Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting Juiced! (LaLanne vs Breville)

My dear wife bought me a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer Express for my birthday recently.  I have been wanting a juicer for a while, but it's been difficult to justify spending the cash to "give it a try".  I imagine there are millions of juicers sitting in cupboards around the world that have been used less than 10 times (along with many other specialty household appliances).  Juicing is one of those things that you have to just commit to and run with it to see how far you can take it. I'm less than a week into this, so I'll not even pretend that my juicer won't end up in the cupboard with the blender we never use, next to the extra coffee maker, and the rice cooker. ; )

So anyway....I really liked the Jack LaLanne Juicer. Knowing nothing about juicers...that was what I expected to be the "one to get".  In fact, I went out of my way to make sure my wife knew that if I were shopping for a juicer on my own...that's the one I would have bought.  It's important for her to know that....because it became clear to me that it wasn't a keeper. I really liked that juicer, until I used it.

I decided to start juicing using the "Mean Green" Recipe from the documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead."  (Great watch, by the way!)  Basically it incorporates kale, celery, cucumber, green apples, ginger, and lemon. I modified it a bit by using kale and spinach...rather than just kale. I have no idea why, it just sounded like something to try.

Use #1

Everything went okay, until the apples that is.  It had a hard time juicing the apples, and took lots of pressure with the pusher to get them through. In the end, juice was to be had.

Use #2

Same as before, except when I got to the apples...the juicer literally tried to juice itself.  As I was pushing down to get it to take the apples (cut into quarters) I started to smell melting plastic and shut it down to find little bits of black plastic all over.  I found that the feed tube was somehow being carved away by the juicing blade. Hmm...okay. Back to the store you go.

I exchanged it for another of the same kind. I figured maybe I just got a bad one.

Use #1

Same problem as before.  It just didn't have enough guts to juice the apples without a lot of effort.

After a little quick research, I decided to bring home a Breville Juice Fountain Plus JE98XL.  It only cost a little more than the Jack LaLanne, but seemed to have quite a bit more power. It was also the same juicer used in "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" so it had that going for it. It was time for a face-off!

Well, it wasn't much of a battle.  After one use of the Breville, it became clear that it was the juicer for me. It is awesome. There really is no comparison.  It handles the apples with ease, and literally sucks in the vegetables and spits out juice. It reminded me of the first time I demo'd a high power vacuum after using cheap-o vacs for all those years (we still have and love our Kirby, by the way).

Anyway...I have used the Breville 3-4 times now, and not a hitch.   It's a keeper.  Jack LaLanne has gone back to the store.  It might be a great juicer for soft veggies and fruits, but I just couldn't hang on to something that couldn't make easy work of an apple...since that tends to be a staple in juicing.  I won't do a full review of the Breville, since there are tons of them on the Interwebs already. I'm just letting you know my preference in case you're trying to make a similar decision. to juice up my after-dinner snack!