If you are a fan of making jams and jellies, you may have spent hours washing, peeling, cooking, and juicing fruit to make preserves. There is a simpler way to achieve clear, delicious juice that almost seems like magic - a steam juicer.
What is a Steam Juicer?
A steam juicer is a pot-like device with four main parts. It consists of a water reservoir, a pot for catching juice, a perforated container for the raw ingredients, and a lid. The center juice reservoir has a tube for extracting juice with a clamp to seal the tube when not pouring juice.
The most popular use for a steam juicer is to process fruits for jams and jellies, but it can be used with vegetables to make vegetable broth, and you can even use it with meat to make meat broth.
Pros and Cons of Steam Juicing
A steam juicer makes juicing magically easier because there is no need to spend time peeling and pitting fruit or vegetables. You can process large amounts of food at once. In addition, because the food is processed by hot steam, it is already pasteurized and can be put right into a canning jar, sealed, and processed. A steam juicer is multi-purpose in that it can be a fast and easy way to steam-blanch produce prior to canning or freezing.
There are a few drawbacks to the steam juicer. It is a rather large device and can take up a lot of storage space. Because you are using high-temperature steam and producing boiling hot juice, the juicer is not a tool to be used around rowdy children and pets.
How to Use a Steam Juicer
Fill the bottom water reservoir with water and place it on your stove with a burner set to high. Throughout the process, monitor the water level to make sure the reservoir doesn’t run dry.
- Install the center juice reservoir and make sure the clamp on the extraction hose is tightly closed. It’s a good idea to insert the end of the hose into a clean canning jar.
- Add the top food reservoir and fill it with your raw produce of choice. The produce just needs to be washed clean. Larger fruits like plums will juice quicker if you cut them in half, but it is not necessary to peel, seed, or de-stem anything. Vegetables should be cut into chunks.
- Allow the juicer to steam until you see the extraction tube fill with juice. You can then carefully open the clamp and start to drain the juice. Be extremely careful as the juice will be boiling hot.
Depending on the food you are processing, complete juicing could take a couple of hours or more. You will know you’ve extracted most of the juice when your fruits or vegetables have radically reduced in volume and the top container is left with mostly skins and seeds. You can use a spoon or potato masher to compact the remaining juice from your food. The juice can then be canned by the proper method, or add additional ingredients to make your desired recipe.
Overall, steam juicing is a highly effective method of food preservation for anyone interested in prolonging the shelf life of fresh produce and preserving its flavors and nutrients. The high-temperature pasteurization during steam juicing helps extend the shelf life of juice without compromising its nutritional value. Steam juicing is an excellent method of preserving large quantities of fresh produce in a healthy and efficient way.