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I've recently started a diet, and as part of my new healthier lifestyle I've decided that I need to eat more fruit and vegetables. The only trouble with that is, that I'm not that keen on them in their whole raw (or cooked) state, so I decided I needed to buy a juicer. After having a look at all the different makes and models available I decided that the Breville whole fruit juicer fitted my needs exactly. I was left with the choice of the JE7, which has a red base or the JE10 which is a far more subtle polished grey. Looking at the specifications, the colour was the only real difference between the two (that I could see anyway) so I went for the JE10 as most of my kitchen appliances are stainless steel or sliver grey.
The JE10 is one monster of a machine, much, much larger than I had imagined it would be, but it does look quite stylish, just in a huge way. The motor unit is encased in a brushed silver effect plastic, and the pulp container/feeder is smoked black plastic. Considering it's size and weight (and price) I was expecting a slightly less plastic and more metal, so I was a tad disappointed, it does look a little cheaper than I was expecting. Strangely the juicer doesn't come with a jug, but the spout is well enough placed so that the juice runs into a standard 1 litre jug with little spillage. The power cord is of a reasonable length and can be wound around the base if it's too long for where you want to place it, and there are nice little suction cups on the base that keep the juicer in place when it's running.
---How it Works---
The JE10 extracts juice by using centrifugal force. What actually happens is that the fruit (or veg) is very finely grated and at the same time it is spun at very high speed by the 450 Watt motor. Being spun at high speed causes the gratings to be pushed up and outwards against a very fine mesh which allows the juice to run off while the pulp is pushed further upwards and into the pulp container.
Although very easy to understand (and in English) the enclosed manual is in a word, minimal. The diagrams telling you how to put the juicer together (and use it) are very clear, and there are a few (and I mean few) recipes to try out and the guarantee (which is a standard one year) but really that's it.
Even though this is billed as a whole fruit juicer, you can't just bung any old fruit or vegetable in, with certain fruits preparation is required. The general rule of thumb is that if you can eat the skin then it's fine to leave the skin on. For example apples and pears can go in the juicer whole, but citrus fruits need to be peeled. Stones need to be removed from such fruits as plums and peaches, it's a good idea to remove the strings from celery sticks and carrots should be topped and tailed. Obviously anything you are juicing should be washed to (hopefully) remove as many pesticides as possible.
---My experience of juicing---
I thought that using the juicer would be easy, just bung the fruit (or veg) in, switch on and push the plunger down. So this is what I did the first time, washed some apples put them in, made sure my jug was under the spout and away I went. Unfortunately I pushed down too hard, the juice spurted out of the spout, and there wasn't very much of it. Five apples made half a glass of juice, very disappointing, I wasn't expecting a lot of juice but more than that. When I opened it up to clean I noticed the pulp was very wet, and must admit that I thought about taking the juicer back.
The next day I decided to try again, this time I bought quite a few different fruits and vegetables to see if I could try different combinations. The first thing I tried was a fruit mix, using orange, apple, pear, grapes and plums, this meant I had to prepare some of the fruits which took a couple of minutes and then I was ready to go. The juicer has two speeds, one for soft and another for hard fruits, but you don't need to set it (it works out the best speed for itself). I started by juicing the soft fruits (orange and grapes) and only putting very gentle pressure on the plunger, I actually got quite a lot of juice from them. Although the juicer was quite noisy, it wasn't too bad, and it did get louder as I moved onto the harder fruits. This time I used the same method of gentle pressure when juicing the apple and pear, and this time I got almost as much juice from two pieces of fruit as I had from five last time. By using 1 orange, 1 plum, 1 apple, 1 pear and a handful of grapes I got one and a half large glasses of a delicious fruit drink, it tasted far nicer than any shop bought concoction and was better for me too. When I checked the pulp container this time the pulp was very dry (not completely) and I'm sure that only a few drops of actual juice remained in it.
After my success with the fruits I moved onto vegetables, and made myself a carrot, tomato and celery concoction. I was absolutely amazed at how much juice was extracted from the carrots, a little disappointed with the juice from the tomatoes and quite happy with what came from the celery. Again the pulp residue was very dry, and I got a glass of juice using a relatively small amount of vegetables. Now the JE10 has a 1 litre pulp container, and I'm not sure how much fruit you would need to juice to fill this as I've never managed to get it more than half full, it's certainly big enough to hold the left-overs from preparing a litre of juice.
If only cleaning the juicer was as easy as using it, I'd be in heaven and drinking fresh juice all day. But sadly, it isn't and the cleaning factor is it's big let down. It is easy enough to pull all the parts apart, the catches that hold the lid down are easy to use and then the lid pulls off easy enough. Removing the pulp collector and mesh filter takes a little bit more effort, but again isn't that awkward. The lid and plunger are very easy to clean, simply remove any pulp that's collected on them, wash and dry them. The pulp collector is a little harder to clean, but only because it can be awkward to remove the pulp from the trench, I tend to use a teaspoon to scoop all the waste out and then a quick wash and it's clean. The real bugbear is the mesh filter, not only is it physically quite difficult to get all the accumulated pulp out of the tiny holes, but it can be quite dangerous too. There are lots of tiny serrated blades just waiting to catch errant fingers so care has to be taken. As I can find no instructions about dishwashers (not that I have one anyway), I can only assume that this all has to be done by hand. I do find that it takes longer to clean the juicer than it does to use it. The base unit is probably the easiest bit to clean, a simple wipe with a slightly damp cloth is all it needs.
The juicer is reasonably safe, it will not operate unless it is put together correctly, and unless you have tiny hands and stick them down the shoot (which is unadvisable), there is no way of coming into contact with any of the moving parts during operation (of course cleaning is another matter but I've already covered that). The suckers on the base hold the juicer firmly in place, and even when the toughest vegetables are being juiced it doesn't move around my work surface.
---Price and Availability---
I bought my JE10 from an independent electrical shop for £49.99, but the MRP is a lot higher at £109.99. I could only find one place on the web selling it and that was even more expensive at £112.99, so shop around, and you might just find it on your high street.
(Argos is currently selling the red JE7 for £49.99)
Since buying this juicer I have benefited from being able to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices almost whenever I please that taste a million times better than anything I could buy in the shops. The powerful motor makes short work of every fruit or vegetable I've tried so far, and although it's a little noisy and quite difficult to clean, I have no hesitation in recommending this particular model. But only if you can get it for the price I did.
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