Nowadays, even in the kitchen, high-tech is king, and there are more and more gadgets and electronic tools that we find to help us cook more easily and quickly. Every now and then, however, it is good to take a step back, and it is nice to go back to using the kitchen tools of the past. I am referring to the manual ones without electronic components. Among these tools, we have manual juicers and kitchen classics that can also evoke memories of when you were little, perhaps when your mother or grandmother prepared a good lemon or orange juice. Manual juicers are easy to use, clean, and last a long time, and they work just as well as electric juicers. There are several types of manual juicers on the market: juicers, reamers, and presses. Juicers and reamers require some elbow grease, while presses require a less physical effort but are more expensive to purchase. If you have to buy your first manual juicer, but you still have some doubts, and you need some advice, you still have some information, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you will find lots of information, advice, and the most important features to consider in order to be able to choose the best manual citrus juicers.
Choosing the best manual juicer will make your life in the kitchen easier. If you have already tried to squeeze the juice of an orange or a lemon, you will know that without a specific tool, it is very difficult to get all the juice contained. Moreover, you will risk splashing all over the place and losing time for cleaning the workbench and who knows where. With a manual citrus squeezer, everything is simplified, and in a few minutes, you will obtain all the juice that is contained inside an orange, a lemon, or any other citrus fruit, filtering the seeds and pulp with maximum effectiveness and without dirtying around the kitchen.
You can then choose the best manual juicer from different models. Here are the most common:
Simple citrus juicer
It is the classic and simplest model of manual juicer. This kitchen tool is foolproof and is very easy to clean once it has been used. However, to be able to extract the juice requires energy and strength in the hands and arms. This juicer allows you to extract the juice from citrus fruit with a quick movement and the drainage holes are able to hold most of the seeds and pulp. Another advantage of these juicers is that being small in size. They can be easily stored even in a drawer.
We can have two types of manual reamer juicers: handheld and countertop. The manual reamer is the simplest, and we can also find it made of materials such as wood. This minimalist tool consists of a handle and a fluted head. In the head of the reamer, the citrus fruit is placed and rotated with one hand. Manual reamers do not catch seeds unless a seed collector is fitted, which some models provide. A bench reamer instead has a grooved head and is connected to a container that can store the juice squeezed from the citrus fruit. This tool may not get rid of the pulp and seeds unless there is a colander or sieve fitted. Models equipped with filters have a separate receptacle for storing juice and often have a good holding capacity as well.
If you like homemade juices, read this article: 4 easy homemade fruit juice recipes.
Hand press juicer
The presses for obtaining juices are ideal for squeezing large quantities of citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons. They use leverage and gravity, so all you have to do is pull down a handle, and every drop of juice will be easily extracted from an orange or lemon. This effective manual juicing method has a higher cost, not to mention that the unit will take up counter space. However, it is designed for all citrus sizes and separates seeds and pulp from the juice, so it is suitable for those looking for the most out of a manual juicer.
In addition to the various types, to choose the best manual juicer, it is also important to consider the following characteristics:
We can find manual juicers made of different materials. Here are the most commonly used ones:
Juicers are often made of stainless steel or enameled aluminum. Metal juicers are sturdy and durable, and even presses are often constructed of metal, typically heavy cast iron with stainless steel components. We can also find some handheld reamers made entirely of stainless steel.
Juicers are also very often made of plastic. Both portable and bench reamers can be built in this material. Although lighter, these may require more manual effort to get the juice than juicers made from metal. If you want a juicer made from materials like plastic, always make sure it’s BPA-free plastic.
Glass / Ceramic
Some bench reamers are constructed of glass. This is a classic version of the countertop reamer juicer with a container. Ceramic is also a material used for bench reamers, but it is a material that can be quite brittle.
The reamers manuals are sometimes made of wood, including bamboo, and have a rustic charm. However, the wood can only be washed by hand, never in the dishwasher.
You can also read this article: What is a lever juicer?
Ease of cleaning
Cleaning some juicers after use, in some cases, can be a little complicated process, which is why I recommend you to find a juicer that, in addition to being effective in juicing, is also easy to clean. Pieces or parts that you can wash in the dishwasher are the easiest to clean, as are single-block juicers. Before cleaning the juicer, you should read the product instructions well, but generally, the following types of manual juicers can be washed in the dishwasher (often on the manufacturer’s recommendation, placing them on the top shelf):
- Most portable juicers are made of metal
- Some handheld plastic reamers (depends on the plastic)
- Glass bench reamers
- Some bench plastic reamers (depends on plastic)
- Removable parts of some presses made of steel
Wood, on the other hand, is a material that should never be washed in the dishwasher. Another factor that determines how easy a juicer is to clean is the number of components that need to be washed separately. The presses are made up of many parts. Be aware that sieves and strainers that collect pulp and seeds are a hassle to clean.
Filter and Seed Collector
An important feature that any juicer must have is its ability to capture the seeds, so they don’t get into the juice. Not all reamers do this, so try to choose two-piece reamers that have a seed collection attachment or a filter/sieve that separates the container from the reamer.