Citrus juicers are designed to separate juice and sometimes pulp from the skin or rind of an orange or other citrus fruit. There are several different methods by which this can be effected. The most popular is a reamer. A reamer is a is a simple plastic device with a raised ridge cone on top of a mesh screen. This is mounted over a bowl or pitcher. The fruit is cut in half (cross-grain) and pushed onto the cone while being squeezed and twisted. The juice drains through the mesh and falls into the container below. The rind is discarded or composted.
Electric citrus juicers speed up this process and are most effective when more than one or two fruits are to be processed. The most common powered device is an upgrade of the basic reamer. The cone on the reamer spins when the fruit is pushed down on it. This considerably reduces the labor involved in juice-making. Care should be taken in purchasing one of these devices to be sure that it can handle larger citrus such as grape fruit. Though not onerous, cleanup can be more complicated with an electronic device than one that does not involve a motor and electricity.
Another option is the citrus juice press. This is specifically designed for the smaller citrus fruits: limes, lemons, small oranges, and tangerines. It works very much in the same way as a garlic press. The fruit is chopped in half and placed into the press. The cone is pressed into the fruit pushing the juice into the central cavity. The disadvantages of this method are that it does require some strength to be effective, and it is not as thorough as a reamer. It does, however, offer fairly easy cleanup.
Commercial juice presses are also available for home use. These are a good solution to making citrus juice in quantity. The lever on the mechanism makes the job easier than it would be with a hand press. Many models come with the ability to secure the press to a counter-top, ensuring stability. Because greater pressure is possible, it is more thorough than the hand press. The amount of juice produced is similar to that made by a reaming device. However, it does produce less pulp. (This can be good or bad depending on the kind of juice desired.) Cleanup is not bad, but not as easy as with the hand press.
Why Buy a Citrus Juicer?
For many people, frozen, canned, or bottled juice will be sufficient. These juices are loaded with vitamin C and limonin. They are very healthy. Nevertheless, fresh citrus juice has even more vitamins because processed juices must go through a pasteurization process. The taste of fresh juice is thought by many to be an improvement over processed juice. For those who have access to large amounts of citrus fruit at low prices a quality citrus juicer is probably a good idea. A citrus press is a good idea for those who like to serve drinks in a social environment. The person who daily drinks orange juice for breakfast and enjoys the taste of fresh would benefit from either a hand reamer or a standard citrus juicer.