieds and thrift stores - not too much currently available. Walmart had a store ship Jack LaLanne for @ 100, (good reviews), and the Juiceman, and the Hamilton beach Big Mouth - (latter 2 had 60 for/ 40 ehhh - reviews)
A friend was going to Walmart, so I rode along. This was the evening of the day of giving the juicer back - and I didn't want to wait for shipping - I wanted one in my hands!
Walmart had in-store both Juiceman and the HB. The Juiceman looked a bit bulkier than I wanted - the HB was also bulky, but samller footprint. (countertop space take up) The HB was about 60.00,
a wee high for me, but we are talking about healthy food prep. (the others I have seen are closer to 99/100 bucks or more) I am on a strict budget.
I actually took apart the juicers in the store, to see what they were made of, and how easy they were to assemble/dissasemble - and did they have what I wanted?
The HB was very similar to the Braun, as far as cleaning, assembly, separate pulp ejector - (yum - I add to salads, make breads and soups with the veg bits)
After setting it up, I juiced hard vegies. The motor is tops - very powerful, 800?) I had juice before I had even pushed the carrot thru!
FAST! (one speed, off and on knob)
However, the two plastic side arms, that lock the thing together are a bit flop around & space taking when dissasembled - a tiny hassle)
The Pulp holder is not compact - you MIGHT fill about 3/8ths of it -
It gets smaller toward the bottom, with little indentations, so it is more of a hassle to get things out of it and clean - you can't easily get your hand and a spatula in it - (but then, I save the pulp)
The pulp collector does not snap on, and falls off easliy. Just make sure that it is pushed up snug against the juicer before you use it - no problem. The assembled unit is a bit clumsy to move, (pulp ejector comes loose -like if you are pulling it out further on the counter)
The juicer comes apart easily, is very easy to clean, otherwise.
I simply rinse it out with water and a brush - (no dishwasher)
I use it solely for veggies - (fruit smoothies in my magic bullet)
It definately does the job QUICKLY! The pulp is pretty dry -
so it works great so far - (had it a week, daily use - hard veggies)
If it were 3 inches shorter, with the same motor, IT WOULD ROCK!
The big mouth feeder is great, however, it stands @15 3/4 -@16 inches high.
Be sure to check your overhead cabinent/shelf clearance!
A large amount of pulp collects in the lid of the pulp collector,
(it doesn't all fall into the ejector) so if you are juicing for several people, probably wise to take it off now and then,and push it down - (no biggie) It says it will run awhile juicing - (50/60 cups) so the motor isn't going to burn out in 2 minutes.
I was impressed, especially at 60.00! I am a juice veg and fruit junkie now. It so rocks!!!
MAJOR TIPS: (for any juicer/appliance this applies to:
I have been juicing daily - no loss of power - and easier!
1. in some comments, you sill see "plastic bag in pulp collector saves time and cleanup" - TRUE! I have been using the clear food grade bags you buy veggies in - (ask your market for some to try)
Seperate the pulp coll., be very careful to open the bag fully, and place it all the way to the bottom of pulp collector, and bring it over the lip of pulp collector at least 2 to 3 inches ALL THE WAY AROUND. Make sure the bag inside is fairly straight - (like a trash bag) Otherwise it could flap and rip.
There is a high degree of wind where the pulp shoots out, and you don't want excess bag flapping. These veg bags are food grade safe, and big enough -the opening fits nicely over the collector rim.
Put the pulp collector with pulled down bag all the way around - snug to side of juicer, and then finish assembling.
Remember that the collar with mesh container fits OVER the top of pulp collector. when dissasembling, VOILA! Just take the bag of pulp out! saves cleaning AND space! (and when reassembling, put another bag in)
2. Although brush provided, I have a dollarstore stiff bristle dish brush - round, about 2 inches, with 1 inch stiff nylon bristles -(dedicated to juicer) this makes it a breeze to rinse & clean- especially on the mesh.
3. I use cool/lukewarm water only to clean, by hand - no heat, no dishwasher. Takes me under a minute to rinse, scrub out particles, and put in rack. Not dealing with the pulp collector makes all the difference.
Hint: When assembling, make sure that the collar and mesh basket BOTTOMS where it fits over motor housing are DRY! Lots of people don't check, and can get some moisture into the motor housing - water tends to hang in the plastic niches.
I honestly believe that keeping the heat away - (dishwashers, etc) will keep the plastic and rubber parts from drying out prematurely, or warping.