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Few items in the cooking world are as viscerally satisfying as juicers. Take a few fruits and vegetables, feed them into a chute, and watch as they’re chewed up and spit out by the teeth of a spinning blade or auger. In a way, juicers are the kitchen equivalent of a wood chipper, except they’re much more useful and could never fit Steve Buscemi’s leg.

Let’s get real—why should you have to gnaw on, say, a bunch of carrots when you could just juice them and drink a day’s worth of beta carotene in one sitting? Sure drinking your fruits and vegetables doesn’t give you the dietary fiber as un-pulverized whole produce, but it does provide you with a more absorbable form of antioxidants and other trendy nutrients.

The problem with many juicers, though, is that they’re loud, angry machines, with screaming engines and sharp blades. The Hurom Slow Juicer slices through this stigma. The 11.5-pound unit uses a patented low speed technology system that masticates and presses juice so as to produce more nutrients while also utilizing a near-silent mechanism. I spent a week making drinks with the 16-inch tall, streamlined machine to see if it’s worth pummeling your produce.

Positive (+)
This is easy to operate, efficient and extremely quiet. Once I cut my soon-to-be-squeezed produce into two-inch chunks and inserted them into the wide feed tube, I simply pressed the two-speed trigger and the machine gargled and sprayed the juice into a designated plastic vat—and discarded pulp into the other. The plastic auger (no sharp edges on which to slice fingers!) made quick work of everything from carrots and oranges (for juices) to firmer fare like almonds and soy nuts (for milks), and pressed surprising amounts of liquid from each item.

And the Hurom lives up to its silent claim: it’s no louder than a small coffee grinder — and in the cacophonous world of blenders and juicers, that’s a high compliment. Cleaning a juicer’s murder-scene-like interior is normally a frustrating experience, but by running some water through the Hurom’s feed tube, most of the mashed remains washed through. It’s easy to take apart, too – something that came in handy when I had to wash it more thoroughly after the almonds.

Negative (-)
The only drawback of the Hurom is its hefty price tag, which at $300 is intended for those serious about juicing. Or improving health. Or kitchen gadget geeks like us.

It’s a hefty price to pay for a countertop appliance, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. The Slow Juicer chews through anything – I had fun throwing various nuts, fruits and vegetables into the tube (my favorite was the almonds – having a machine that churns them into milk is a wonderful addition). Bonus: There are a number of recipes included with the machine, from jelly to ice cream. [$299.95;]

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