In the US, the most consumed juice per capita is orange juice. Most of the oranges in the US either come from California or Florida, but thankfully, you don’t have to live there to score. Anyone can hit their local grocery store and pick up a bottle of Tropicana. The only problem? Tropicana is nowhere near the real thing. Fresh squeezed is in, and that means so are juicers. In our hunt for the best orange juicer, guess what we found?
What’s the difference between fresh-squeezed and store-bought?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the best juicers on the market, we’ve got to address the elephant in the room. Does fresh-squeezed really taste that much better than store-bought? The simple answer is, we think so. But beyond taste, there’s an even bigger reason that fresh-squeezed reigns supreme.
Freshly squeezed juice, no matter what kind, is generally more healthy than store-bought juice. It contains more antioxidants, more vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional compounds that are lost in store-bought juices.
Because of the short shelf life fresh orange juice has (about two to three days in the fridge), orange juice companies have had to get a little creative. When you buy a bottle of orange juice, if it’s not freshly squeezed, it’s been through the wringer.
How is store-bought orange juice made?
Every orange juice you see, from Tropicana to Minute Maid to Whole Foods’ 365 brand, has undergone an intense flavor makeover. According to ABC News, the standard process for orange juice companies is way less appealing than you’d think.
“After oranges are picked they’re shipped off to be processed. They’re squeezed and pasteurized and, if they’re not bound for frozen concentrate, are kept in aseptic storage, which involves stripping the juice of oxygen in a process called ‘deaeration,’ and kept in million-gallon tanks for up to a year.”
Not only does the deaeration process suck the oxygen out of the juice, but it also sucks the flavor out as well. In order to compensate for the missing orange juice flavor, companies have created the ultimate hack; flavor packs.
You may be scratching your head, thinking “I’ve never seen a mention of a flavor pack on my ingredients list”. And that’s not out of the ordinary. Because these flavor packs are derived from orange byproducts, the FDA doesn’t require the companies to disclose them on the packaging.
Before you write off these flavor packs as harmless byproducts, you should do some serious thinking and research. While the FDA may not find them harmless, the hard truth is that these packs are made up of thousands of chemicals perfectly tuned to mimic each company’s desired orange flavor.
One of these very chemicals deemed non-harmful is ethyl butyrate. It’s also frequently found in chewing gum, alcoholic beverages, and perfumes.
What does this mean for me?
We think it means you should invest in a juicer, ASAP. If you’re a juice lover like the rest of us, investing in a machine that will let you juice your own fruits is a no-brainer. You’ll cut costs, reduce your waste, and increase your nutritional intake with every glass.
If you’re ready to kick flavor packs and big business to the curb, we’re right there with you. We’ve tested all the best orange juicers in the game, so you don’t have to. This time next week, you’ll be sitting pinky up with the best damn glass of OJ you’ve ever had.
10 best orange juicers available online
1) The best compact orange juicer: Metal Orange Squeezer
We’re bringing it back to the basics with this handheld metal orange juicer. It’s as simple as cutting your orange in half, inserting it, and squeezing down. This handheld juicer features small holes for pulp and seed collection and thread grooves for steady orange placement. You can also use this juicer for other citrus fruits. Lemons, limes, and even small grapefruits will stand no chance against this light but mighty juicer.
2) The best-looking juicer: Tribest Electric Citrus Juicer
This sleek orange juicer will be a great addition to any kitchen countertop. Its sloped stainless steel spout prevents clogs and maximizes juice flow directly into your glass. It’s the best instant gratification since the invention of the “like” button. At least we think so. Its 50-watt motor allows you to juice efficiently, and its locking mechanism makes for a quick and easy clean-up.
3) The most efficient orange juicer: Hands-Free Electric Juicer
This orange juicer is perfect for those who like to set and forget. Its hands-free capabilities allow you to go about your morning routine with little disruption. All you have to do is set your orange half in place, pull down the lid, and press the one-button automation. Let the juice pour straight into your glass, or leave it, up to 12 ounces, in the juice reservoir for later. This juicer works with all citrus fruits and dismantles for an easy, dishwasher-safe clean-up.
4) The best orange juicer on a budget: Cuisinart Citrus Juicer
If you’re looking for a great orange juicer on a budget, this one from Cuisinart is for you. While it doesn’t offer a complete “hands-free” experience, it still comes with a motor that cuts your juicing time in half. Our favorite feature? The final pulp control spin.
After you’ve juiced your oranges, you can close the lid and your juicer will spin to collect all the remaining juice from the pulp. It’s a great way to ensure no waste and really makes a difference in the long run.
5) The most expensive orange juicer: Commercial Juicer Machine
Sometimes the more expensive option isn’t always the best, but this time we have to disagree. This behemoth is the mother of all orange juicers, a completely hands-free experience meant for only the most avid orange juice drinkers.
All you have to do is place your oranges in the basket and turn on the machine. From there, the machine will slice, squeeze, and spit out your peels all on its own. It’s got a tap-like discharging outlet for mess-free dispensing and a pull-out design for quick cleaning.
Oranges, pomegranates, lemons, limes, or grapefruits are no match for this star juicer.
6) The best cold-pressed juicer: Breville Juice Fountain
We know that we’re talking about orange juice here, but there is something to be said for an all-around cold-pressed juicer. This one from Breville is great for all your cold-pressed needs. Not only has it received the Amazon Choice award, but it also boasts rave reviews from happy users.
This juicer can hold a whopping 70fl oz of cold-pressed juice at once. It features cold spin technology to prevent damage to vitamins and minerals that can be caused by heat and processing. Thanks to its three-inch-wide chute, you can feed whole fruits and vegetables without pre-cutting them.
Of course, the only downside is that you’ll have to peel your oranges before feeding them into your cold-presser. While it does add an extra step, we’re sure the end result will be worth it.
7) The zestiest orange juicer on the market: Nutribullet Juicer Pro
You may be scratching your head at this title, but we have an explanation. You may not know if you like zesty orange juice, and that’s okay. But if you feel like you’d be down for a little zing, this is the perfect machine for you.
While you’d normally have to peel your oranges before throwing them in this kind of juicer, the Nutribullet Juicer Pro doesn’t require that extra step. Simply throw your oranges in the centrifuge and let the Nutribullet shred all the skin into your juice. It’ll give you a seriously zesty kick for bright mornings—guaranteed.
8) The most dynamic orange juicer: Omega Juicer
We’ve never seen a juicer like this Omega Juicer. In fact, we’re not even sure it should be called a juicer. Maybe a jack-of-all-trades, but not a juicer. While this machine will turn your leafy greens, fruits, and veggies into healthy juices, it can do so much more. Be prepared for nut butter adventures, pasta excursions, and baby food experimentations. This dynamic orange juicer goes so far beyond juice; it’s a must-have for any kitchen.
9) The artisan juicer: Professional Citrus Juice
Need an easy-to-use professional-grade citrus juicer? Look no further than this artisan juicer. It may seem a little old school, but we guarantee that this manual citrus press will go above and beyond your orange juicing needs. Simply place your desired citrus in the juicer and firmly press down. You’ll extract the most juice possible with little effort and no time wasted.
10) Our favorite of the bunch: Breville 800JEKL
Harness the power of professional juicing with the Breville 800JEKL. Made from reinforced titanium and an Italian-made micro mesh filter basket, this juicer’s in it for the long haul. It’s got an extra-wide chute for whole vegetables and fruits and an extra-large container so you can juice to your heart’s content.
The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article. Read our Ethics Policy to learn more.