A steam juicer is a must in any canning kitchen. These questions answered: What is it, how does it work, which fruits, pros, cons, instructions, and tips.
If you are curious (or in a hurry!):
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A Steam Juicer that makes juicing fruit a breeze (and makes you feel invincible)!
Invincible is a strong word, I know.
Around my house, it is so exciting to plant the garden.
But by the time canning season is in full swing with all of the produce from the garden and the urge to buy fresh, juicy, sweet-smelling, aromatic peaches, pears, and plums from the man on the street corner can’t be resisted…I feel like I’ve been canning for…weeks, months…even decades.
And I wonder.if.it.will.ever.be.done.
But my husband saved the day when he gave me a steam juicer a handful of years ago for Christmas. It is the most amazing canning tool that I use and it makes juicing fruits for all of those yummy jellies so simple.
And it has been a great gift for both my mom and mother-in-law as well!
And when canning is done, you feel invincible. Or is that just me…?
✅ Norpro Stainless Steamer, Juicer–Get more info:
A good question to start off with is:
How does a steam juicer work?
It’s a kitchen utensil that can be used to extract and separate the juice from fruits, berries, and some vegetables by using the steam that is created in the boiling of the water in the bottom pot.
The fruit, berries, or vegetable is placed in the top pot that has small holes all the way around it (like a colander) and is nestled inside the middle pot. This middle pot is where the juice is collected and the hose allows the juice to be poured into a separate container upon completion.
The heating process causes the cells of the fruit to burst and the juice trickles out.
What fruits, berries, and vegetables can be used with a steam juicer?
- Apples (look for my tip on making apple juice and applesauce at the same time below!)
- Crab Apples
- Sugar Cane
- Distill water
- Steam blanching before canning.
- And more! Get creative!
- For instance, make bone broth! (I’ve never done this before.) Add bones to the middle portion with a splash of vinegar and steam! The marrow goodness will drain out the tube and the excess meat on the bones will fall off in the upper portion. Add onions, carrots, and celery for a great stock! This is something I definitely something I’m going to try!
What can the juice be used for?
The juice created from a steam juicer is ideal for making jelly, but can also be used for juice, wine, ciders, and liqueur.
Steam juicer Pros:
• No need to peel or slice!
• No mess, fast and easy process.
• Low labor.
• Clear, beautiful liquid.
• Works great for small AND large batches of fruit.
Steam juicer Cons:
• Some nutrients and enzymes are lost in the process of heating the fruit to release the juice. If you are looking for the nutritious benefits of raw juice, using a mechanical juicer would be your best option. A juicer extractor breaks the fruit cells by grinding and crushing.
• Low to no fiber
The below picture would be an example of a great juice extractor that uses low to no heat and preserves the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables. Click on the image to see more details and reviews.
Steam juicer instructions:
- Fill the bottom pot with water, marbles (or pennies), and begin to boil.
- Wash fruit, berries, or vegetables, and place in the top basket.
- Put the middle portion on the bottom pot.
- Place the top basket inside the middle portion.
- Put the lid on.
- Double-check that the hose is tightly closed with a clamp or clothespin. (You don’t want juice running across your floor!)
- Set a timer for 30 minutes. Check fruit and juice at that point.
- Drain juice if needed.
- Set timer for 15-30 more minutes if necessary.
- Drain juice and immediately can or begin your jelly-making process.
- Feed any unused pulp or skins to pigs or chickens. They will love you 🙂
Steam Juicer Tips:
• The length of time the fruit and vegetables are steaming will affect how concentrated your juice is. The longer the fruit is steamed the more water is added to the juice concentrate and therefore there will be more volume of juice in the end but it will be less concentrated. This will be your personal preference for how long to heat your fruit.
• If siphoning the juice immediately after turning off the heat, be careful! The juice is boiling hot. Use caution.
• The riper the fruit, the more juice will be released.
• Do double duty! Strain the juice off of apples or tomatoes or any other appropriate fruit and you will have juice! But don’t throw away the pulp! Turn it into applesauce! Or a thick tomato paste!
• Pressing or pushing on the pulp will not release any more juice and the juice below will end up with pulp or skins mixed into the juice.
Steam Juicer Tricks:
• Use glass marbles or a few pennies in the bottom pan that is filled with water. You never want to run out of water (which I did once–gasp!) The marbles or pennies will make a racket when the water is low and will be a gentle reminder to PUT MORE WATER IN QUICK! Thanks for the tip Living Home Grown!
• Freezing the fruit will help them release their juice faster, most likely because the cells have broken open during the freezing process and the juice is released faster. Many people report that they actually get more juice from their fruits when they freeze them first.
• Place a stool or small table in front of the stove to hold the jar that the juice will drain into. Remember the steam and juice is hot!
• If you are low on time, get the water boiling and then put the fruit in the top portion and boil for 30 minutes to an hour. Turn it off and let it sit for the remainder of the day without opening the lid. By the time it is cooled off, any remaining juice will have dripped down into the middle portion. Then you can deal with the juice and pulp after you get off work.
I hope you are thoroughly convinced to be invincible this canning season with a new steam juicer!
And if you are looking for gift ideas for your canning fanatic, this is it.
My steam juicer is, hands down, one of my favorite tools I use and recommend and makes canning jellies and juice so easy!
It’s the best part actually, except for eating the jelly. That’s actually the best part.
Because when you are eating homegrown, hand-picked, home-cooked grape jelly on homemade bread…wow. Do you ever feel invincible!
You also may be interested in why we only use Kamut wheat in our cooking!