I purchased this Phillips HR1851 Juicer from John Lewis back in May 2007 for £24.95, thinking it would help me achieve my 5 a day intake of fruit and vegetables, although of course I am aware that no matter how many glasses of juice you drink in one day it still only counts as one of the recommended five a day portions.
The Juicer came in a large cardboard box, well packed again inside with even more cardboard to protect it in transit (no polystyrene in sight) On opening the box I first removed the paper instruction booklet together with a free paperback book written by Jason Vale titled "71b in 7 days Super Juice Diet", but a little more about that later.
Out of the 81 pages in the instruction booklet only pages 1-9 were relevant to me as the remainder I assume covered the very same in various other languages ( 12 to be precise). The instructions are very clear and concise, firstly, pictures show the various loose parts and how they fit together along with the main motor unit. It also includes 10 juice recipe ideas to get you started.
After washing these loose items in warm soapy water (as instructed) I began to assemble my machine. The main motor unit is white in colour and has a dial which controls the speed on the side, trimmed in a very subtle pale orange colour; the spout on one end is the same, there are also two arms either side of the machine which fold up to lock the lid in place. Next sits what they call a juice collector, (although this does not actually collect the juice), then inside this fits the metal filter. To finish the assembly a clear plastic lid complete with feeding tube sits neatly on top which is locked in place by moving the arms from the main motor unit up to the lid and simply clicking into place. The machine will not operate unless this procedure has been followed. There is a 1.5 litre capacity clear plastic bucket like container which fits at the rear of the machine (opposite end to the spout), this is the pulp collector and basically collects anything that isn't juice. The clear plastic 750 ml capacity juice jug with detachable foam separator then sits neatly beneath the spout to collect your juice as the machine is juicing. Failure to place this jug under the spout will result in a rather messy work surface as there is nothing to regulate the flow of the juice; it just goes straight into the jug.
Using the foam separator in my opinion merely gives a thinner smoother texture and only comes into use effectively when you pour the juice from the jug into a glass.
I prefer my juice a little thicker so I tend not to use the separator, either way what ever you choose there will be no bits in your juice as the bits stay either in the filter or are whizzed into the pulp collector.
This machine has a 500watt motor and two speed settings 1(low) 2(normal)
1. is for soft fruits and vegetables, things like grapes, strawberries, citrus, cherries, Kiwi, Melon, and Cucumbers etc.
2. is suitable for firmer things like apples, carrots, pineapple, celery, broccoli and beetroot etc.
It is also important to note that this machine can not accommodate whole fruits unless of course they are small (grapes, raspberries, and strawberries etc.) The feeding tube opening is rather small (3x1 inches) and is kidney shaped, so your chosen fruit and vegetables will also need to be cut into appropriate sized pieces.
Hard skinned fruit and vegetables also need to be peeled and stones need to be removed where applicable ,it goes without saying anything unpeeled needs to be washed first. It is also worth mentioning that whilst Kiwis are considered to be soft it is worth peeling them too, as I have found leaving the skin on produces a rather bitter tasting juice.
Almost any fruit or vegetable are suitable for juicing with the exceptions of Papayas, Mangos, figs and Bananas. This is because of their high starch content. You will need to use a blender or food processor for these if you choose to include them in your chosen juice recipe.
You then feed your chosen produce down tube pressing it down gently with the pusher provided (taking care not to force it down). You can then select the correct speed and continue feeding in fruit or vegetables until either you've finished or your jug is full. Once done, turn the machine off at the dial and wait until the filter has stopped spinning before unlocking the lid, to dismantle and wash.
Whilst compared to some, this is a very basic juicer and this is reflected in the price, however it is more than adequate for my needs, and I have no qualms recommending this model to anyone, especially if they are new to juicing, on a tight budget or just want something simple and easy to use.
I don't use this every day, simply because I don't have the time, but it does see daylight 2 to 3 times a week, usually juicing enough to last a couple of days, which is kept fresh by storing in a glass, screw topped bottle in the fridge. It's best not to make too much to store as the juice does lose some of its nutrients over time. Apple juice will, as you might have guessed, turn brown also but you can slow the browning process down by simply juicing a lemon and adding this to it.
The amount of juice produced from your chosen fruit or vegetables will obviously depend on its size, age and quality.
For example, I usually buy a 2kg net of Juicing Oranges from Tesco; the last one I purchased cost £1.74 and contained 13 oranges.
4 of these produced 15floz of juice.
2 grapefruits yielded the same, whereas I needed 6 Kiwi for a similar amount.
Whilst this model may seem a little on the noisy side whilst it's in operation, in my opinion it is no more than the level of a blender or food processor
Once the juicing process is over it's time to wash the loose parts. These can be done in the dishwasher, although I do mine my hand (haven't got a dishwasher anyway, unless you count the hubby!).
The mesh filter is probably the hardest of all; although I find running under warm water then brushing gently with a nylon bristled brush works a treat. (an old toothbrush is ideal for this). I have found it easier to line the pulp collector with a plastic bag, that way cleaning is as simple as just removing the bag containing the pulp. It's very rare that I have had to wash this container as the plastic bag has kept it clean. The pulp can then be either placed in your compost bin or disposed of with the rest of your household waste.
The taste of home produced juice is in my opinion far more superior to the varieties available in the shops, it also has the bonus of being totally additive free. Juicing yourself gives you the opportunity to experiment and let your imagination run riot with your own wonderful or even weird concoctions.
As for the free book I mentioned earlier, this seems to be the normal free gift with all the models of Phillips juicers. It is basically a 233 page paper back book written by Jason Vale, who is allegedly "The Juice Master", explaining how you could loose 71b in 7 days by following his super juice diet. Whilst I haven't read the whole book, I have digested enough to learn that for 7 days you have to survive on combination of homemade juices and smoothies. No solid type meals, no caffeine, no alcohol. Not only would I find this type of diet hard to stick to, I think it may also work out rather expensive too. The shopping list provided for days 1 to 3 includes 27 separate items which includes 35 apples, 3avocados, 2 trays of wheatgrass, 3 medium pineapples and alfalfa sprouts. Days 4 to 7 includes 22 separate items which includes, 41 apples, 4 large pineapples, plus most of the items listed for the first 3 days. It did make me wonder if it's not actually the juice and the smoothies that help with the weight loss but more the stress of having to buy all the ingredients required and carry them all home.
Either way he claims he helped Jordan loose 2 stone in 3 months (WOW!! ) Somehow I doubt very much I will be following in her footsteps.
Back to the Juicer, whilst I have already stated mine was purchased from John Lewis, it does not now appear to be available from them anymore either in store or online.
It is available from Amazon for £32.61 (with free, super saver delivery). The Jason Vale book is not shown as being free in this case but can be purchased separately should you be intersted.
Slightly updated of the original review posted by me on ciao.
I have wanted a juicer for ages now, everyone I know seemed to have one and everyone raved about how fabulous it was to be able to make your own fresh juice in a morning to give you the kick you needed. So I decided to invest in something not to flash but easy enough to use so should I decide I do like it then I could always upgrade for a better model.
Philips HR1851 Juice Extractor retails at £24.99 from Argos and it comes with a 1 year warranty and looks like a blender with a spout on the front. Encased in white with orange colored features this gadget although a little bulky does fit into your kitchen décor without any trouble and also has non slip suction feet to ensure it is sturdy upon your work service and doesn't move about when it is chopping and juicing. There is also a section to store your power cord which is also a very useful too have.
To the side of the Juicer is a little dial which you turn according to the speed required and with a 500 watt motor the difference is quite remarkable. However there are only two speeds. One speed is designed for soft fruits and the second faster speed is designed for harder fruits and not only does this Juicer just deal with fruit, you can also put vegetables, nuts, chocolate and ice through it as well. However to get a glass full of juice you do need to have quite a lot of fruit at your disposal and if you want a mixture of hard and soft fruit juice then it will take a little more time to make it, but it is easy to do.
There is also the help of a feature called the Patented micro-mesh filter which allows more fruit juice to get through the filter into the jug, often what you find with the Juicer is that when you put your fruit through, some of the wasted skin builds up and holds back some of the juice, whereas with the mesh filter the machine keeps essentially squeezing to allow the juice through.
Once you have assembled your machine together and chosen the fruits, vegetables or foods of your choice to make your drink, on the top of the machine, like with some blenders is what I call the fruit shoot and whilst it is juicing ensure your replace the lid to the shoot otherwise juice will fly out everywhere, this part of the machine works in everyway a blender would do, so if you are comfortable using a food blender then you should be okay using a juicing machine. The fruit goes into a container to be juiced and then the juice itself enters a 1.5 litre chamber which is see through so you can see your juice clearly and there is also a foam like separator so your juice doesn't have 'bits' in it. As I am not a fan of having bits in my juice this is ideal for me. As you finish making your juice, if you remove the lid you will see what is considered the waste in the container and you carefully scoop it out and put it into the bin or your compost bag.
Extracting the juice from the machine is also really easy to do and with this juicer comes a 750ml jug container and where the spout is at the front of the juicer is naturally where the juice comes out of and all you simply do is press the top of the spout for the juice to come out into your container and then press it again to stop when you have either filled the said container or have enough for your glass.
When it comes to cleaning this machine the one good thing is that all of the detachable parts are dishwasher safe and for the main base itself I always wash it using a damp cloth to ensure I have removed any food stuff that has been left behind and then wipe it dry with kitchen roll.
As with all good things there is usually something not so good to report and this machine is no exception. The only downside to be found with this machine is the noise it makes and again the noise can be compared to a blender when it is blending food because the noise is loud, even though it only houses a 500 watt motor but on the upside juicing fruit is often quicker than blending food, so you shouldn't have to put up with the noise for too long.
So should you now be thinking of buying yourself as Juicer and like myself wanted something simple to use to test and try then I really do recommend this machine, I do use it daily and have become more experimental with my fruit juices and vegetable juices over time. It also helps that this machine itself comes with a recipe book for ides which I found most helpful. I would also warn you to shop about because although this machine is currently on offer at Argos again for £24.99 it does retail up to £50 online, so if you want to make a saving definitely look around for better prices as in my own opinion anything above £25 would be a lot of money for such a simple machine.
500W Motor / Chops even the toughest ingredients: nuts, chocolate, ice etc. / 2 speed control setting, large 1.5litre pulp container, non-slip feet, and free recipes! / Short name: Phillips HR1851