Stainless Steel Steam Juicer

This is a lifetime piece of kitchen equipment, made in Finland of quality stainless steel. With almost no mess or work, it turns quantities of fresh fruit into clear, sterile, hot juice which you can then pipe directly into Mason jars, where it will self seal with no further processing.

Picture a multi-layer double-boiler sort of arrangement, the size of a big soup pot. All stacked up, it’s 16″ high, and about 12″ across. The lowest pan gets water in it, to boil for the steam. The topmost pan is a 10.5 quart colander basket, where you put the fruit; this has a lid. The middle pan looks like an angel-food-cake pan, with a conical hole in the center. This is where the juice collects.

In a brilliant move, they attached a hose to the lower part of the juice-collector pan. This has a spring clamp to close it off, which clamp also serves as a hook, to park it on one of the side handles when not in use.

This juicer is especially useful when you have a sudden supply of fruit, and don’t want to spend days making jelly or heating up your kitchen. Once the juice is canned, it will keep for years, and can be made into jelly at any future time. The fruit needs hardly any prepping: whole cherries, grapes, blackberries, quartered apples or nectarines. I’ve stacked fresh rhubarb in vertically, yielding something akin to lemon juice. When you’ve simmered the water for an hour or two, you end up with about five quarts of juice and, in the top basket, some pulpy mush for compost (or you can stop after about 2 quarts, like I did with nectarines, and have mush still useable in a cobbler). The tastiest juice I ever made was when I got a case of Bing cherry “seconds”: a tiny jar of the juice was like nectar to drink straight.

The 48-page booklet that comes with it tells how you can use it to cook meat, vegetables and anything else you might want to steam. I once easily made steamed broccoli for 40 people.

The Lehman’s catalogue sells this one for about $200, and a somewhat smaller Chinese version for $80. I got my Finnish one on Craigslist second hand. Amazon has it, too.

-- Lynn Nadeau  

[Above: a video of Virgina Wind demonstrating the steam juicer.]

Available from Amazon



Ra Chand Citrus Press

Living in Southern California, we have an abundance of citrus nearly year round — lemons, limes, kumquats, grapefruits, and more. I also have a household of beverage enthusiasts, from my kids who love to make lemon-, lime-, etc. -ades, or “kid drinks” as they call them, to my wife and I who are crazy about cocktails, flips, fizzes, and sours. This is why I graduated from my fine, but slow, hand juicer, to the monstrous, restaurant-calibre Ra Chand J210 Bar Juicer. It makes quick, efficient work of juicing tons of citrus. Rather than dread all the labor, I’m now happy to juice enough fruit to make a full pitcher of Ginger Limeonade with my kids to sell in their DIY juice stand.

The Ra Chand is dead simple. No motors or fragile plastic parts to break — in fact it only has six parts, made of cast aluminum, plus a wire return spring and a few bolts. The mechanical advantage it provides is tremendous. With its long lever and offset pivots, even my six-year-old daughter can use it to easily squeeze a half-lemon dry. The Ra Chand is big enough for me to juice a medium grapefruit — when I have a larger-sized one to contend with I quarter it (and secretly wish I had the even-larger model, the J500).

The straining cone (which looks like a half beehive) allows juice and the occasional small seed through, but very little pulp. This is also due to the fact that pressing (rather than twisting like a motorized juicer) bursts the cells of the fruit, but doesn’t shred the membranes.

If I have one complaint it is that the juicer can be tipped forward easily until you get the hang of pulling the lever down, not down-and-toward-yourself. I’ve gotten used to this, but I do hold onto the base when my kids use it to avoid a mess.

In all, the Ra Chand is hands-down the best citrus juicer I’ve used. I appreciate its size, speed, power, ruggedness, and simplicity. I imagine it’ll be in our family for many years, hopefully providing juice for generations.

Ra Chand J210 Bar Juicer
$162

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Ra Chand

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