If you already picked up a copy of the Juice Junkie Book, then you know that I personally own and use two different juicers. The reasons why I ended up with two are explained in Chapter 7,' Juicing Supplies'. If you haven't gotten your copy of the Juice Junkie book, then what are you waiting for?!?
To thoroughly compare each juicer to the other, I set up two identical bowls of produce, varying in all different kinds of greens, fruits, hard and soft items, and a little tropical curve ball just for fun. I am looking to prove how well each one can juice hard and soft items, how fast it can juice them, how much juice they produce, and the taste and general quality. I'll also compare some of the mechanical differences, and quirks different to each. Now, let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!
Weighing in at 11 pounds, the contender on the left is the Big Boss 9176 Nutritionally Beneficial Slow Juicer in Black. This Juicer features a single study gear which crushes produce slowly through its mesh basket, separating the juice from the pulverized pulp.
Weighing in at 13.8 pounds, the contender on the right is the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer in White. This juicer features a fast spinning steel blade and basket which powerfully shreds its produce and whirls it into the pulp receptacle faster than you can say Pacquiao.
No one can deny the speed of a centrifugal juicer. It's super fast blade and larger chute can accommodate a large quantity of produce at once, and it can shred most things apart with no hesitation. The slow masticating juicer is no bench warmer though. It's powerful gear happily hums along, chomping endlessly on what you feed it. The time it takes to juice with each machine can be divided into two categories; prep time and actual juicing time.
To accommodate the smaller chute and the amount of force required to chew up the produce with the Big Boss you will need to cut things a bit smaller. You do have a bit of leeway with most fruits and veggies, it's really only the harder items like beets and carrots that are less forgiving in this category. The Jack Lalanne can handle half an apple, or even 1 whole apple if it's small enough, and as long as it fits in the chute, you are good to go.
During the actual juicing I continually load up the chute of the Big Boss, and it has a handy tray up top that you can pile things on to keep it going. I only use the plunger about half the time to help push things along so you are more likely to have two hands free to load it up. The Jack Lalanne has 1 large chute with no feeder tray, and since the blade has so much speed and force, you need the plunger at all times to keep the produce moving against the blade and not flying up in your face.
Overall, juicing with the Big Boss took about 7 more minutes including prep time and juicing, so it's not a huge loss there.
Each juicer has its own specific requirements for operation and things to watch out for. The Big Boss juices everything whether hard or soft indiscriminately. I can tell that I am getting as much juice content from the green leafy items, as the berries, the carrots, etc... With the Jack Lalanne, it excels with harder items, but can breeze past the softer and squishier items too quickly. I try to mix up the density of produce that I juice at the same time so that when the blade and spinning basket are chopping up and spinning a hard juicy apple, it will also take with it more of juice from the softer greens. This requires paying a little bit more attention to how you are feeding the juicer to make sure you get the most out of it.
With the Big Boss juicer any stringy produce like celery or pineapple can sometimes get caught in the pulp chute. I keep a small fondue fork or skewer nearby to clear it if it becomes stopped up. The blade on the Jack Lalanne can get harder items like beets or peels from apples or citrus stuck on the center prongs. You'll need to unplug the juicer before you can pick off any produce that has stuck to the blade before you can proceed with juicing, or the sharpest parts of the blade will be covered up and not work.
Juicing with a Jack Lalanne also isn't for the faint of heart. Like I said before, you need to keep the plunger covering the chute at all times otherwise the produce can fly up onto your cabinets, or worse, your face. I have taken a carrot or two to the eye, so beware!
The quality of juice created by each is somewhat different. The slower masticating juicers do not heat up the produce, therefore, the nutrients are not diminished in that manner. The centrifugal juicer with it's high speed blade does apply some amount of heat during juicing. The high speed also produces more foam which is evident in the comparison pictures above and below. The top half of the Orange containers on the right are much more foamy, whereas there is hardly any foam in the Yellow and Red containers on the left.
(Left - Big Boss/Masticating - Right - Jack Lalanne/Centrifugal)
Foam increases the oxidation of the juice as it's exposed to a lot more air. One thing you also want to notice is the quality of the pulp that is leftover. Has it been fully processed and broken apart, and all the juice removed? The bowl on the left contains the very dry remnants of the Big Boss Masticating juicer. The pulp is so dry that it comes out of the tube almost like Play-Doh and retains the shape. It's very lightweight and dry and barely fill half of a small bowl. The two bags of pulp on the right are from the Jack Lalanne Centrifugal juicer. There are plenty of spinach leaves and pieces of lime that are still almost completely intact, and the pulp is heavy and wet. Almost mushy to be honest, and some of the coconut meat came through completely intact. I recommend that if you have this kind of juicer you may want to run the pulp through the juicer again a second time, or invest in a cheesecloth, or nut milk bag to strain out more of the juice.
The Big Boss Juicer completely filled two of my juice containers (left) , whereas the Jack Lalanne filled one container, and less than half of the second (right). We actually snuck a taste test from the first round of juice from the Red bottle, so there was originally even more juice from the Big Boss than what is shown. If you want your money's worth, there is definitely a big difference in quantity with a masticating juicer.
You may not think the taste would be very different considering all of the ingredients were exactly the same, but it is. The masticating juicers can do a much better job with some of the softer greens, berries, and things like mint, ginger, and citrus. I threw in the coconut meat curve ball here because I've already tested mint and ginger in the past and it's not even a fair fight with the masticating juicer, it will always juice those better. I can use 3 single mint leaves in the Big Boss, versus entire sprigs of mint in the Jack Lalanne and still not even come close to the amount of flavor produced by the Big Boss. The same story with the ginger, I kept juicing piece after piece, adding more and more and I could smell the ginger from the Jack Lalanne, but not really taste it. The Big Boss really puts the lime in the coconut if you know what I mean.
The best way to lessen the cleaning time with any juicer is to do a few days worth of juice at a time. Then you are only cleaning juicer maybe 2-3 times a week. All parts of both juicers (minus the motor) are dishwasher safe. The blade on the Jack Lalanne will lose a bit of it's shiny finish, so you can opt to hand wash that part instead. Really on both machines the only difficult part to clean is the mesh baskets. They'll require brushing on both sides which you can do with any normal kitchen scrubber. I also use a bottle brush or toothbrush to quickly flush out any crevices on the other pieces. The Big Boss came with its own specially designed brush with 3 sizes of bristles to clean each section. As you can see in this picture the Jack Lalanne takes up a little more counter real estate, so if you have a really small kitchen you may want to find a more space saving model.
Ding Ding Ding... We have a Winner!
Well no one threw in the towel, and no one tapped out. Both contenders put up a respectable fight, and more importantly both can get you healthy! Due to the quantity, quality, and overall taste, as well as the space-saving design my vote goes to the Big Boss.
Congratulations to the Masticating Juicer, You juice Like a Boss!