I bought this juicer because my boyfriend and I love fresh orange juice. We spend quite a lot of money on buying fresh juices that are not from concentrate and fancied having a go ourselves. I was advised to go for a hand pulled device rather than a mechanical one as these give the best quality juice. Rather than squeezing all the bitter oils out of the skins of the fruit like mechanical machines do, they only pull out the juice from the pulp. (Have you ever tasted orange peel; it leaves a disgusting favour in your mouth)
I managed to get hold of this one second hand at an auction and only ended up paying £40.00. Which looking at the recommended retail price is an absolute bargain! I think you can pick one up online for around £79.99 and I think they are definitely worth the money. The brand Metrokane is a household name in America; producing top quality bar and home products and specialise in juicers. They give a lifetime warranty on all the moving parts; they must be fully confident in their products.
The machine is extremely robust and heavy duty. They are mainly aimed at users in the hospitality trade and for people who will use it fairly frequently. I have the juicer on my work top and think it looks fairly smart. It is 17 inches high x 5 ½ inches wide x 7 inches deep; a perfect size for all kitchens. The juicer has a chrome finish with a stainless steel strainer and cone. The mirrored finish on the juicing cup is contemporary and looks extremely attractive. The juicer weighs about 7 pounds. It needs to be heavy so it doesn't slip around when juicing, however it means it is a little heavy when lugging it in and out of cupboards.
The juicer is very easy to use. Make sure the steel cup is under the strainer and then place the halved fruit on top of the cup. Pull the arm down and force the plunger device to press the fruit against the strainer. This squeezes the juice into the stainless steel cup. Keep repeating this motion with the other halves of the fruit.
The stainless steel cup can hold 16 ounces of juice. Sometimes the squeezed halves of the oranges look like there is still a lot of juice left in them which I find frustrating as I want as much juice out of the fruits as possible. My boyfriend likes this however as he doesn't like the pulp in his drinks; the juice is quite smooth when it comes out.
It takes about 4 oranges to fill a glass of juice. So that is 8 pumps on arm! I have tried squeezing more than a half at a time and it is impossible to get anything out of them. I think this is definitely a case of slow and steady wins the race! The juice is delicious and worth the wait and arm ache. Saying that, it's not as uncomfortable as it looks and I personally find it quite rewarding squeezing my own juice.
We did find the machine needs a little WD40 after a few uses to keep the mechanism smooth and moving, it did seize up a little bit. After making your delicious juice the machine is so easy to clean. Simply give it a wipe and wash out the cup. The cup, juicer and juicing cone can be washed in a dishwasher.
I've never had a problem with the machine and have used a variety of different fruits. Lemons and limes work perfect and I have made some delicious cocktails with them. I make a fantastic margarita with fresh lime juice. I'd recommend you experiment with it; we have just discovered pomegranate juice which is delicious and really good for you.
I'd recommend this product.
Here's an appliance that is so simple, it's practically genius.
Now, since most of my electric kitchen appliances are many years old, I've decided I should write about something that never goes out of style a manual citrus juicer in particular, the Metrokane "Chef's Juicer" which used to be called the "Spa Juicer" and is sometimes called a "Professional Restaurant Juicer".
As many of you already know, I live in not only the land of milk and honey, but also in a land of abundant citrus fruits. So much so, that at one can find throughout the country little sidewalk shops that sell freshly squeezed juice. Since a glass of freshly squeezed juice is not only healthy but refreshing as well, why wouldn't one want to have the same thing in their home? Well, I certainly did, so about seven years ago I had some gift certificates from work and decided to use some of them to purchase a Metrokane Juicer. Our local department store had it on sale for what was then about £32 (which was about $50, which today is about £27). With no hesitation, I grabbed it off the shelf, and ever since, I have never felt that I made a mistake.
Since this is a manual juicer, there are no parts that can go wrong. In fact, they say that these juicers have a lifetime guarantee. Certainly, if you keep it clean, and don't lose anything (which would be pretty difficult to do, since most of the parts are pretty big) you'll probably be able to use this your whole life without ever having it fail on you. It sits snugly on your counter-top with rubberized feet that keep it from moving about when you do your juicing.
Moreover, it is so easy to use that anyone can operate this juicer. Cut the fruit in half down the mid section and place the halved fruit on the gradated juicing cone, lower the handle, press and the juice flows into the cup below. Of course, I would suggest that if you're juicing a particularly hard lemon or lime that you roll the fruit on a hard surface first. This helps loosen the pulp inside and will give you more juice when you press it. The only problem I've ever encountered is when trying to juice a very large grapefruit. If the fruit is wider than the lip on the juicing cone, you're going to have a problem since it just won't fit. So, I buy smaller grapefruits when I want to juice them, and larger ones for straight eating. That's certainly not really a problem.
There's no user's manual except what instructions come on the box. It will tell you that the cup and juicing cone can be placed in the dishwasher, but the rest should be cleaned by hand. The pressing cone comes unscrewed and should be cleaned occasionally - by hand. Since the rest of the juicer is all metal and stainless, cleaning is no problem. It also has a small plastic piece under the cup that is probably there to keep the cup from slipping about. This was unfortunately thrown out by my housecleaner, but I haven't felt much of any difference in the way this juicer works since then, and frankly, it just used to get juice under it, which caused a bit of corrosion. Now, however, sometimes the juice will spill over the cup and go through the hole underneath. Nevertheless, that doesn't happen much, and since this juicer isn't that bulky, it's easy to move away and clean up underneath.
Because it is a manual juicer, I can't see any safety hazards in its use. It is practically impossible to get your fingers or hands caught inside it because the juicing cone has a high lip to prevent this.
Before I bought this juicer, I had tried using electric ones and even plastic squeezers that you do all the work on. They all drove me crazy. The plastic ones made very hard work to get much juice out. The electric, rotating ones always seemed to splash at you and I never got the knack of pushing down while keeping the fruit from rotating with the squeezer. At one point, I gave up, and started buying lemon juice and other citrus drinks. What a waste that was! All the good vitamins were gone from those bottled and boxed juices, and the taste just didn't have that good fresh citrus edge. And if you think about economy, if several kilos of citrus fruit costs less than one liter of bottled or boxed juice, it seemed a waste of money as well. Finally, if you don't use the boxed or bottled juice right away, it might go bad on you - another waste of money there.
Finally, this juicer really looks classy on your kitchen counter - all shiny (and its not hard at all to keep it that way) and stylish and gourmet looking. I've even had friends ask me if it really works and I use it, or if I just got it because it looks so nice! HA!
In sum, I've found the juicer for me. It always does exactly what it is supposed to do, it never breaks down, it cleans up easily, it saves me time, effort and money, and it looks great. You couldn't ask for more than that, could you! A full five stars and highly recommended.
Thanks for reading.
Davida Chazan © August 2002, updated October 2006
The official website for this product is http://www.metrokane.com/site_files/mk_chef_juicer.aspx. At that site this is described as: "Beautifully constructed with lean lines, this chrome-plated manual juicer has a spring-action handle, powerful gear system and robust stainless steel straining disc, to get the most out of citrus fruits every time. Capacity: 0.45 litres (2 cups), Dimensions: H60 x W17 x D20cm."
This is available in the UK at John Lewis for £20 but only the fancier model is available via Amazon.co.uk through their marketplace for a hefty £74.00!
Background on Metrokane from http://www.cooksparaphernalia.co.uk : "Metrokane was founded in 1983 by Riki Kane, who had been an advertising copywriter and journalist. While traveling in Mexico, she purchased a manual citrus juicer, which she brought home to squeeze her morning orange juice. She was surprised to find that manual juicers had been extinct in the U.S. since the advent of electric citrus juicers in the '50's. Convinced that the manual juicer is superior to the electric kind, she re-introduced it to the American market with a classic retro design called "The Mighty OJ", which has become the best selling manual citrus juicer in the world.
"Metrokane's product range has expanded to include a number of "retro" designed bar items, such as the Ice-o-Mat Ice Crusher, Retro Ice Crusher and the Bullet Cocktail Skaker. But the company's most famous product is undoubtedly the Rabbit corkscrew, which now appears in various finishes and versions, either on its own, in toolkits with items such as foil cutters, drip stoppers, wine sealers, spare spirals and even a wax whacker. The latest VIP version is made of chrome-plated die-cast metal and comes in a magnificent leather and chrome presentation case - an ideal gift."