After completing what felt like a mountain of research on vertical masticating juicers, I have determined the Omega VRT350 Dual-Stage Juicer to be a rather average vertical masticating juicer in terms of function, but above average in quality.
The popularity of this juicer is evident by its sales as well as the positive, enthusiastic reviews consumers have given to it. I found that it doesn’t seem to offer much more than a horizontal masticating juicer; it appears to be rather comparable in terms of functionality. Interestingly, although it doesn’t offer some of the optional conveniences I have seen in other masticating juicers, it reigns as one of the most popular masticating juicers on today’s market.
In this article, I will review the specifications of the Omega VRT350 as well as its consumer feedback. My goal is to help you not only to understand why this juicer is so popular, but also to decide whether or not it’s the right juicer for you.
Masticating Advantages and Disadvantages
Like most masticating juicers, the Omega VRT350 has certain advantages and disadvantages when compared with a centrifugal juicer. On the side of advantages sits its slow speed settings. Since masticating juicers work by crushing and squeezing the juice from fruits and vegetables instead of bleeding it out like centrifugal juicers, they are able to work slower (at a lower RPM). Working this slowly keeps temperatures down and is believed to protect the enzymes in the food, making it much more nutritious.
Like other masticating juicers, this Omega is quiet and easily attacks the difficult task of breaking down leafy green vegetables. Also, it is able to create nut butters, salsas, sauces, and sorbets by running food through only the first step in the dual-stage process. Unlike some dual-stage masticating juicers, however, this one is unable to create pastas.
On the side of disadvantages lies the fact that, like all other masticating juicers, this one works rather slowly. The speed of a masticating juicer cannot and will probably never compare to that of a centrifugal juicer. This is partially because the process of squeezing juice from fruit and vegetables takes longer than the centrifugal slicing and dicing method. It is also because masticating juicers require you to cut your foods into small pieces before inserting them. If speed is a concern for you, you shouldn’t be looking into purchasing this or any other masticating juicer.
Two Major Advantages
Despite not having the pasta-making advantage of many other masticating juicers, the VRT350 takes a slight step ahead of the rest in that it is one of very few masticating juicers on the market which feature a reverse option. If food gets clogged and the juicer jams up, simply flick the switch into the reverse position and watch the juicer work its way out of that jam. Of course, no one can guarantee that this will work every time. For it to work best, you should stop what you are doing and switch it into reverse at the first sign of a problem, not after it completely jams and locks itself into place.
Another major advantage this juicer shares with other vertical masticating juicers is its small footprint. Although much taller than a horizontal masticating juicer, this one will still fit easily beneath most upper cabinets and will take up much less space on your countertop or in you cupboard.
Cleans Like A Dream
Another major advantage worth mentioning is this juicer’s self-cleaning ability. Although the entire unit can be disassembled for a quick hand wash, you can also quickly run one or two cycles of water through to rinse it out. This is a wonderful advantage of most vertical masticating juicers.
Obviously, you will want to use this self-clean option while the juice remnants inside the juicer are still wet – it probably will not work that well if the juice has dried and adhered itself to the surfaces. That all being said, I would recommend hand washing your juicer every now and then to reduce the likelihood of mold building up in any areas where stuck-on food or wet residue has remained.
Two Spouts For Two Stages
In case you aren’t familiar with the way that dual-stage masticating juicers work, I will give you a quick crash course. After you place pieces of cut-up food into the juicer, it is minced to break it down. This mincing process will make it easier to squeeze juices from the food in the second stage of the process, but it will also create things such as salsa, sauce, nut butter, and sorbet.
By running food through only one of the two stages, you can alter the end-product. The Omega Dual-Stage juicer features two spouts, one for each stage of the process, specifically shaped to optimize the flow of that particular type of end-product from the spout and to your container.
Consumer feedback for the Omega VRT350 has been very positive. In fact, I haven’t seen people quite this excited about a juicer in a long time. I literally laughed a few times just reading the excitement pouring out from people’s reviews of this machine.
The only real negative feedback I saw was related to this juicer’s apparent inability to properly digest celery. Apparently the fibrous strings of the celery stalks twisted themselves around inside the machine and caused it to jam. According to the company, however, this is a regular problem for all vertical masticating juicers. I suppose that one must choose which is most important – juicing celery or having a self-cleaning, small footprint juicer.
Overall, I am impressed with this machine. Although it doesn’t appear to hold any advantages of other vertical masticating juicers, its superiority screams to me through consumer feedback. If you are in search of a juicer which will retain enzymes in your food, take up a small amount of space, sufficiently juice your leafy greens, and remain super easy to clean, this may be the one for you. Although, you have to also be prepared for the fact that juicing with any masticating juicer can take a lot longer than doing so with a centrifugal juicer, and that vertical masticating juicers do not handle celery very well.