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Anatomy of a Juicer

Get familiar with every part of the countertop appliance
Anatomy of a Juicer
Photo: Tasting Table

① Feed Chute and Pusher: Fruits and veggies go in here. The chutes tend to be smaller for masticating juicers and larger for centrifugal juicers. Some models, particularly masticating ones, have a hopper you can fill with pieces of food, then gradually funnel them into the chute. All juicers generally come with a pusher that fits into the chute, allowing you to prod along pieces that get stuck.

② Strainer Basket: A fine-mesh basket (usually the mesh is stainless steel, which is durable and won't be affected by acidic or highly pigmented foods) lets juice pass through while extracting pulp. In a centrifugal juicer, this basket has teeth or blades on the bottom and spins rapidly, shredding the food to release its juices. In masticating models, the strainer is just a screen that fits below the auger.

③ Auger (Masticating Models): A slowly turning auger, usually made of molded plastic, crushes the fruits and vegetables in masticating and slow juicers. Some models have two augers.

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④ Housing: The motor is housed in the base, and that's what powers the turning action. In masticating and slow juicers, the slower the better (the slowest of the slow juicers turns only 40-some RPMs), whereas in centrifugal juicers, a faster RPM (upward of 10,000 RPMs) and a powerful motor help finely shred produce to draw out its juice).

⑤ Juice Spout: Juice flows out of the spout into a waiting glass, or in many models, a collection container that comes with the juicer. Some models even have a cap that can be closed over the spout, which allows the juice from different types of vegetables to mix within the chamber before pouring into the collection container (and also stops drips when you remove the container).

⑥ Pulp Collector: Once the juice is fully drawn out, the pulp gets tossed into a collection bowl, which is almost always included with the juicers. For centrifugal juicers, look for a collection container that's covered and fits nicely, so that wayward pulp won't spit all over your kitchen. Pulp is extruded much less quickly on masticating juicers, so the collection bowl usually just sits beneath the end of the juicer where it is released. Some juicing aficionados recommend lining the pulp-collection container with a plastic bag, which makes for easy, no-wash cleanup. But others use the pulp for added fiber in baked goods, feed it to their dogs or compost it.

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