Product Review - Champion Juicer
About 12 years ago, I worked at an organic Juice/Smoothie Bar and also did some vegan/vegetarian food prep at a Health Food store in New Jersey. Everyday, I made countless fruit and vegetable juices using a Champion Juicer just like the one pictured above.
The skinny: The Champion juicer is a masticating juicer, which just means it "chews" the fruit or veg in order to separate the juice from the fibers. It does a good job of juicing up all manner of fruits, vegetables, and greens. On average, the Champion will set you back about $250 bucks. This may seem like a lot, but if you're serious about juicing (5 or more times a week), then this is a juicer I'd have no problem recommending.
What I like about it: I used my Champion religiously when I first bought it a couple of years ago; but, to be honest, I only occasionally juice with my Champion now. (Lately, I've been using my blender to make juices AND smoothies - but I'll talk about juicing in a blender another day.) However, what completely sold me on buying this juicer was it's homogenizing function. A couple of years ago, while at chef school in California, I learned how to make the most AWESOME Vegan Ice Cream using just a Juicer! As soon as I returned home, I got this miracle ice cream making juicer, pronto! It also is great for making baby food and homemade peanut/almond butter.
What could be better: Those who know me know I'm pretty impatient, so I wish it could do a faster job of serving up my juice. On the flip-side, this slightly slower moving juicer squeezes out a very dry pulp - which means you get a lot of yield from what you put in. It also means that it prevents the juice from oxidizing too fast which has the benefit of having your juice taste fresh for longer.
How it compares: As with all juicers, clean up is a pain; but I bought a nice little brush that I use to clean the blades after each use. The only other juicer I've had a lot of experience with is the Juiceman Juicer. The Juiceman is a centrifugal juicer, which just means that the produce is mushed to a pulp and the centrifugal motion spins the juice away from the pulp. At less than $100 a pop, the Juiceman is a relatively inexpensive juicer, but it produces a wetter pulp, resulting in less juice for your buck. It also doesn't handle lemon peels so well and is not so great at juicing greens. So, if you only plan to become a casual juicer of apples and other medium to soft fruits/veg, then the more affordable Juiceman should do you just fine.
The bottom line: The Champion works great if you are going to be juicing heartier fare such as greens (kale, collard, chard, sprouts, etc.), carrots, beets, ginger and lemons. It will do pretty much everything except wheatgrass - though it will even do this if you mix it in with other veg. Overall, these things are built to last a lifetime, so if you plan to make juicing part of your life-long health regimen, the Champion is definitely worth the price tag.