In this first installment of Gadget Of The Week I decided to try something a bit different. Rather than focus on some obscure cellphone or wonky laptop, I decided to take on one of the biggest questions in the average small and home office: which juicer should I buy? After trying a number of juicers – and investing in a few – I’m pleased to report that the Omega J8006 is definitely worth the investment.
I am what they call, in the medical literature, a fat and lazy blogger. There’s nothing I love more than scarfing down cookies as I sit at my computer. With that in mind (and inspired by Brian Lam’s article at The Wirecutter), I decided to try my hand at juicing.
I began by picking up the $99 Le’Equip model which uses a swiftly rotating blade and an ejection system for squeezing the juice out of almost any fruit or vegetable. The price was right – under $100 for a fairly sturdy juicer is good – and the reviews were excellent. I also tried the Breville models but those didn’t support the juicing of greens as readily. Obviously there are more (this dude made 290 videos featuring all of his favorite) but I was going for the lower end.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to understand the various aspects of juicing that are important to the average consumer. There are multiple types – the Le’Equip is an ejection system that uses centripetal force to push out the juice out of a spout. Then there are masticating juicers. These juicers either use a worm gear or two larger gears to chop food into finer and finer bits. These bits are then smashed to render the juice. They move much more slowly than ejection systems and, in turn, work a bit more efficiently.
What does juicing do for you? The science is still out (and many nutritionists state that juicing isn’t much better than eating a bunch of vegetables and the process removes much of the fiber, rendering the juice less biologically useful) but I personally find that after a big glass of kale, cucumber, and maybe a lemon or apple, I’m less hungry and less inclined to sit at my desk idly snacking on Bugles. I would never eat, say, a head of kale by itself. Juicing takes the tedium out of veggies.
Working with the Le’Equip was quite enjoyable although it tended to spray pulp out of its back end and spit juice out of the top. The speed of the blades – while excellent for rendering juice – didn’t allow for much control.
That’s when the Omega came into my life. This massive, heavy juicer – more a home motor than a real juicer – takes it slow and steady. You feed veggies in, they’re slowly masticated with the thick, 80RPM rotor. As the food moves through it is chopped up and squeezed out into a plastic cup while the pulp falls into another cup. Clean-up is simple. You take the juicer head off, move it to the sink, and uncouple all of the pieces. Then, with some soap and water, you can just rinse off the four pieces and clean the metal screen. You can also run the gear through the dishwasher.
The device also makes nut butters and can extrude pasta. You can even use it as a slow food processor.
The bad news? At $299, you’re really going to have to be into juice to pick this thing up. However, compared with the swiftly moving and messier “cheaper” models, I’m very pleased with the 8006’s performance. If you used this in an office, for example, you’d have considerably less to clean up and the system is far more durable than other machines I’ve seen. No one wants to clean up a scrim of flung orange pulp off of the kitchen wall, which is why the 8006’s slow-moving auger is a much better choice.
Has juicing helped me lose weight? Not yet, but here’s hoping. Does it make me feel a little better and less inclined to eat junk. I think so. And anything that can keep my fat face out of a bag of M&M-laden Chex mix is the thing for me.
If you need more convincing (or date) check out Brian Lam’s article at Wirecutter