My best advice is to spend as much as you can afford on reputable brand-name, good-quality machines. Cheaper ones may seem a bargain but they seem not to be able to stand regular use, and often the cheaper the juicer, the lower quality the juice. Shop around, look online for special offers, but get the best machines you can afford.
You may already have a citrus press, which is fine for extracting juice from citrus fruit, but in all honesty, it is better to use a proper juicer as you will benefit from the nutrients held in the pith and pips.
Look for a sturdy, well-made blender that has a variety of speeds as you will need to be able to crush ice and blend frozen fruit. Hand-held immersion blenders are not really designed to do this and could be very messy unless you have a very deep container. The liquid will fly everywhere.
There are two main types of juicer – centrifugal and masticating – and whatever you choose, the key point to note is that the drier the pulp, the more effective the juicer.
Centrifugal This is the most widely used and affordable juicer. The fruits and vegetables are fed into a rapidly spinning grater, the juice and pulp is separated, and a smaller amount of juice is produced than by a masticating or pulverizing juicer.
Masticating The larger, more expensive juicers operate by masticating or pulverizing the fruit and vegetables. These are pushed through a wire mesh; the action is very powerful and produces a high level of juice with very dry pulp. The juice is more nutrient-dense as not only is there more of it, the juice hasn’t been extracted via a spinning metal blade that produces heat, which in turn kills those vital enzymes.
The most aggravating aspect of juicing is cleaning the machine – it has to be done as soon as you have finished juicing, and it has to be thorough, as any residue will encourage bacterial growth. So look out for a machine that dismantles easily.
Most machines come with a special brush to clean the mesh or grater. I have found wire-cleaning pads excellent for the job. Soaking in warm soapy water can also make the task a little easier. If the plastic parts of the machine become stained, use a mixture of one part white vinegar to two parts water to remove the discolouration.