Wednesday, January 09, 2019

**REVIEW** Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor

With all the talk I did about not falling into the trap of New Year resolutions before I dive into this review, I have to explain that I'm not being a hypocrite. I had been planning on and saving up for this purchase for about 3 months now. By the way, this right here is what I'm talking about:

That's the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor (model 67601A). It clocked in at $55 and was just smack dab on budget for me. I started saving back in the middle of September when I realized I was not eating as well as I could be. Also, I was buying my juices from Hyvee at crazy prices. It's not easy to find a good variety of healthy juices around here but it is fairly easy to find fresh fruits and vegetables, even in the dead of winter. Hurray for living in the Food Belt of the country. Anyway, let's talk about this HBBME.

When I started looking for the juicer, I wasn't stuck on getting a juicer. I thought about getting a good blender. I mean, I could see the benefit of doing juices or smoothies. What finally tipped it for getting a juicer is that I can do juices or smoothies with the HBBM. All I need to do is add back some of the pulp or use my stick blender to emulsify some fruit and veggies to add to the juice. (And I have to brag a little about the Ovente blender I got about 5 years ago from Walmart. That thing is a workhorse. I have used it almost every day since I got it and it has never given me trouble.)

Once I decided on a juicer, I had to find one that fit my "wants" and my budget. I wanted something with a decent motor and a large chute. It would be great if it wasn't too loud since I do live in an apartment. My budget meant that I would need to stay under a reasonable dollar amount if I wanted to actually make the purchase sometime in the next 6 months or so.

The HBBM fit all the wants but quite a few reviewers said that it was loud. I kept looking and kept coming back to the HBBM. Finally, I decided to take a chance because it was the only one I could finally afford that wasn't refurbished. I figured that as long as it didn't sound like a small aircraft taking off, I would be okay and just use it before too late in the evening.

So far, I am really happy with the juicer. It is nowhere near as loud as I expected from some of the reviews I read. I learned that if I put a padded placemat underneath while running it, the sound really isn't any louder than a large blender. As for everything else, I am super happy.

I hate raw celery. Easier to drink it than chew it.

I have been juicing celery, carrots, and beets with the HBBM. It works fast and it really juices well. When I empty the pulp after carrots, I notice that it's basically dry as sawdust. The celery pulp was a little wetter and I experimented with running the pulp back through the juicer. I got a little more juice but nothing significant enough to warrant the hassle. The first thing I tested it with was a little orange that was about as old as Methuselah and the HBBM got about a quarter cup of juice out of it. Oranges, however, are not my thing. I can always buy orange juice but beet juice is not something I can find around here so easily. Would the HBBM be able to handle that? The product page indicated that it could but I needed to know for sure.

When I grocery shopped, I only got a couple of stalks of beets. They aren't too expensive but they aren't something I would use outside of juicing. If the HBBM let me down, I didn't want to be stuck with messy, clothes-staining vegetables. Now I wish I had gotten a few more stalks. That juicer didn't even change gears when I threw in pieces of the beet.

Another thing I like about this juicer: it is really easy to clean. Okay, that mesh bowl is a little bit of a pain to clean but it helps that a brush came with the HBBM. I basically just soak that part in warm and soapy water while I'm rinsing the other pieces.

As far a the size of the juicer, it's not tiny but once you detach everything from the base, it's easy enough to store on top of a fridge or in a small-ish pantry. Mine is currently in the dishwasher so here is the diagram from the manual showing how the HBBM breaks down.

I have to say that, so far, I am more than happy with this juicer. It was at the bottom as far as prices for one with an 800-watt motor. I would not have been surprised if it had been a loser. Thank goodness it's not. If this last me more than a year, I will be more than happy.

Right now, I have some fresh celery and carrot juice to blend in with some of the apple juice I made the other day. I can also add in a little coconut milk and monk fruit sweetener if I want.

By the way, I am vac-sealing and freezing juices. I understand that this is the best way to keep them fresh for the longest period of time and I have to buy when things are on sale.