A steam juicer is a handy household kitchen tool that extracts juice from berries, fruits, and veggies in a not-so-traditional manner. It’s a low-tech way to produce pasteurized juice.
The steam juice extraction process is primarily used for preserving your produce. Steaming is also used to prepare syrups and jellies since it helps to eliminate any contaminants.
Before we go any further, we need to know how a steam juicer works in the first place.
Working Procedure of a Steam Juicer
The main driving factor of a steam juicer is its steam and heat transmission. A typical steam juicer contains four major parts – the lid, top pan, middle pan, and bottom pan. There is a tube for pouring off the juice from the pot.
The top pan has a colander and holds your fruit and veggies. In the middle pan, there is a perforated section or opening for the steam to rise through the center. This section also has a small pipe with a spring clamp and reservoir to collect the pasteurized juice. The bottom section holds water that works as a fuel to create steam for carrying out the juicing process.
The operation is simple. Water starts to boil in the lower section by heating, and steam penetrates the food-containing pan.
This steam helps to break up the cells of your food items and extracts the juice into the intermediate section.
The released pasteurized juice remains at a temperature of about 80°C in the reservoir. The operation ends with a hose that helps to drain the juice in a container.
Most of the steam juicers are equipped with cold handles and work fine on all kinds of stovetops.
The easy way to use Steam a Juicer
Using a steam juicer to make freshly pasteurized juice is super simple.
First, give a proper wash to your ingredients.
After that, place your fruits or vegetables into the top pan of your steam juicer.
Next, place your juicer on the stove and turn on the burner. It’s better to wear protective gloves or mitts as the steam is very hot and may burn you.
After constant heating, the water will begin to boil. Remain on heating the water as far as the boiling is consistent or not too vigorous.
Check the water level often and add water if needed. It’s crucial not to let your stock pot boil completely dry.
Depending on your ingredients, burner temperature, and altitude, it takes about one hour before enough juice starts to collect in the reservoir for draining and 2-3 hours for the completion of the entire juicing process.
Keep a container ready for collecting your juice. You can examine if there is enough juice for draining by using the juicer’s hose clamp. Lift the hose straight up to see if there is any juice in it or not. If there is no juice in the hose, that indicates the reservoir doesn’t have enough juice to drain.
However, don’t touch the tube with bare hands as it will be very hot.
Preparing Specific Fruit Types for Steam Juicing
A steam juicer can process almost any kind of fruit. However, some need prep work before going into the juicer. For example –
Berries and grapes contain stems. So, remove them before juicing. Also, wash your fruits thoroughly for a germ-free juicing experience.
There are fruits with cores like apples and pears. Cut these fruits into quarters and remove the cores before you put them in the juicer for better taste.
Some fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots contain stones. Removing them will help your juice from having any undesirable flavor.
Steam Juicing | The Pros and Cons
Steam juicing has a ton of advantages. For example –
You can juice in large quantities with a steam juicer.
The useability of a steam juicer is quite easy and is certainly simpler than cooking down the fruit and straining it with cheesecloth or jelly bags.
A steam juicer helps to extract very concentrated and clear juice with little to no fiber from fruits and veggies.
It’s a comparatively faster juicing method as you don’t have to wait all day long for the juice to drip.
With the help of a steam juicer, you can preserve the produced juice for a long time due to pasteurization.
A steam juicer is a versatile tool for juicing. You can use it to make jellies, syrups, or cook vegetables.
The downside of the steam juice extraction process is it destroys nutrients from your juice. Heat kills enzymes and other nutrients from your produce. So, if you are willing to have maximum nutritious value, steam juicing is not for you.
Steam vs. Mechanical Juicer | The Differences
- A steam juicer uses heat to break the cells of your fruits and leaves behind the pulp to produce a clear liquid.
- Less nutrition because of heat.
- Pasteurization occurs due to heat.
- Easy to use compared to a mechanical juicer.
- A mechanical juicer, on the other hand, uses a crushing or grinding method to break up fruit/vegetable cells. It is why you will not get clear juice.
- Higher nutrition because of fiber and no heating.
- Pasteurization doesn’t occur and is not ideal for producing juice with a higher shelf-life.
- Difficult to process mass quantities of produce.
Points to be Considered before steam juicing
When you are using a steam juicer, you should follow these few points to have a proper juicing experience.
- If you are processing several batches in a row, make sure to get rid of the waste from the colander before going for another round for better results.
- There is an easy way to tell if the water level is low or not in the stock pot. Place some glass marbles in the bottom section. So, when the water level drops, the marbles will start to clatter. In this way, you don’t have to check the water level often to avoid boiling dry.
- For a clean and clear-looking juice, don’t stir your fruits or veggies instead leave them at ease during the juicing operation.
- To avoid overflow of juice into the stock pot below, don’t wait for too long and start to collect juice when it seems ready.
- It’s recommended not to leave the steam juicer unattended while in operation as you may need to check the water level, the amount of juice in the reservoir, etc.
The Bottom Line
A steam juicer is very versatile equipment that uses basic mechanisms to extract pasteurized juice. It’s easy to use and produces clear, concentrated juice that you can store for a long time. So, if you have a steam juicer, you got lots of juicing options in your hood.