Breville Je98xl Juice Fountain Plus
Reviewed By Peter Martin
Donated by www.everythingkitchens.com
I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Juice Fountain Plus juicer from Breville. I had been contemplating adding a juicer to my kitchen for awhile now as part of my plan to start leading a healthier lifestyle. While the healthier lifestyle hasn’t really come to fruition-and who can blame me, with the holidays coming up-I have had a lot of fun experimenting with my new juicer.
For the benefit of those new to this whole “juicing” thing, before I review the Juice Fountain Plus Juicer, I should probably quickly describe the 3 main types of juicers out on the market. The “Masticating” juicers use a single gear to grind up and then press the fruits and vegetables while the “triturating” or twin gear juicers use two gears and a two step process to extract juice from the pulp. The final type of juicer is a centrifugal juicer that uses rapidly spinning blades to pulp the fruits and vegetables which is then caught in a mesh basket. The juice is then separated from the pulp via centrifugal force. Breville’s Juice Fountain Plus falls into the latter category, which is probably the most popular type for home use.
The Juice Fountain Plus Juicer is a great looking machine, sleek and powerful looking with a black and chrome colored finish, which is a good thing because at roughly 9 ½ pounds this is a piece of equipment you will want to keep on the counter as opposed to hauling it in and out each time you want to use it. The 850 watt, 1 HP motor more than justifies that 9 ½ pound weight though, and this juicer will make quick work of even the hardest vegetables. The unit can be run at 2 different speeds, low (6500 rpm) for juicing softer fruits and high (12000 rpm) for juicing harder fruits and vegetables such as carrots, beets, and apples. The owner’s manual recommends that you do not run the juicer, at high speed, for more than 4 consecutive minutes to avoid overheating. Luckily it also comes with a LED warning light to let you know that the motor is starting to overheat. If it does happen to overheat (something I have not had happen) there is supposedly a self-resetting safety switch that will reset once the machine cools down enough, in approximately 15 minutes. This piece of safety equipment seems to be a source of problems though for some people, who have claimed that once the machine overheated it never worked again. Luckily, the vast majority of these people with this problem have only good things to say about Breville’s customer service and most have received a replacement juicer.
One of the things I really like about the Breville line of juicers is their extra large feeding tube. This means less time preparing fruits and vegetables for the juicer. The 3 inch diameter tube accommodates all but the largest of fruit. The one down side to a large feed tube is that the food that went down so easily can come back up quite easily so one needs to move fast when adding more food to the tube and replacing the plunger or you’ll have pulp all over the counter.
While the Juice Fountain Plus handles most fruit and vegetables with ease, there are items that just don’t do well in centrifugal juicers. First off, if you are a hard core juicer, forget about wheat grass. Centrifugal juicers just can’t handle wheat grass, nor do they do really well with most leafy greens. Sure you can get some juice from items such as spinach and/or kale, but other styles of juicers get much better yields. Citrus fruits must be peeled before being placed in centrifugal juicers or else you end up with a juice that is just too bitter to drink. Besides the peel doesn’t grind really well and tends to clog up the juicer.
While cleaning the machine is not a hard task, it should be done immediately after you are done juicing. At the very least you will want to soak the filter basket so that the pulp does not dry to the nylon filter. All the pieces are machine washable; though you might want to hand wash the filter screen with the supplied brush. Damage the nylon filter screen and your juicer will be no good until you replace the filter basket, at about $55 a pop, plus shipping and handling.
Finally a word about the juice itself, nothing beats a glass of truly fresh juice, but beware juice made at home has, what can best be described as a “silty” feel to it that store bought juice doesn’t have. This is because store bought juice is so finely filtered. While the nylon filter basket does a great job it can’t achieve the level of filtration that commercial processors do. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can take some getting used to. Also most store bought juices contain a number of preservatives that your homemade juice does not. As such your juice will oxidize rather quickly so it is best to only juice what you will use within a day or two. To really maximize the health benefits of home juicing though you should consume what you make almost immediately as many of the natural enzymes and vitamins are quite volatile. As for all that pulp produced, don’t throw it way. The included recipe book gives numerous suggestions for using the pulp in all sorts of dishes from appetizers to dessert. It also makes good fodder for the compost pile.
Ultimately, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juicer is a great juicer for the casual consumer. It’s fast, easy, and creates very little mess. It’s the perfect companion for busy person on the go that is looking for something a little healthier or for that “foodie” that likes to prepare most of their own food. If you are a serious juicer or are someone that has gone to juicing due to serious health concerns then a centrifugal juicer is not the type of juicer for you and thus the Juice Fountain Plus would not be what you are in need of.
-able to juice a large variety of fruits and vegetables, including most “hard” vegetables”
-extra large feed tube-cuts down on preparation time
-quick and easy to use
-the health benefits of at home juicing
-can’t juice wheat grass and doesn’t do really well with leafy greens
-cleaning the nylon basket can be a hassle
-can only run machine for a couple of minutes, at a time, at high speed
-rather large and heavy, though it looks great
Available at: www.everythingkitchens.com