Best practice tips for your new cold-press juicer
Author: Sabine Mordini-Pound
Cold-press juicing can take a little getting-used to - but you'll get the hang of it in no time.
Congratulations on your new juicer! You've no doubt spent a lot of time researching which one to choose and thinking about what recipes you'd make with it. And let's face it, a juicer is also an investment of money and time and we want to make sure you get a great return on both.
Before you jump right in it's important to realise that if you've never owned a masticating or twin gear juicer you will need to learn a few easy tricks to make the most of it.
We've covered the technology behind masticating and twin gear juicers in our Juicer Buying Guide, but to sum things up you'll need to remember these types of juicers don't have blades that slice through and shred produce like centrifugal juicers or even blenders. This means you'll need to approach juicing a little differently but the adjustment will be quick and easy and never fear, we're here to guide you through it.
- Your first cornerstone of success: time
- Know the trouble-makers
- An extra clean juicer functions extra well
- A quick summary
- Contact and support
Why is time an important factor? It's a simple question of mechanics: a cold-press juicer is a machine engineered to perform optimally in a slower fashion. If you've never owned or used one before you may inadvertently overload it, push it past its limits and end up with sub-par pulpy juice and/or a temporarily clogged juicer. We don't want that and neither do you, and the good news is it's easy to avoid.
Understanding and keeping in mind that time is key will go a long way to using your juicer correctly. What you need to do is simply slow down the process: this will let your juicer work the way it was intended to, by pressing produce instead of shredding it quickly.
When you are feeding fruit and veg into your juicer go slowly and steadily, feeding in small amounts at a time. Make sure what you have put in has been processed as juice and pulp and then feed more into the juicer.
Your juicer's feeding chute will determine in part how small and what shape you need to cut up produce. It's a fine line between too small (your produce will be more exposed to air (and consequently oxidation) and you will leave a lot of juice on the chopping board) and too big (your juicer won't process the pieces easily and the risk of clogging will increase).
In time you will get a feel for how big or how small you can go but to begin with, err on the side of smaller especially if you are juicing stringy, fibrous or hard produce.
Shape also helps: for hard root veg like carrots or beetroots, favour longish thin sticks and smaller pieces. Large pieces of hard veg would put undue pressure on the motor and auger so for the sake of your juicer's longevity, cut small.
Citrus can be halved but should always be peeled, except if you are putting only one or two slices of lemon through the juicer: in this case the peel can stay but take care to remove all pips.
Always remove fruit pips and stones as these can void your warranty if run through the juicer. Your juicer may also have a 'No Juice' list (coconut is often featured on these types of lists), so make sure to read the manual all the way through.
You will very quickly notice if your juicer has a problem with a particular fruit or veg. The undisputed winner in this category is celery, followed by leafy greens.
If you are a celery fan, we recommend you take a look at the trouble-free guide to juicing celery we have put together.
When dealing with a fruit or veg that is difficult to juice take extra care and alternate the trouble-maker with a fruit or veg of a different texture. Mixed juice is a great and simple way to ensure things go smoothly and that fibres or extra pulp don't build up on the juicing screen or around the auger.
Try the following combinations:
- Celery followed by carrot or apple / a slice of lemon or orange
- Carrot followed by orange
- Ginger followed by carrot
This doesn't mean you can't make single ingredient juice with a 'difficult' fruit or veg, but you will need to take things very slowly and keep an eye out to make sure juice is flowing and pulp is being expelled.
Back to simple mechanics for a moment: if the juicing screen has left-over fibre and pulp that obstruct many of its holes, your juicer will struggle with extraction. The risk of clogging is increased, and so is the risk of under-performing and giving you that very pulpy juice you won't enjoy drinking.
Cleaning is another area where you need to make an investment of time and we consider it an integral part of the juicing process.
All the juicers we sell come with tools to help keep them clean, and the instruction manuals also contain a section on cleaning. If you've never owned a juicer before you will find that you'll get the hang of it all very soon and that cleaning can be done in 5 mn or less.
The best time to clean your juicer is immediately after use as pulp, fibres and residue will still be wet and much easier to remove. If you wait too long this residue will dry and become stickier - at that point you might need to soak the parts to make sure you get it all off, and this makes the whole cleaning process much longer than it needs to be.
What you absolutely don't want to do is skip cleaning and come back to juice again if your juicer has not been cleaned: the pulp residue will start harbouring bacteria pretty quickly and your new produce will have to filter through all this leftover pulp. If this wasn't bad enough, you will again increase your risk of clogging your juicer and putting undue pressure on all its components and motor.
If you have a vertical juicer, the great news is that running a few jugs of tap water once you are done juicing (and the juicer is still running) really kick-starts that cleaning process. Horizontal juicers don't work in the same way so you have to take the front end apart and rinse all parts under water, but this is quick to do especially once you've done it a few times.
There you have it: the four cornerstones of successful juicing with a cold-press juicer are time, preparation, alternating produce and cleaning. Keep these in mind, as well as the following Do's and Dont's and your juicer will work as it should every time.
- DO: cut produce in manageable-sized pieces and always remove stones, pips and peel
- DON'T: cut hard-textured veg in large pieces
- If in doubt: cut smaller!
- DO: feed produce slowly and check juice is flowing and pulp is being expelled steadily
- DO: alternate produce (soft texture / hard texture or stringy texture / hard texture) to keep the juicing screen free from build-up
- DON'T: fill up your juicer's feeding chute all the way to the top and press down hard with the pusher
- If in doubt: slow the process down and feed smaller amounts of produce in the juicer
- DO: clean your juicer as soon as you've finished juicing
- DON'T: just rinse the juicing screen: it needs to be brushed to loosen and remove all the fibres and left-over pulp
We can't stress enough how time is an important factor when juicing. If you don't have time to juice, this doesn't mean you can't add more fresh fruit and veg in your diet: in that case, you can consider a blender. Smoothies and juices may have different properties and benefits, but your body and health will benefit from an increase consumption of fresh fruit and veg either way!
We're here to help if you have any questions - contact us here, read our Juicer Buying Guide or take a look at our Troubleshooting Help Page which contains advice on what to do if things have gone wrong.
All the best with your new juicer!
Article contributed by Ivy & Hoot Digital Marketing Services