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Champion Juicer. Made by Plastaket. It is bullet-proof. It is big and solid and mostly made of steel, makes great juice and is easy and quick to clean. I've had it in regular use for 6 years now and it's in great shape. Never heard of anyone who didn't rate theirs very highly. This is one those products that they got right decades ago and haven't changed. I love that about it. That makes me feel like I'll always be able to get spare parts so it's a good investment. (It reminds me of the Singer 201K sewing machine that they made in Scotland from about 1925 until 1965. The exact same model. Amazing eh?)

It's a 'masticating juicer' rather than a centrifugal one, which simply means it 'chews' the food up without introducing a lot of air into it. My previous centrifugal juicer would produce apple juice that was brown in colour - the colour of bruised apples - whereas this one will produce apple juice that is apple flesh coloured - green or pale yellow - which shows (I guess) that it is not causing oxidation of the juice.

Also, this Champion juicer is known for being about the easiest and quickest to clean of any model - you pretty much run the bits under a tap and you're done. This is really important because if you have a juicer that takes effort to scrub clean and to get the debris out of tricky corners you'll end up never using it.

I did initially find that some juice tended to leak out from the joint between the motor unit and the plastic housing - which made a bit of a mess sometimes - so I added a neoprene 'O' ring seal at that point, which works perfectly. I can't work out why Champion haven't thought of that. I happened to have one just the right size (about 2" diameter and 4mm thickness but don't quote me) but you could also use some PTFE plumbing tape I reckon. I also used some PVC sticky tape to reduce the size of the outlet slightly - to create a bit more back-pressure. I think that helped too. But don't worry: the unit works fine as it is; I just feel compelled to tweak and customise things sometimes. The sticky tape modification is kind of dubious and quirky but the 'O' ring seal is a definite improvement. One other tip: don't be tempted to try to speed things up by pushing carrots and such through too forcefully. Let the machine work at its own pace and it will make a better job of it.

(Update: the US web site does now list an 'O' ring so perhaps their current machines include one. In any case if you get one without an 'O' ring seal you can now get one from the manufacturer.)

I find freshly made juice - especially made with a non-centrifugal juicer - has a very extraordinary effect. You can feel how good it is for you. At least some people can. Difficult to explain exactly but there's an immediate 'hit' of goodness, which is not like a drug hit of caffeine or chocolate or a sugar hit; you just know it's good for you and you can feel your cells saying "thank you". My favourite is 80% carrot with 20% beetroot and maybe an apple thrown in there too. Beetroot juice is amazing but a bit too strong on its own. Green juices, like broccoli and celery and so on, feel good for you but if I'm honest I don't like them that much. Cabbage juice is an interesting hit but very strong-tasting. (I once tried onion juice. OH MY GOD, DON'T DO THAT!) Beetroot makes me feel invincible. Me and beetroot, we're like Popeye and spinach.

Great juicer - can't recommend it highly enough. It is made in the USA which for me involves a bit of an ethical dilemma, as I try to boycott US goods when I have an option, but I so approve of the engineering ethics of the company that I make an exception. Just look on their web site: click on the 'new products' tab. There you will read the single sentence: "There are no new products to list." Isn't that great?

Copyright 2011 Paul Mackilligin