“ Brand: Breville / Power: 500W / Type: Automatic „
I had never really considered a juicer as a useful or necessary piece of equipment before I received on for Xmas. I had them down as something for health freaks or people who cannot stand actually eating fruit and vegetables, basically quite faddy and wasteful due to the small amount of juice you get out of a bag of fruit and vegetables. However I am prepared to try anything once and got the juicer out of its huge box and started to put it together.
The heavy base unit is a shiny silver and has a clip on either side to hold the actual juicer bit on. The machine won't start unless both the clips are properly connected so you may have to fiddle with it a bit to make sure the clips are on properly. Then comes the blue base with the juicing spout and sharp horizontal blades. A mesh attachment fits in snugly over the cutting blades to squeeze the last drops of juice out of the poor massacred fruit. Two clear plastic covers (one of them appears to be completely unnecessary and is only there for aesthetic reasons, something I curse everytime I have to wash it up!) keep your fingers away from the blades and channel the dry pulp towards the blue 'bucket' at the back. Finally you get a 'pusher', a piece of blue plastic to squish the fruit against the cutting blades and through the mesh. It takes me about a minute to put all of this together and get the machine plugged in and ready to go. The on/off switch on the side is badly designed as instead of being a button or a sliding lever, it has a 1.5 cm flicking switch which can be easily accidentally moved or caught on a sleeve etc. Not particularly safe if you have your fingers anywhere near the cutting blades (you shouldn't of course but a slice of apple got stuck) and can give a nasty shock.
The fruit goes in pretty much as is, very little preparation required. I just quarter apples and chuck them in seeds and all, although I do peel the bitter peel off oranges and take the ends off carrots etc. Turn the (quite loud) machine on, push the fruit down against the cutting blades with the pusher bit and...... a tiny trickle of juice runs down the spout and into the overly optimistic pint glass placed underneath. Just as well all the books advise you to dilute the juice with water before you drink it! I made some juice today and it took four oranges, four apples and a large carrot to make about half a pint of frothy foaming juice which didn't look all that appetizing! The foam is probably the best bit but I am afraid it went straight down the sink after I took a mouthful and decided that I am just not ready to be that healthy. The juice itself was palatable if a bit pulpy and I quite enjoyed it but my daughter wouldn't drink her diluted version, which tasted like dishwater and was quickly tipped away. Strawberry, mango, raspberry and blueberry was a tastier juice but I couldn't help thinking how much more pleasant they are to actually eat, rather than sip as a rather insipid juice. I got a juicing book to go with it and some of the recipes are quite bizarre, not sure I will be juicing cauliflower, broccoli or potato anytime soon, but I guess it's a good way to get lots of fruit and veg in very quickly. I chugged down my four apples, four oranges and one carrot in less than 30 seconds whereas it would take me much longer to eat them all separately.
Once you have partaken of your chosen juice the next step is to go through the dismantling process, which takes longer as you are hampered by the pulp which surrounds the cutting blades. Whilst it is supposed to be cleverly channelled to the bucket thingy at the back I found often larger pieces of fruit and peel get caught up around the blades and are wedged in the channels meaning you have to scoop them out with your fingers. Then you have to scoop it all out of the blue bucket which is ridiculously big and shaped like a half moon with tight tiny little corners. The final insult is the mesh which is insanely hard to clean and is currently soaking in my sink surrounded by the shredded remains of a sponge scourer. None of the separate parts are dishwasher safe so they all require lengthy and irritating scrubbing of their intricately designed crevices and corners after use. Once cleaned and put away you have to find somewhere to put it without dropping it (its 5kg) as its circular base shape and added bits and pieces means it will take up quite a bit of worktop or cupboard space.
Approximate measurements are about 35 cms long and 25 wide and at the moment ours is 'at rest' on our large kitchen table but its quite inconveniently shaped to store anywhere else.
I can imagine for some people this would be a very useful piece of kitchen equipment, especially if you have been advised to drink more juice or have a child that won't eat fruit or vegetables. Equally if you are undertaking a 'detox' or juice diet it is something that will make your life much easier. However, for me its just a quick and easy way of making sure my family get their five a day. I'm sure its not the best or most convenient juicer but it is a well known name and looks to be more compact than some of the other juicers I have seen in shops and online whilst writing this review. It retails at £44.99 but you can get it with free delivery from Amazon.co.uk for £38.88 which is much better. I'm not sure I would have bought one myself, but I am quite pleased with it and my daughter thinks its very exciting and is usually happy to drink what is produced (minus the foam).
Features: Large capacity pulp container with easy pour juice jug, stainless steel micro-mesh filter, disassembles for effortless cleaning, and safety locking / Short name: Breville JE11