Omega VRT350 Low Speed Juicer – Full Review
Omega’s VRT350 Heavy Duty Dual-Stage Vertical Single Auger Low Speed Juicer offers excellent quality at an affordable price. Designed to maximize yield, minimize waste, and extract as much nutrition as possible from the fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens you process, this masticating juicer operates at a low speed. While it takes longer to make juice with this type of machine vs. a centrifugal juicer, the low RPMs protect and maintain healthy plant enzymes, prevent harmful oxidation, and allow you to store juice in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours without degradation.
If you’ve seen some of the older style masticating juicers, you know that these machines took up quite a bit of real estate on the counter top. Omega has done a great job with the VRT350, giving it a vertical profile for a smaller footprint that takes up less space in the kitchen.
Like many of the most popular juicers available today, the Omega VRT350 is very easy to set up. It is also easy to clean, and it offers the advantage of a self-cleaning feature designed to minimize cleanup between ingredient changes. It features two spouts and comes with a pair of 64-ounce containers, one of which is for the juice you make, and a second for ejected pulp.
The pulp that comes out of the Omega VRT350 is surprisingly dry. The reason for this dryness is that the unit runs through two juicing stages. During the first, it squeezes the majority of the juice out into the pitcher. During the second stage, it squeezes the remaining pulp a final time, extracting any juice that remains. This helps you get as much flavor, color, and nutritional value from the fruits and vegetable you put through the machine as possible, and it saves you money on produce in the long run.
These are just a few of the most important things you should know about the Omega VRT350 Juicer. Read on for additional information as well as insight into the pros and cons that come with owning the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor.
Low-Speed Juicing System
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about the Omega VRT350 is that it is designed to operate at low speed. If you’re used to using a centrifugal juicer, you might feel like the process is taking forever, but to be fair, reviewers who complain about the low speed juicing process are completely missing the point. This machine runs at a low 100 RPMs for a reason: That is to prevent any heat whatsoever from transferring to the juice, thereby preserving the nutrition perfectly. If you are on a raw diet and are looking for a masticating juicer that won’t oxidize your food, the Omega is a good choice. Juices that emerge have pure color, natural taste, and all their vitamins and nutrients intact.
The low speed also prevents a lot of foam from forming during the juicing process, which is why this juicer is not fitted with any kind of froth separation system. It’s something you don’t have to think about or deal with. I have noticed that a very small amount of foam sometimes forms, however I like the foam and mix it into my juice before I drink it down. If you don’t like it, you can use a spoon to skim it off in one quick pass.
Some users have noted that there is a “lot” of pulp in the juice that comes out of this machine. I think there’s a medium amount, and it is to be expected with this type of juicer. I personally do not mind the pulp. It’s fiber, and it leaves me feeling more satisfied than juice alone. I feel like it’s good for me. If you want juice without any pulp, you are probably better off with a centrifugal juicer like one of the Breville or Cuisinart models. If you want the benefits of a masticating juicer without the pulp, then you might consider pouring your juice through a strainer before drinking it. Yes, it’s one additional step, but you get the raw juice you want, minus the pulp you dislike.
The final benefit of the low-speed juicing system is that because juice is squeezed from intact fruits and vegetables rather than spun out of chopped ones, no separation occurs. In addition, the juices you make with this machine can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours, meaning you don’t have to run the juicer as often as you would a centrifugal model.
Well-Made, Thoughtfully Designed
One thing Omega is renowned for is well-made juicers. Like previous models, the VRT350 is built to withstand heavy use. It powers right through carrots, beets, and apples, no problem. Its vertical design really helps to move things along, as does the fact its chute is wider than the ones on some other masticating juicers. In the event you are going to use your juicer every day, you’ll be glad to know that not only does its small footprint mean it takes up less space on the countertop, it also comes in four different colors so you can choose the one that best complements your kitchen’s décor.
This juicer is quieter than many others I’ve tried. It does make noise, but not so much that you can’t converse in the same room with it.
Large Capacity Juice Pitcher And Pulp Container
The juice pitcher that comes with the Omega VRT350 holds about two quarts of juice at a time, which is plenty for a crowd and enough so that you can juice just once a day or once every two days depending on how much you and your family drink.
The pulp container also holds 64 ounces, so you can make your way through a lot of vegetables and fruits before having to worry about cleanup.
If you want to make more juice, you can easily store the extra in a glass pitcher or in jars in the refrigerator. You don’t have to disassemble the machine to take the pulp container off to empty it, so you can keep going for as long as you like.
Dual Stage Juicing Process Minimizes Waste
One of the biggest complaints people have about their juicers is that there is a lot of juice still left in the pulp that comes out of the machine, necessitating the extra to be hand-squeezed through cheesecloth or forgotten about altogether. With this machine, the pulp is so dry that it feels almost like sawdust. The reason? The Omega VRT350 squeezes juice out of the produce you put into it not just once, but twice. The first press gets most of the juice out, and the second press, the one that happens before the pulp is ejected, gets the remainder.
There are two different screens that come with this juicer, and it’s important to choose the finer one if you are going to be juicing softer fruits or berries. If you put the wrong one in, you end up with more waste and not as much juice. Be sure that you read the manual before putting the Omega to the test and as with all juicers, expect a bit of trial and error when you’re first starting out.
Larger Feed Chute Saves Time
If you remember some of the older Omega juicers, you probably have equally vivid memories about cutting everything up into little pieces to feed into the juicer so that it wouldn’t become jammed. The engineers at Omega did something great with the Omega VRT350: They opened up the design quite a bit so that you can fit whole carrots, small cucumbers and zucchinis, and other things right into the chute without cutting them up first.
This saves a lot of valuable prep time while still allowing you to enjoy the advantages a masticating juicer offers. You are still going to have to cut bigger things down to size; i.e. an entire apple isn’t going to fit and celery has long strands that will get snarled around the auger if you don’t cut it up first, but you are not going to have to chop every single thing into one-inch bits.
Like previous iterations and similar masticating machines, the Omega VRT350 juicer is fitted with a backup mechanism that helps clear any clogs that might occur. Some reviewers have noted that the plastic parts that make up the masticating assembly have cracked under pressure. I did not experience this problem. It’s possible that other users had faulty machines with manufacturing errors, or that they overloaded their machines in an attempt to speed up the juicing process.
Quick Assembly, Easy to Clean
I’ve seen some reviewers complain that this machine is difficult to use, but it seems to me like this might just be user error or maybe unfamiliarity with juicers in general. The parts all pop into place easily, and the machine comes apart with no effort once you’re finished juicing and are ready to clean it up.
Where many other juicers have at least a few parts that can go into the dishwasher, this one is not dishwasher safe. You have to wash all the parts by hand. And, like every other juicer I’ve tried, you have to get the juicer taken apart and put the parts into a sink full of hot soapy water before you drink your juice or you are going to be spending time scrubbing later. It’s not a problem, it just happens to be the easiest way to deal with cleanup.
“Is this juicer suitable for greens?”
Yes, it’s great for greens like kale, spinach, and lettuce. You will need to cut your greens into pieces to keep them from wrapping around the auger, unless you’re only doing small leaves like baby spinach. Anything with a fibrous stem has to be cut up. It is helpful to mix your greens with harder vegetables or fruits, i.e. carrots, apples, green peppers, etc.
“Can you juice wheatgrass with this machine?”
Yes, but like celery and other fibrous items, you will have to cut it up beforehand to prevent the auger from becoming clogged. Because the VRT350 runs at low speed and does two presses, it does a good job of extracting the juice from the wheatgrass, just takes a little extra prep.
“Are juicing recipes included?”
This juicer comes with an instruction booklet, but no recipes. There are a lot of recipes on Omega’s website and plenty of others in books and on sites dedicated to juicing.
“Can I make a smoothie with this juicer?”
No, if by smoothie you mean a thicker drink with things like bananas and avocados in it. The juice that comes out is a good base for a smoothie, but to process pasty fruits and vegetables that don’t contain a lot of moisture, you really need a blender. Ice, frozen berries, and other frozen items aren’t a fit for the Omega either.
“Can I put heavy things like ginger, sweet potatoes, and beets into the Omega VRT350?”
As long as you cut them into manageable chunks, you’ll find you have no trouble getting the VRT350 to make its way through beets, ginger, sweet potatoes, and other hard, fibrous fruits and vegetables. Taking the time to slice them up into thin sections before dropping them in might seem like a pain, but you’ll get the best results this way.
“Can I put a whole apple or orange in here and get it to juice?”
No, the chute is wider than those on some other masticating machines, but it won’t accommodate a whole apple. It measures about 2 ½ x 1 ½ inches wide, which is plenty for something like an average sized carrot, but you’ll have to cut your apples in quarters at least.
“Are the plastic parts dishwasher safe?”
According to the manufacturer, the parts are not safe to put in the dishwasher, not even on the top rack. It is very easy to clean by hand as long as you get to it right away.
“Does the Omega VRT350 come with a warranty?”
Yes. Omega offers a 10 year warranty. You will need to fill out the warranty card that comes in the box in order to register your juicer and take advantage of the warranty if needed.
The Omega VRT350 Juicer is a good home juicing machine that offers reliable performance at a moderate price. It works better than some of the older Omega models did, doing everything the manufacturer says that it will do. My main piece of advice here is to understand that you are looking at a masticating juicer, not a centrifugal one, and understanding that you are automatically signing up for a little more pulp and slower operation when you go with a machine in this category. A quick rundown of the benefits: juice that doesn’t separate and lasts 72 hours in the refrigerator, quieter operation, and no potential for nutritional compromise due to exposure to hot spinning baskets or blades. This machine is easy to set up and clean, requires a little less prep work than masticating juicers with smaller chutes, and has a very nice, small footprint so you can leave it set up in the kitchen if you want.
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