Steam Juicer!

I’ve been coveting one of these for the last few years.  I couldn’t really prioritize it and I was madly curious about it but there were always other things that were more important.  Then, out of the blue, my Mother called and asked if I knew what a steam juicer was and asked how it works.

Then she admitted a dear friend had passed one on to her to give to us!

Steam Juicer! steam juicer juicer fruit juiceA steam juicer uses steam to extract the liquid from fruit and vegetables.  It’s commonly used for grapes, cherries, rhubarb, apples and more.  The pot has 4 parts, starting from the bottom:

  • A basin that gets filled with water.  As it boils, steam rises to the second pot above it.
  • The second pot (a catch basin) has two unique features:
    • a spigot (there is a hose and a clamp not pictured that keep the juice inside the pot until you decide to release it).
    • A funny structure.  Inside the pot looks like a bundt pan (like you’d make a coffee cake with).  The bottom is flat on the outer ring but the center has a circular ‘pyramid’ with a hole cut in that allows the smoke to concentrate and raise from the bottom pan.
  • A colander.  It fits inside the pyramid (it has a solid cap over the hole where the steam escapes) and it is filled with fruit.  You load the colander with fruit, add steam and the juice escapes to the catch basin (where you later release it from the spout).
  • A lit.

The main disadvantage of using a device like this (compared to a squeezer) is that heat kills many of the enzymes of the fruit.  While this is a disadvantage it’s a mute point as juices extracted like this are often canned in a water bath which would kill them as well.  Fresh juice will have more health benefits but this will typically be far better than store bought.

Other disadvantages is the heat/ energy used to boil water and the material it is built from (some will absolutely not use this pot since it’s aluminum; more expensive stainless versions are available).

The advantages include:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It processes a lot of fruit at once.
  • It easily separates juice and solids (which can be dehydrated).  The resulting juice is typically very clear.
  • It can be used to extract juice from objects that are too solid or too fragile for a juicer (you could technically use this for orange peels or rose petals).

It’s a great accessory for natural juices, cordials, ferments and jellies.

Would you use it?  What would you make?

Comments

  1. Leslie Jo Sena says:

    We have a steam juicer that we’ve used to mostly juice fruit for hard cider – the leavings are very useful, for example the thick cooked apple pulp makes great apple butter.

    Similarly, a bumper crop of tomatoes steam juiced, are easily separated from their skins (after cooling) and frozen for stewed tomatoes (especially if you’ve thought this through before processing – cored and halved). The clear tomato juice is great in stews, etc. anything but cooking beans in, which are totally toughened by the acidity :)

    • Leslie Jo Sena says:

      Oh yeah, juice rendered in this way makes beautiful jelly also – great way to juice difficult fruits like choke cherries and elderberries.

  2. Ruckusbutt says:

    I wouldn’t worry about cooking in aluminum. I took physiological/neuro psychology in university and we studied Alzheimer’s in a reasonable amount of detail. Yes, the plaques/lesions that develop in the brain contain aluminum but it is not the case that aluminum causes them to form in the first place.

    I’ve never heard about steam juicing. Very interesting. I would be interested in a comparison between it and a juice extractor. Mine impresses the pants off me with it’s production and uses no heat etc. so I am curious about the comparison.

    • Leslie Sena says:

      Thank you! I didn’t respond to this issue, but my father is an Alzheimer’s researcher who addressed this question. He wanted to find a population that was over exposed to aluminum and see if the exposure led to a greater incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. As it turns out, hard rock miners routinely inhale aluminum dust to block their exposure to heavy metals and they don’t develop Alzheimer’s any more frequently than the general population.

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