The newest on-trend gadget for making killer cocktails isn’t a fancy shaker or blender. Tapping into a desire for working only with ingredients you can read on a label, and turning to whole foods whenever possible, it’s a cold-press juicer.
“They preserve the nutrient value of fruits and vegetables while providing exceptional taste and texture,” says Kyle Jones, head chef at Craft Wood Fire Catering in Santa Barbara. “As cold-press juicers do not use high-speed blades and heat that oxidizes the produce, they retain natural vitamins and minerals. This makes them the perfect tool for creating nutrient-rich juices.”
And the resulting cold-pressed juice is a great addition to your next cocktail. “We use Fresh Victor cold-pressed-juice mixers in four of our specialty cocktails,” says Kent Bearden, club manager at Tower Club Dallas. The menu features pineapple and ginger root in the Hawaiian Mule and three citrus and mint leaf in the Make it Minty, for example.
“The cocktails utilizing these cold-pressed juice mixers have been extremely popular since we added them to the menu,” Bearden says, noting that he likes that these mixers are less processed and artificial.
Bonus: Juicers can also make sauces or reductions, as Bradley Stellings, director of culinary services at Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s New York in New York City frequently does. Ready to get juicing? Here are your cold-press juicer basics, and the ones to buy based on user reviews.
What Is a Cold-Press Juicer and How Does it Work?
The basic difference, from a user’s standpoint, between a traditional juicer and a cold-press juicer is that the latter adopts a slower process to extract the juice. This more time-consuming task is a good thing because it’s not just crushing and grinding fruit. Instead, there’s an absence of heat (like you might find in a traditional juicer’s motor) and the introduction of a hydraulic press. Another key difference is that tough-skin fruits and vegetables—such as celery—have no issues with a juicer. They go right through.
“A cold-press juicer helps you prepare a higher-quality drink by expressing a greater amount of the food’s deep-seated nutrients,” says Cosimo Bruno, beverage curator at Daxton Hotel, home to Madam and Geode Bar and Lounge, in Birmingham, Michigan. “You have a final product that’s less watered down, full of flavor and it is typically without the amount of pulp that you might see from other juicing methods. So, not only will your final product taste better, but it can also be more visually pleasing.” After all, bright, vivid colors add extra pizazz to a drink.
What Is Cold-Pressed Juice?
There’s a reason cold-pressed juice is woven into the health-and-wellness lifestyle. This is juice in its purest form: a hydraulic process slowly extracts juice from fruits and vegetables, meaning this is 100% juice with no added ingredients.
Although unpasteurized, they can be stored in the fridge for up to two or three days. But they’re also earning more and more accolades from mixologists and baristas who either press their own juice or stock up on pre-bottled cold-pressed juice, from a growing number of brands.
The Best Cold-Press Juicers
Best Overall Juicer: Omega J8006HDC Juicer
Customer Rating: 4.5 stars at Bed Bath & Beyond
With a 15-year warranty, Omega stands behind this product, which boasts a 64-ounce capacity, perfect for juicing in large batches. The motor clocks in at 200 watts. It also comes with five nozzles, a juicing cone, a homogenizing cone, a pulp bowl, a juice bowl and a cleaning brush.
What Customers are Saying: This juicer not only has the highest number of reviews of any on Bed Bath & Beyond’s site, but it also is the highest rated. One customer put in the time to research options before buying this one and finds it to be “very quiet” and “it gives you a lot of juice.” One drawback is being patient when cleaning the parts after use, she says. Although, she ultimately gave it five stars for its “ease of use.”
Best Basic Juicer: Ninja Cold Press Juicer Pro – JC101
Customer Rating: 4.2 stars on Amazon
With a 16-ounce capacity and two low speeds, this cold-press juicer has everything you need—plus a commitment to producing less foam and more juice. It’s even marketed as “quiet.” A two-year electronics protection plan can be added for $20 to the one-year warranty. Some users report that this clogs quickly, although this can all be cleaned up after every use.
What Customers are Saying: “Very easy to clean and take apart,” says one recent review. “You only need to read and follow the directions. Also comes with a small booklet of ideas for [recipes].” Although it might take a few tries to nail it: “After you assemble and disassemble a few times it becomes super easy,” adds another satisfied reviewer.
Best Budget Juicer: Black + Decker 28-Ounce Rapid Electric Juice Extractor
Customer Rating: 4 stars at Walmart
To buy any decent kitchen appliance for under $50 is a score and this one comes in at slightly less. This juicer powers up to 400 watts and is billed as having “clean up in the blink of an eye,” due to the pulp being collected in a separate container. With a 28-ounce capacity, there isn’t anything you can’t do with this. Return for free within 30 days and it comes with a two-year warranty. The only down side is the lack of accessories with this, but it’s a basic, reliable option.
What Customers are Saying: Out of 1,005 customer reviews, this one that rose to the top as being the most helpful positive review for 29 potential buyers noted, “It was easy to use and easy cleanup! I recommend this juice extractor to anyone that wants to enjoy a fresh, healthy drink!” The most frequently cited praise in reviews was for “ease of use” followed by “cleaning.”
Best Veteran Juicer: Champion Juicer G5-PG710
Customer Rating: 4.5 Stars on Amazon
While currently sold out at most major retailers (and for good reason), you can still snag one from Pete’s Home Kitchen. Champion Juicer is manufactured by Plastaket Manufacturing, a family-owned company on its second generation. This particular model was first rolled out in 1955. Expect a five-year limited warranty on juicing parts and a three-year warranty for the motor. Chefs and mixologists love that the General Electric 650-watt motor is easy to clean and operates at a light speed.
What Customers Are Saying: “It has an engine that could run a Volkswagen Bug and is still small,” raves one reviewer. “I have had mine for 10+ years and never had an issue with it. This particular machine has an added winding capacity that increases the starting torque and allows the motor to run cooler, whether it’s just a few carrots or a 50-pound bag.”
Best Silent Juicer: Hurom HP Slow Juicer
Customer Rating: 4.5 stars on Hurom
No juicer is going to be so quiet you’ll never hear it, but there is a range when it comes to noise. It’s often out of stock at Walmart and other major retailers—a sign of its popularity—so opt for the 150-watt option (which users report is a quieter alternative) if needed. Choose from white, mint or petal pink. The motor is covered by a 10-year warranty and the parts by a separate two-year warranty. Return at no cost within 30 days.
What Customers are Saying: We sifted through 624 reviews to get to the heart of why everyone loves this juicer. One reviewer liked the “good juice” it produced. Another noted “it extracts so much from leafy greens that other juicers don’t” and it’s “very powerful for such a small and compact size.
Best Design-Centric Juicer: Breville Juice Fountain Cold XL Damson Blue Cold Press Juicer
Customer Rating: 4.3 stars on Williams Sonoma
This navy blue, sleek design (Crate & Barrel dubs its hue Damson Blue, inspired by the namesake plums) features a 70-ounce lidded jug and flaunts two speeds, both of which keep the temperature low. One unique feature is the extra-large chute. In short: less chopping!
What Customers are Saying: It doesn’t get much better than this endorsement, from one satisfied user. “Outstanding features are the variable juicing speeds, ease of cleaning, well-manufactured components, and its attractive appearance. Also, the supplemental recipes and juicing suggestions have greatly expanded our juicing preferences. It’s a fine machine and produces an array of really delicious and healthful juices,” they raved.
Best Single-Serve Juicer: Dash Compact Cold Press Power Juicer
Customer Rating: 4.5 stars on Williams Sonoma
For small-space living, to give juicing a whirl without a huge investment or juice for one person (the juice cup is just 18.6 ounces), you can’t beat this option. In a stylish icy mint green, it includes a pulp cup, juice cup, cleaning brush and recipe booklet. The product can be returned to Williams Sonoma within 30 days for a full refund. For large-format juicing, this might not be the best choice, however.
What Customers are Saying: There are no one-star reviews for this product. Instead, users report it’s “very powerful for a compact unit and a great space spacer” and another, who is new to juicing, calls it “a great starter juicer … worth every penny to start this journey with for a while.”
Best Luxury Juicer: PURE Juicer and Starter Kit
Customer Rating: 5 stars on Williams Sonoma
Exclusive to Williams Sonoma, among the benefits is producing juice with a longer shelf life (up to three days) than most juicers. Accouterments include an eight-blade cutter and a patented feed chute. It claims to extract between 30% to 50% more juice than other juicers. The kit includes an apron, tote bag, three hand towels, scrub brush, thermos, pitcher, tray, speed bowl, scoop, bowl, two strainers and chopstick. Due to the thermos’ 17-ounce capacity and the pitcher’s 68 ounces, you could host a juicing party. The product can be returned to Williams Sonoma within 30 days for a full refund.
What Customers are Saying: One user has used juicers for a decade and ranks this one as the best. “Saves money (on buying cold-pressed juice), love the beauty of the machine,” they wrote. Another veteran juice says “this is truly the best juicer on the market—it’s beautiful, easy to clean, and creates the most nutritionally dense juice available. I’ve never tasted better juice than what comes from the PURE and I’ve been juicing for 10+ years.”
What Should You Look for When Buying a Cold-Press Juicer?
As with any appliance, consider the size you’ll need, whether it’s easy to clean and use, the power sources, what features you want and storage options.
“Consider factors such as the type of motor and power rating, the quality and materials used in the construction of the juicer, the size of the feed chute and whether it has additional features such as a pureeing attachment,” says Jones. “You should also ensure that the parts are easy to remove and clean.”
Bruno adds, “The size of the chute is largely going to dictate how much time [you’ll spend] prepping your fruits and vegetables for feeding them into your juicer. Larger the chute, potentially the less time you have to spend on preparation.”
Plus, how the juicer handles leafy greens should be a primary concern, says Joseph Tiano, executive chef at The St. Regis San Francisco in San Francisco, as greens are in many juices.
Additionally, a strainer is important to evaluate. “Some of the fine mesh strainers available in juicers are harder to reach than others,” says Anna Mains, expert mixologist and brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder, a malt whiskey. “When you’re making a ton of cocktails behind a bar, ease of cleaning makes all the difference.”
What Is the Difference Between a Cold-Press Juicer, a Slow Juicer and a Masticating Juicer?
While these three terms are used interchangeably, know the differences before you go shopping because your needs may lean more toward one than the other.
A slow juicer—as the name implies—slowly extracts juice by separating the fruit from its fibers. This should not be confused with a cold-press juicer, but it’s very close. In fact, there are even fast juicers out there, to prove the point that these are not the same. You definitely don’t want a fast juicer because of the extreme force (and resulting heat) needed to rip the fruit or vegetable from its skin.
In comparison, a masticating juicer is the closest to a cold-press juicer, although users report they can extract more juice than a centrifugal juicer, which uses fast-spinning metal blades (the opposite of slow). With cold-press juicers, more juice can be squeezed out of the fruit or vegetable than with a slow juicer or masticating juicer.
What Ingredients Can You Cold Press?
Any fruit or vegetable can be used in a juicer, providing hours of experimentation. While creating sipping juices are common, don’t stop there. “Anything that is fresh with a little manipulation will be five-star,” says Stellings. “And it’s the cooking element that brings a new dynamic to the juicer. A slightly reduced orange juice with pulp and added Espelette [pepper], garlic and shallot are great on veggies, cooked or raw fish or even on a salad.”
Tiano recommends using juice as “intense shots for energy, detox or cleanse,” to add to a recipe. “Creating bases for sauce, ceviche and cocktails, the flavor of fresh juice can taste fresher and [act as] a tastier product,” he says.