When it comes to juicing, you have various methods to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. In general terms, there are two most popular ways of juice making, electric power and heat generation. The marketplace has different kinds of juice extraction machines, like masticating juicers/cold-press juicers, centrifugal juicers, etc.
There is also a low-tech juice extraction system that works with steam. It is called a steam juicer, a household kitchen tool that extracts juice from berries, fruits, and veggies. Now, in comparison to other juice processing methods, does a steam juicer do any good? Let’s have an in-depth discussion on that and find out what’s what.
What is a steam juicer? A brief overview
A steam juicer, in simple terms, is a system that generates hot steam to break or burst the cells of your produce and extract pasteurized juice in return. It’s a not-so-complicated technique that has been around for a long time for extracting juice from fruits, veggies, herbs, berries, etc.
The basic construction of a steam juicer consists of three different sections each with a particular functionality and objective to complete the system.
The upper pan: In every steam juicer, there is a colander to hold the ingredients. The pan is perforated on its lower surface. The reason behind this perforation is steam penetration into the ingredients in an effective way. This colander can also be used to wash your fruits and veggies.
The middle pan: Its works as a juice container. The pan has a concentrated hole in the middle. It guides the steam to the upper section of the colander. This container collects the extracted juice from the upper pan. There is also a hose pipe attested with the body of the container. It helps to drain juice after the process ends.
The bottom pot: This is the section where you fill water and get it into boiling to generate sufficient steam for juice extraction. It’s just a simple pan that holds water for steam creation. You can also use this as a regular pan to do any cooking-related work.
Now, by combining all these sections you can make the system work of steam juicing. This is an easy way to make pasteurized juice that has a higher shelf-life for preservation.
The working principle of a steam juicer is simple and easy in most cases. Fill the bottom container with water first, then place the contents inside the top container or colander portion. When you close the lid and turn on the heat, steam creates the ideal environment for your fruit to bursts its cells and slowly extract the juice.
Throughout the whole process, you just have to monitor and make changes to the water level and drain the juice when ready. In other words, the mechanism is a simple one and less laborious. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete the steaming process depending on the ingredients you are using.
Steam juicer and its usability
A steam juicer has various options for making different cuisines with just this simple steam application. It’s a multifunction kitchen tool for processing any kind of food with the power of steam in a precise way. A steam juicer is ideally suited for processing fruits, berries, and vegetable juices at the time of harvest for long-term preservation.
Aside from making healthy and tasty juices, steam juicers can also be used to make jellies soup and prepare various types of meals. It can be used to drain noodles and lettuce, as a colander, or for anything else that needs to be drained. In other words, you can use a steam juicer to prepare whatever comes to mind.
When you try to make rice, chicken, pudding, or even cakes, you will notice that this is a versatile appliance that can replace some of the ones you already have in your kitchen. The best part is that it is extremely simple to use despite its various functions in different cooking fields.
Steam juicers vs. Mechanical juicers
Mechanical juicers don’t use steam, instead, they work with electricity or pressure and extract juice through grinding, crushing, and pressing the produce. So, in simple terms –
In steam juicing, the juice is extracted by heating the cells until they burst. The juice drips out, leaving the pulp behind, resulting in a fairly clear liquid. A mechanical juicer, on the other hand, extracts by breaking the cells of the produce by crushing or grinding it.
The juice produced by a steam juicer is more concentrated. Because it is pure juice, it contains little to no fiber. Mechanical juicers produce a less clear liquid with pulp, providing more nutrition due to fiber and eliminating the need for heat.
Steam juicing requires little effort. However, the steamer must be supervised. Mechanical juicing, on the other hand, requires you to actively process each piece of produce through the juicer.
The advantages of working with a steam juicer
Quantity: With a steam juicer, you can do a lot of produce at once. However, because it is so simple to use, using it for small batches is also popular.
Prep time: Most of the time, you do not need to peel, cut, pit, or de-stem the produce. Simply wash it and place it on top.
Nature of the juice: The steam extracts all of the juice and produces it in a clear liquid form, free from most of the pulp.
Preservation: A steam juicer produces pasteurized juice with a longer shelf life, ideal for long-term storage. You can make a large batch of juice and store it for over a year without having any problem.
Juicer parts: The different sections of a steam juicer can be used for various purposes. For example, the bottom pan is suitable for steaming or cooking anything. Also, the colander is a perfect tool for washing fruits and veggies in the sink.
Versatility: Steam juicer is a type of kitchen tool that not only extracts juice but also helps to cook meat, steam rice, make jellies, cider, and many other cooking tasks.
The science behind heated juice has less nutrition
The main disadvantage of a steam juicer is it destroys natural enzymes that can be found in fresh juice. In simple words, the produced pasteurized juice has less nutritional value. In general, steam juicers do not produce juice that is “fresh and alive.” They heat up the juice. When produce is heated, enzymes are lost and other nutrients in the juice are destroyed. Most canned or bottled juices sold in stores have been heated to make them “shelf-stable” and enzyme-free.
Steaming fruits alters their physical properties by exposing them to heat and immersing them in water. Light, air, and naturally occurring enzymes can all reduce the amount of nutrients in the fruit. In other words, pasteurized juice is lower in nutrient quality than fresh juice.
A live/fresh juice contains the maximum amount of Purified Water, Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Phytochemicals, Antioxidants, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, Fiber, and Other Unknown Nutrients. As mechanical juicers, especially cold-press juicers don not produce heat while juicing, you will get nutrient rich result compared to cooked juice.
However, pasturized juice also kills harmful bactereia, increasing the shelf-life of your juice in the long run. So, if your main concern is to store and preservation for a long time, then steam juicing is the only option you have.
Steam juicer is a great kitchen tool with multi-ability in the area of cooking various iteams. This is a perfect tool if you are looking for processing a large batch of produce for juicing in an efficient way and if you are willing to store effectively.
So, weather steam juicers are good or bad depends on what you are trying to achieve with it. If your priority is having clean pasturized juice then this is the tool you need. In a nutshell, steam juicers are the best in their field weather its for canning, steaming, or making pasteurized juice. For fresh nutrient rich juce go for mechanical juicers.