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Omega NC800 HDS 5th Generation Nutrition Center Juicer, Silver
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- The size of the feed chute is larger so you spend less time prepping before juicing.Larger feed chute (compared to 8000 series)
- Masticating juicer silver
- Low speed juicing system, 80 RPM rotation speed
- Exclusive "Dual Stage" masticating extraction
- 5 Adjustable settings for maximum juice output
- Continuous juicing with automatic pulp ejection
- VOLTAGE: 110V
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Omega's Nutrition Centers are "masticating-style" juice extracts and more. A masticating juicer juices at low speeds of 80 RPM minimizing heat build-up and oxidation. The auger system forces produce into a tight chamber, grinding and pressing the food to squeeze out the juice from items as fine as wheatgrass and leafy vegetables. With a Nutrition Center you can also make all-natural nut butters, baby food, soy milk, almond milk and a variety of healthy snacks. Includes 6 nozzles and 2 Juicing screens.
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Let's dissect it for a second.
The Omega is a slow juicer. It will definitely take longer to do the same juice as with the centrifugal one. BUT, this is better! Less oxidation, but most importantly, the juice has much much better taste! We did a test: we juiced the same quantity in both and compared the result. We juiced same quantity of carrots, red cabbage and apples. The centrifugal juicer produced a juice that smelled very powerful of cabbage, with a watery feel to it. The Omega made a tad less juice (not by much) but the quality of the juice was amazing - more homogenized, better color (!), and the we could taste every ingredient perfectly, with the finished product showcasing a symbiotic relationship between all the ingredients, no harsh taste from the cabbage whatsoever. It was so good that my 7 and 5 year old kids drank it all, while they didn't like the one made with the centrifugal juicer.
The feeding mouth is smaller on the Omega. We cannot just dump large quantities in the juicer anymore. But that's not so bad. The finished product is definitely worth it. I have no problem cutting carrots length-wise, or the red beet in pieces, or apples in slices. Guess what, with my kids helping, this is actually not bad - we do the cutting, while my kids feed them in the Omega. That's fine. I like this juicer so much the I actually take the time to cut even smaller items that would probably work whole, just to reduce the load on the machine. But that's just me.
The collecting bin is small. And the discharge system poorly designed. Yes it fits well under the machine, but if you are juicing larger quantities you have to unload the bin (the height of the machine does not lend itself to using taller pitchers under it) and while unloading the juice still drips even if the machine is off. So after unloading you have to wipe under the bin and be fast to replace it or there will be a mess under it. Some vertical juicers have a stopper, and it would have been nice to have one on this one as well. Well, it is what it is and we learned to deal with it...
The cleaning process is much better with the Omega. The frickin centrifugal one would take a long time to clean. Not with this one. It comes apart easy, and each part can be cleaned fairly fast. I juice and drink the juice immediately, never store it, and I juice twice a day (morning and lunch) and I do not mind cleaning it. This aspect encouraged us to juice more often!
Juicing soft fruits can be a problem with the Omega. Even tomatoes. The mush will just stay in the masticating chamber. Yest it can be a problem, but we learned to deal with it. Take for example a favorite juice of mine: tomato, red cabbage, red beet, celery root, carrot, garlic, and parsley and lovage stems. I need to start with the tomato, and then follow with something a little more dry as cabbage, and always finish with the carrot as it will push everything through.
Now, the main advantage is that we can juice things that we couldn't with the centrifugal one. Leafy greens are the Omega's best friend. But what I really like is that now I don't throw away anything - we keep all stems from parsley, dill, beets, etc. and juice them along with other veggies. The flavor from these stems is amazing. Add them a bit a lime or lemon and ginger in your green juice and it will be amazing!
Why four stars then? Well, we got the first one, and when running dry the whole masticating chamber would wobble like crazy, and the motor made an accompanying rhythmic noise. We thought is is defective, so got a replacement. The replacement did the same. So I can only infer that the auger shaft is not perfectly straight. And all those plastic parts! Even if this thing is warrantied for a decade, it will most certainly need replacement for some if not all the plastic parts. (remember the printer-cartridge combo anyone?) I would pay double to have this made with stainless steel parts!
I guess time will tell if this juicer will last. For now, it brought back the fun in juicing, and the final product is so drinkable, so delicious!
Almost 4 months later and we still love this juicer. It has changed our morning habits completely! We use it so often we never store this away, and it became a staple on our counter.
The morning juice became a ritual for the entire family. After waking up I start preparing the juice - we do not use fruits almost at all (except pomegranate occasionally - they are superb). Even though it is not needed, I dice everything I put in it as it doesn't take more than an extra minute or so. As such, the juicer becomes 100% self feeding and it make it easier for the juicer too. My kids are now so used to the morning juice on an empty stomach (micro-nutrient shoot to the vein) that if we are late one morning they ask for it - "Daddy, I am getting hungry soon so can I have my juice now?" Remember, there's no fruit! Creatures of habit these kids!
The nice part is that we have no waste anymore - we juice EVERYTHING! We cook cauliflower the day before, well, now we have the leaves and stems from them; we prepared a red beet salad, now we have all the stems to juice (we make soup from the leaves); etc. etc. And you get to do a vegetable stock from all the shredded veggies! It comes great even though they were juiced!
But the best part is how good we feel! My kids haven't had a cold since we started juicing (Coincidence? Maybe, but the school started during this period and usually they would bring something home. Not this time. Again, it might be a coincidence.)
But wait, there's more! We are trying to be a Paleo family (I am 100%, the rest of the family about 75% or so). I started my Paleo lifestyle 3 months before we got this juicer (so 6 months ago). When I got the juicer I decided to replace 2 meals a day with juice. So I have a pretty large juice in the morning (again, only veggies, and mostly avoiding root vegetables) and one at lunch (I work very close to home and I can go and make a fresh juice during lunch). Since I started Paleo I lost 45 pounds, 35 since i bought this juicer! I have so much freaking energy too!
I never believed we would get so enthused about this juicer. Granted, this is not the best juicer out there, but it makes great tasting juice. But I would till keep this one at 4 stars. SO MUCH PLASTIC! Again, I would pay double to have all stainless steel! We dumped the plastic-fantastic containers (a pain to truly clean) and juice directly in glass containers. Also, cleaning the mixing chamber is a pain - what you see in the youtube videos is just rinsing - do that a few times and you'll have a nasty looking juicer in a few days. You really need to brush the inside thoroughly to get rid of all stains. And the locking mechanism get hard to use in time - when my kids "help" they press too hard on the tamper, so some juice comes out through the back pass the plastic o-ring. If that doesn't get cleaned, the locking wheel will be "sticky" the next day or so. I had to take the entire wheel off a few time already (a Phillips screwdriver will do the trick in a few seconds). So it's not all perfect, but I will forgive these flaws for the major impact it had on our lives.
It is now 8 months later and this juicer is still going strong. One more issue surfaced though - more than often we put in our juice a combination of kale, celery, bok choy, bell pepper, beet greens, parsley stems, collard greens, cauliflower leaves, cabbage, spinach, cucumber, and towards the end red beets and carrots (I try not too drink too much root veggies juice, so the last two we always juice at the end after I get some of the juice - the carrots also push through everything left in the juicing chamber). Almost every time I get to the red beet, I have some juice leaking between the transparent body and the black retaining nut, so that gasket is not sealing very well anymore. Always with the red beet.
As mentioned above, we got rid of the plastic containers that came with the juicer. I use two glass cups for the juice, and when one is full I slide the other one under and dump the juice in a stainless shaker (I use the Dozenegg or the Winco, whichever is closer). The pulp we used to have it come out in a smaller mixing bowl, and either throw it away or use it for making broth. When we throw it away, we used to put it in one of those flimsy bags that came with the veggies (the pulp will stink up your trash very fast otherwise), but now we found an even better solution: dog poop bags! I use one and get it to stay on the juicer with one of those thick rubber bands that came with the veggies - see the uploaded picture. So now everything dumps directly in the bag, no mess to clean, no smell in the trash!
Juicers I've owned:
Omega VRT 350 HD, Breville Juice Fountain, Green Star Elite (currently have along with the NC 800)
The Omega VRT was the first juicer I bought, and I really enjoyed it. From the research I did, I decided to spend a little more and get a quality juicer. The yield seemed good, the pulp dry, and it easily juiced the carrots, apples, and spinach that were my primary staples of juicing at the time. I didn't think the clean up was too bad, but of course, I didn't know better. My big complaint at the time was how much pulp was in the juice. This machine produces a lot of pulp and straining it adds to the time and mess that juicing can bring.
I had to put the VRT in storage due to a move (and subsequent deployment), so since I would be without the VRT for 7 months but able to use a juicer, I bought a Breville Juice Fountain refurbished from eBay for a little over 100 bucks. It wasn't the stainless steel version and had two speeds, although I found the slower speed for greens useless as it would simply fling the produce into the pulp bin. For a while, I really liked this juicer. It is super fast and it is....super fast. That's pretty much what these things are good for. No cutting, slicing, twisting, pulling, breaking, or bending necessary. Just put the entire bag of produce in there and Boom. It's juiced. Cleanup on the Breville was a little more laborious than the VRT and the top piece with the feeder is awkward if you have a small sink, but on the whole, it wasn't too bad. I also liked the pitcher that separated the foam from the juice. A very necessary accouterment since this juicer is a foam machine in its spare time. With the Breville, I started juicing more cucumbers, celery, and kale as I began to transition away from the carrot/apple beginner staples.
Once I finally got the VRT out of storage and was settled in, I went back and forth about which one to keep. The Breville is such a time saver, but I could really taste a difference in the juice. The VRT made better juice, plain and simple. I can't quite explain it, but the the Breville's juice tasted more watery, regardless of what I juiced. If you do your research, you'll learn that 'oxidation' is probably the culprit as the centrifugal juicers blow lots of air into the juice. Whatever you want to call it, there is a difference in taste. So I kept the VRT, but by now, I was juicing more leafy greens than when I had it before. And the fatal flaw of the VRT is the clogging situation on the ejection spout. You can read about it or watch videos, but the bottom line is that it clogs when you use celery or other leafy vegetables. It's incredibly annoying. Incredibly. So annoying that I decided to get rid of it and go with the single gear masticating juicer, which finally leads me to the NC800:
This juicer is amazingly easy to clean. By far the easiest I've dealt with. And having juiced for a little while, I can tell you that cleaning makes a difference. Juicing is a somewhat messy proposition in the first place, so the more you can reduce the prep and clean up time, the more time you'll be juicing and drinking the juice vs. the hassles of it. Granted, no amount of hassle should keep you from juicing, but it happens. The easier to clean, the better. This juicer is the easiest out there.
The quality of juice is awesome. The pulp comes out really dry, and there's never any clogging or jamming of produce as there was in the VRT. There is still some pulp in the juice, but as I've gotten more into juicing, I don't worry about pulp so much anymore. I have come to like it actually. Still, it's not as much pulp as the VRT. The NC800 has a wider feed chute than the 8000 series, and I can say it makes life a lot easier. I also have a Green Star Elite (see below) and its feed chute is similar to the 8000 series. And it is much more of a time killer as you are doing more cutting of bigger veggies. Nothing horrible, but it does take more time. The pulp adjustment knob seems to work fine, and it's super easy to pop off yourself and push pulp through if it gets a little jammed. I find the pulp gets a little backed up if i'm juicing lots of soft stuff like cucumbers. I will caution that it does run hot after about 20 or so min of use, so be aware that the 30 min on, 10 min off is a good idea. Nothing to be alarmed about, but this is not an industrial juicer of course. Just FYI. In all, I love this juicer and would pick it over any of the others I've used or seen video reviews of. It juices the highest quality juice, gets good yield with minimal foam, and it incredibly easy to assemble, take apart, and clean. Would take this over the VRT any day.
Finally, I also have a Green Star Elite. Just days after I bought the Omega, I found a once used GSE on Craigslist for $200 bucks. I couldn't pass it up as the are $529 new. I'm still trying to decide which one to keep, but I'm leaning towards the Omega just for ease of cleaning. The GSE probably gets a little better yield, but not by much (haven't done an official test yet), and the GSE is the most time consuming to deal with. It's a fun juicer, but takes a while to clean. Anyway, that's just so you know what I have/have had and what I'm comparing the NC800 to. The NC800 is a great juicer for those of you who are ready to take juicing up a notch from the starter Breville or are annoyed with the VRT's tendency to clog with leafy greens.
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