Juicing is a popular topic these days, with cleanses and fasts still being touted as weight loss and health improvement methods. I have owned a centrifugal style juice extractor for over 20 years but recently took the opportunity to test drive a masticating or slow juicer.
Before I tell you about the Hurom HH Elite Series Slow Juicer, a quick look at the difference between masticating and centrifugal juice extractors.
The centrifugal style extractor uses high revolutions per minute and a “toothed” blade to separate the juice from the pulp. The juice is literally thrown through the screens into the collection troughs. The machines spin at a rate of tens of thousands of RPMs, creating lots of foam, excess oxidation and aeration. The older style extractors caught the unwanted pulp in an internal collection bin that needed to be emptied frequently, while newer models have side ejection ports. This style also tends to be bulkier and noisier than slow juicers.
Masticating or Slow Juicer
The masticating juicer takes its name from the fact that it literally chews the food to separate the juice from the pulp and is believed to be the better choice because it doesn’t generate excessive heat or agitate the juice. This low speed process retains more nutrients in the juice & also results in higher yield and less waste.
This category of juicer has two styles, the newer upright style and the original horizontal version. Masticating juicers allow you to juice a wider variety of foods such as herbs and greens, as well as any fruit or vegetable, for even more healthy juice options.
Hurom HH Elite Series Slow Juicer
Hurom juicers have been on my radar for about five years, after I encountered them at an overseas housewares show. They have been a market leader throughout the rising popularity of juicing, winning several awards including the Housewares, RedDot, IDEA and iF design awards.
Typical of slow juicers, the Hurom HH Elite can easily process hard & soft fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, wheatgrass, nuts and soy to make a variety of juices, milks, sauces, marinades and even baby food, fresh soymilk, nut milks & tofu.
And while similar in appearance to other upright slow juicers, the HH Elite model, their newest, most advanced masticating juicer, is not simply another copy. It utilizes a new twin-winged auger and Hurom’s 2nd generation patented Slow Squeezing TechnologyTM (SST) that can extract 35% more juice from your foods than with traditional high-speed juicers, while leaving less and drier pulp.
Even among slow juicers the HH series separates itself with a slower speed juicing rotation, turning at 43 RPMs compared to 80 of the initial and more widely available slow juicers. The slower action works the food more thoroughly to extract the most juice and nutrition possible while retaining heat-sensitive nutrients such as Vitamins A and C, and the live enzymes. The new Auto-Pulp feature ejects pulp only when no more juice can be extracted from what remains. The intention is to create a food that slow juicing advocates say delivers 4x the absorption rate and up to 60% more nutrients than simply eating fruits & vegetables.
Additional design improvements incorporate black parts – silicone and impact resistant ABS plastic – that hide stains and a recessed carrying handle which doubles as a vent fan. Clever improvements to the hopper include two position functionality and a lid cover for dust-free storage.
Another particularly useful feature is the gasket lined Juice Cap which allows drip-free pouring and mixed beverages. When closed, no juice will flow out, allowing you to mix and blend juices to your liking more effectively.
This machine is equipped with a safety lock system, which means the machine will not turn on unless all pieces are locked into place properly. The on-off switch also has a reverse function that will help clear any blockages if too many solids collect in the chamber.
The Hurom Elite Slow Juicer’s powerful motor has a pretty quiet operation coming in at just over 80 dB, and uses only 150 watts of energy.
If you have used a juice extractor before, you will find the operation fairly intuitive; if you are new to juicing, read the manual thoroughly and follow the instructions the first few times until it becomes second nature.
I also recommend that you use the included recipe book to become familiar with blending different flavors and to learn how to create more than just juice.
For me the advantage of a slow juicer, such as the Hurom, over my older centrifugal juice extractor was the ability to work with soft fruits like grapes, cherries, and tomatoes which tend to bounce around and don’t juice well in a centrifugal model.
Of course the big draw of the slow juicer for the health conscious person is juicing leafy greens or herbs; while not my favorite ingredients, I did successfully create juices using a wide array of them from my garden. I made a juice of arugula and spinach combined with apple for a flavorful and healthy juice. Realize though that when you add greens, the juice will take on a greenish-brown color but don’t the let lack of eye appeal keep you from enjoying the delicious balanced flavors.
I used basil to give a special flavor boost to a cherry juice I had been craving. The basil really helped cut the rather intense nature of pure cherry juice and provided a real burst of summertime. There is a reason commercial juice companies combine grape and/or apple juice to fruits like pomegranate and cherry: the pure juice is often too much to take on its own.
And lest you think juices are only for the morning, fresh herb infused fruit juices make a great base for cocktails or non-alcoholic spritzers.
While the Hurom can efficiently juice hard & soft fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and soy beans, it can also make smoothies. Slightly thawed frozen fruits may be used in the machine for a thicker texture smoothie. You can successfully juice all manner of citrus fruits as well, including the rind, but removing citrus rinds ensures delicious juice without the bitterness.
The machine comes with two strainers, fine & coarse, to allow you more control of the juice to suit your personal taste. If you like less pulp when juicing, use the fine screen; when working with several different foods, you can alternate the ingredients to minimize pulp. For very fine juice, you can use a strainer when pouring from the pitcher or run the juice through the machine a second time.
Using the coarse strainer, you can allow more fiber in the form of pulp to find its way into your glass. It also allows you to juice bananas, avocado, strawberries and other soft fruits that make a great base for a fresh smoothie. You can also add frozen fruits, yogurt, or milk for a creamier beverage with the coarse filter.
You may read online that people find slow juicers hard to clean and while there are more parts than a centrifugal juicer, cleaning isn’t any more difficult. Hurom redesigned the chamber, strainers and spinning brush for a simpler assembly, cleaning and maintenance. In fact, I found the five “actionable” pieces of the Hurom came apart easily for cleaning, and using the brushes included, the whole process was rather simple.
For post juicing self-cleaning, set the lever to the half-closed position and run water to push out remaining pulp. For a thorough cleaning in the sink, move the lever to the CLEAN position to open it up all the way.
A piece of advice here, don’t let the screens sit around when you are finished juicing. Rinse and clean the parts as soon as possible to avoid foods becoming stubbornly set in the holes.
The Hurom HH Elite comes with a 10-year warranty on the motor and 2 years on other parts. It retails for around $399 dollars but as I have said before, a quality juice extractor should be viewed less as an expensive kitchen appliance and more as an investment in your health.
While I would prefer a wider feeder tube on the hopper, I understand that the narrow opening is a safety feature designed to keep people for putting their hands into the auger. It also forces the user to cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces for more efficient processing with less strain on the motor.
The Hurom HH Elite Series Slow Juicer represents the top of the line in juice extractors and would be ideal for those who want to include juices, smoothies and live foods in their diet.
Disclosure: Thanks to Hurom for providing a loaner which made this review possible.