Which juicers are best for currants?
Currants are one of the trickiest fruits to juice due to their high pectin content. We tried juicing them in all the major types of juicers. Here's what we found out.
For a long time, currants were considered to be impossible to juice. That isn't true, and is based on a time before the advent of slow juciers, when centrifugal juicers were all the rage. With the proper juicer, it's possible to get smooth and pure currant juice, free of skins and seeds. This juice can be used to make syrups, jams, or wines very easily without having to cook the currants. We've actually processed currants from fresh-picked to jam in 30 minutes!
#1 Manual press
Manual presses are suited for softer fruit like ripe apples or currants. They work by pressing the fruit into a steel cylinder, crushing it and forcing the juice out through a pourous bag. The pressure is either generated by turning a screw, or through a hydraulic pump, sort of like a car jack in reverse. They are great for currants because the stems can remain on, eliminating the time-consuming step of manually removing the stems. For best results, the currants can be crushed by hand a bit before putting them into the bag.
You can see manual presses from our Czech partners here
#2 Vertical slow juicer
Best among electric juicers, vertical single auger models make fast and easy work out of currants. You can leave some stems on, but removing most of the stems will let you juice longer before cleaning the screen. You can make a liter or two of red currant juice before needing to clean the screen. We tested currrants with the new Sana 828 vertical juicer, and found we were able to go from ripe berries to a jar of fresh-cooked currant jam in under 30 minutes. You can see that video here.
#3 Horizontal slow juicer
Horizontal juicers won't process currants as quickly as a vertical, but they have the advantage of juicing better with the stems on. This is because the stems provide fiiber to force the berries through the screen more efficiently. Horizontal juciers are also the easiest and fastest to clean, so it only takes a minute or two between glasses of currant juice to clean the screen. We recommend the classic Sana 707.
#4 Manual juicer
A manual juicer follows the same priciple as a horizontal juicer - it's just much smaller and involves turning the auger by hand. What this means practically is that currant juicing is possible, just realistically expect smaller quantities of juice due to the smaller juicing chamber, and the fact that it can be hard work. Stems can be left on the currants to help keep the juicing screen clear. A good and inexpensive manual juicer is the Koju Juicer.
#5 Twin gear juicer
Twin gear juicers are the superstars of the juicing world for leafy greens and root vegetables. However, the very tight spaces between the augers which gives such a great performance with greens make twin gear juicers completely unsuitable for currants. The gears and screen will very quickly begin to clog, and the juice will back up into the feeding tube. However, a few currants as part of a recipe isn't a problem.
#6 Centrifugal juicers
Centrifugal juicers are cheapest and most common type of juicer. They are also completely unsiutable for currants. The pectin content makes currant juice too thick, and the high-speed processing will just create a gooey mess inside the juicer. We recommend not even trying it.
And what about black currants? It's a different story...
- Black currants have a much higher pectin content than red currants. For this reason, only a vertical juicer with a coarse screen is suitable. These screens have larger holes, meaning a lower yield of juice but also less pressure to prevent backing up. Go slowly and juice a little at a time.
- Horizontal juicers will have a more difficult time with black currants. We recommend to only juice them in conjunction with a recipe, preferable involving carrots or beets. Those ingredients will help push the thick berries through the screen. Again, use the coarse screen if your juicer has one.
- A manual press may be able to press black currants, depending on their firmness and the thickness of the cloth bag through which it is pressed. If picked earlier before they are soft, a slow gentle pressing can yield some juice.
- All other juicer types are not suitable for black currants.