Build a Fancy Juice Bar at Home
Whether you have a beloved smoothie routine or are simply a fan of fresh-squeezed juice, sometimes a sip is all you need to kick-start your day. So instead of frequenting expensive juice bars, why not create your own at home? With your favorite ingredients and a few key pieces of equipment, you’ll be able to whip up all kinds of flavorful, nutritious concoctions in the convenience of your kitchen.
Minimally processed foods like fresh juice are at the heart of the paleo diet. In our book Paleo Perfected, the editors at America’s Test Kitchen break down the philosophy behind this popular diet and explain easy ingredient swaps you can make to enjoy eating well every day. Plus, you’ll find 150 kitchen-tested recipes, including paleo-friendly takes on favorites like tacos, stir-fries, and stews.
This clear winner in our testing of juice extractors breezed through pineapples, oranges, apples, and kale. It was not overly loud, even though it used centrifugal technology; it was easy to assemble and clean—especially since most of its parts are top-rack dishwasher-safe; and, best of all, at $149.99, it’s a remarkable value for its stellar performance.
BUY FOR $127
This luxurious, top-of-the-line blender boasts superior performance and belongs in any no-holds-barred kitchen. The test kitchen's favorite blender, the Vitamix 5200, is unbeatable in terms of performance and durability. From crushing ice to making the finest smoothies, there's virtually nothing it can't handle, thanks to its long-armed, well-configured blades and souped-up (1,380-watt) motor.
This is the Rolls-Royce of electric citrus juicers because it extracts every last drop of juice smoothly and efficiently. It uses a power-assisted lever to push the fruit down, and the stainless-steel construction is attractive and sturdy.
BUY FOR $200
This juicer expertly and securely extracted juice with two sizes of medium-ridged reamers. An attached carafe saved us from spills and detached easily for table use. It’s cheap, light, and easy to clean, with a screen for adjusting pulp levels and a quiet motor that won’t wake late sleepers.
Surprisingly easy to use—juice gushes out. Of the squeeze-style juice presses we tested, this was the most comfortable and effective, with curved handles and a well-shaped plunger. Squeezing the rounded handles didn’t hurt our hands like others of this style, and seeds were contained. It was also attractive, sporting a bright yellow finish, but hand-washing is best if you want to keep the paint from chipping. (We tested the paint and found it lead-free.)
Even the most mundane prep work becomes a joy with a well-designed tool. This razor-sharp knife with “Precision Edge Technology—PEtec” was comfortable and well proportioned in our testings. A recent redesign gave it a narrower blade angle of 14 degrees (previously 19 degrees) on each side and a new plastic handle that feels like hard, smooth wood.
This tray has a flexible silicone cover that fits snugly, creating a seal that kept water from spilling from the indentations and blocked out freezer smells. The ice cubes released effortlessly from its rounded indentations. The lid can be removed for cleaning.
BUY FOR $10
This compact stainless steel–tipped huller removes the stem and core from a strawberry with just a simple push of a button and a twist of the wrist. It can also core tomatoes.
BUY FOR $8
To replicate years of use in our testing of fine-mesh strainers, we boiled, rapidly cooled, and banged each strainer against a counter, repeating the test four times. Not only did this model lead the pack in performance and durability, we liked how it sat securely in large and medium bowls, thanks to a wide bowl rest.
All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.