A steam juicer is entirely different to a mechanical juicer, masticating juicer, or any of the other juicer machines you will find information about in these pages.
Steam juicers are quite old fashioned, and have been around in various forms for hundreds of years. They basically rely on hot steam to break open fresh fruit, allowing the juice to run out. Unlike mechanical juicer machines there are no moving parts at all, and there is no need to crush or squeeze fruit.
While masticating juicers make fresh juice that needs to be consumed within a very short time of making it, a steam juicer is used to make juice that is more accurately described as cordial, and tastes and behaves very differently. While juice made this way does not have the same health benefits as drinking fresh (or raw) juice, it has the advantage of being able to be bottled and preserved for up to several years. This does not mean steam juicer produced juice is UN-healthy, it is just that the same heat which sterilises the liquid allowing it to be preserved unfortunately also breaks down and denatures the living enzymes and also the vitamin C content.
Similarly to food dehydrators, pressure canners and pickling, steam juicing is a time honoured method of saving excess food from going off. Not many people still use these clever devices, for the simple reason that we generally don’t have to worry so much about food supply anymore nowadays. Once upon a time, even as little as 50 years ago, a bottle of apple or cherry juice, put away during the summer months was a real treat to get out in the middle of winter. A steam juicer alongside a crock pot and roasting pan would once have been truly valuable possessions.
Despite the modern trend, there is still a strong demand for steam juicers and you can find them easily in online stores all over the internet. If you remember your mother, or grandmother using one many years ago don’t expect too much to have changed – a modern steam juicer looks almost exactly like one from the 1950’s did! One big improvement is that most juicer parts are now manufactured out of stainless steel, and stainless steel juicers are a lot less susceptible to corrosion. They are also much easier to keep clean.
Finally, modern variants can also be found with built in heating elements, which means you don’t need to put the whole thing on a hot plate. You can just dial up a time and temperature, and enjoy your day while it juices away!