What is a Steam Juicer?
A steam juicer is a special type of steamer that has 3 compartments. The bottom compartment is filled with water and as the water boils it creates steam that goes up into the 2nd and 3rd compartments. The 2nd compartment is the juice collecting area in your steam juicer and it has a release hose where you will drain off your yummy juices and vegetable broths. The 3rd or top compartment in your steam juicer is where you will put your fresh produce fruits vegetables or whatever you happen to be juicing. I often like to do a MIX of things at once.
Here is a video that I made of Concord Juice from my Steam Juicer. Please enjoy!
What Steam Juicer do I need to get started?
I recommend a Stainless Steel Steam Juicer. There are aluminum ones available for less money but aluminum can leech into your juice and can be toxic. Aluminum is a less stable metal with a lower melting point and is poisonous to people. Stainless steel will not do this. It will also be more durable and last longer. If you truly want the best quality juice for your family, spend a few extra dollars for a stainless steel juicer. This is the Juicer I found to be the best deal and this is the one that I personally use: MY STEAM JUICER
This is the small juicer but its the best deal. I don’t have a problem refilling it often but if you would like to juice more juice at once you can get a larger capacity juicer LIKE THIS ONE There are many models out there but what you want to look for is the Capacity, listed in Liters or Quarts. The one I use is 9 and a half quarts and I was able to make enough juice this summer for the whole year! Mind you, I had to refill it several times so it would be easier to use a larger one.
Why Use a Steam Juicer?
Steam Juicing is the easiest way to get high quality pulp free juice at home. Because of the design of the juicer, it filters out particles, like seeds or stems, only extracting the juice and nutrients. Really all you have to do is fill with water, put your fruit in the top basket, turn it on and wait for delicious juice. If you have a water bath canner then you can easily preserve juice that will last for years. I recommend the Ball Book of Preserving for complete instructions on how to make preserve your foods and juices safely.
How do I prepare fruit for Juicing?
Rinse off your fruit to get off any dust or dirt. Your fruit does not need to be sparkling clean to use. In fact the steam will kill off any germs and the design of the steam juicer will separate seeds, stems and large particles from the juice so you will only get excellent quality juice in the end. I recommend cutting your larger fruits in half, or breaking the skins in some way to make the juice flow out easier. For example, I cut my apples or peaches in half and throw them in with seeds, stems, cores and all. For grapes, you don’t have to do anything, just toss in bunches until the steam juicer is full.
How long does it take to make juice?
It will take you about 10 minutes to cut your fruit in half and put it in the juicer, then it will take anywhere from 2-4 hours to steam out the juice. You will have to check the water level of the bottom compartment every 45 mins to an hour.
What else can I make with the steam juicer?
You can make fruit juices, vegetable juices, vegetable broths and more. When you have your juice, you can make homemade jams from your juice. You need only add sugar and pectin and follow the directions in the Ball Book. With the jam you can make even more things so really the steam juicer can contribute to so many of your recipes.
How to drink the juice?
The juice comes out thick and concentrated. To use in recipes, use as is. If you are drinking the juice, you can dilute it with water in a 1:1 ratio. I preserve all my juice in Quart sized jars. I have a 2Q pitcher that I use so I open a jar, pour in one Q juice and 1 Q water and sweeten with about 1/4 cup of sugar, optional.
Is it worth the money? All this equipment seems kind of pricey?
Yes. Your first year will obviously cost the most because of needing to buy the equipment and gadgets but these things will last you years to come. If you figure that an average plastic 2Q jug of juice at the store costs $3 and I was able to make over 150 Quarts of concentrated juice this summer, I made over $450 in juice. This will last me all year. I got some of my fruit from my own apple trees and my grapevines but I also went out to farms and bought fruit seconds, by the box. These are fruits that are not as pretty as fruit in the store. They often have spots or are oddly shaped but are perfect for juicing. These fruits can be purchased at a significant savings. You can network in the Craigslist Agriculture listings to find farmers in your area. Next year I will use all the same equipment for my juice so the savings will me increased with each year. You can also reuse your jars!