Breville JE98XL Juicer Review
An in-depth review of the usage and internals of the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus. Is this juicer worth consideration?
The Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus is a mid-high level range consumer juice extractor, with highlighted advertised specs including:
- Large capacity 2.6 qt (2.5 L) pulp container
- Improved 1.1 qt (1 L) Juice Jug with froth separator
- Patented 3.3″ (84mm) Feed Chute Size
- Juicing Disc Filter surrounded by Italian made micro mesh filter to extract up to 30% more juice and 40% more vitamins and minerals than other juicers
- 2 speed electronic control – High Speed for denser fruits and harder vegetables (12,000 RPM ), and Low Speed for leafy vegetables and soft fruit (6,500 RPM)
The Breville Line of juice extractors just look great. Lets be honest, if I were to choose a juicer just based solely from aesthetics, I would pick the Breville brand. It looks modern. The styling would fit most renovated kitchens, and hey, these juicers were featured on the documentary ‘Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead!” But besides their good looks, does this juicer justify spending the $150-200 they usually go for? Read on and we will find out.
The Breville JE98XL Juicer comes with a decent sized pulp container (enough to juice the mean green recipe doubled), plunger, disc filter brush, juice container and the body elements.
When I finally assembled the juicer, I was actually surprised at how large the footprint actually was. At 16″ x 9″, I found it a little large. I’m used to my trusty Waring Pro Extractor which has an integrated pulp container, and area for the juice container. Seeing as my countertop space is limited, I stored the pulp container and pitcher in my dishwasher till I needed to make juice. Because of its large footprint, keeping it assembled on my counter was out of the question.
The second impression I had was that the JE98XL Juice Fountain Disc Screen was MUCH larger than the Waring Pro screen I normally use. The shredding element was also slightly larger.
Next, I tried to stick the normal size apple I juice into the feed chute to see how much easier it would be if I didn’t have to prep the apples before using them (I normally quarter and core the apples I use). Unfortunately they didn’t fit. I still ended up quartering and coring the apples.
To make cleanup easier, use the small baggie you get from the grocery store when you buy your produce to line the pulp container before juicing. This way you won’t have to wash the collector when you are done. It also makes dumping the pulp into a compost bin much easier!
The Breville JE98XL Centrifugal juicer has two operational modes, a low (6,500 RPM), and a high (12,000 RPM). Breville recommends to choose the high speed (12,000 RPMs) setting for denser fruits and harder vegetables, and the low speed (6,500 RPMs) for leafy vegetables and soft fruit. I found however, that the low speed seemed to be just good (not great), at juicing the mean green recipe.
I found that when juicing kale, the shredding disc would get a little clogged with the kale fibers (much like the Jack Lalanne black Ultimate Power Juicer from Costco). This would also happen when juicing just green apples after throwing in a few of them. The cutting edges would clog and the apples would just sit there and slide on top of the shredding disc unless I leaned on the plunger and pushed with a decent amount of force to push the apples through. This wasn’t much of an issue with my waring pro.
This didn’t always happen, but it happened enough times for me to believe that this juicer was already headed for the “average” review. I eventually, like most other juicers, had to alternate between the easy to juice veggies like cucumber and celery; then back to kale and apples, to keep the disc from clogging.
Throughout the three weeks of evaluating this juice extractor, I would consistently notice the shredding disc become off balance with pulp that would catch on the disc. This would then cause the juicer to vibrate, rattle around, and make lots of noise. On my last day of evaluating the juicer, it became so unbalanced I believe the disc came off its seated position and the juicer stopped functioning…It even started to smoke! I thought it was broken but upon cleaning the parts and resetting everything, the juicer functioned back to normal.
Despite the problems I encountered, using the Low speed settings did a decent job with the mean green recipe, and produced juice which was relatively low in pulp.
Sound Clip on Low (Taken from 6ft away using the Tascam DR-100mkII at level 6.5 and High Gain.)
Using the High speed mode was, in my impression, like juicing with a jet engine. It was completely unsettling! Not only was it loud, but the vibrations and noise from the shredded up vegetables was actually kind of scary. :/ All subjectivity aside, the high speed setting really ate through the mean green recipe. Kale, green apples, and ginger were totally chewed up and juiced with little effort. The only issue that I found while using the High speed setting was the amount of stuff that gets everywhere. After a while, a tiny bit of juice begins to drip out from the joints where the top half meets the bottom half shell. Also, the blowback from the chute is much more powerful than when it is on the Low setting.
I also found that with the High (12,000 RPM) setting mode, there was more pulp in the juice. Probably because the stuff goes flying around inside the juicer at higher speeds allowing more of it to pass through the disc screen.
Sound Clip on High (Taken from 6ft away using the Tascam DR-100mkII at level 6.5 and High Gain.)
In order to test efficiency, I ran the pulp through again after the initial juicing. On very inefficient machines, the pulp will still be wet and contain a substantial amount of juice (on my Waring Pro, it gives me anywhere between 8-16oz!). I was not disappointed and found that the amount of juice left over was very little at 2.5oz when my initial juicing produced 35-37oz. Just using simple math, I figure the juicing waste of this juicer is around 6.5%.
After getting used to this juicer for several weeks, I found that it was one of the easier juicers to clean. The materials the housing and assemblies were made of proved to be simple to wash and scrub, and in most cases I just needed to rinse it. How easy it is to clean is entirely subjective, but I would say it is about the same as the Jack Lalane, especially if using a baby bottle brush. Most crevices and surfaces are easily accessible and do not have strange protrusions or lips which cannot be easily brushed. The only exception to this would be the juice spout on the lower assembly, but using the baby bottle brush mini brush, it was a cinch.
I used this juicer for over 3 weeks before I felt I could give this juice extractor a good review, and I personally wanted to like it. However, I found that while this juicer looks nice, and makes you look like a juicing pro, the cost vs performance was about the same as a Costco Jack Lalanne ultimate power juicer. Since the Jack Lalanne juicer is only $99, you’re getting a much better deal for your money. In my opinion, a premium of $100 more for the high speed option isn’t worth it since it’s so loud and obnoxious. But it does get the job done…and FAST! I used the machine in low setting most of the time as it provided the best mix of sound comfort when I juiced.
The deal-breaker for me was the time when the juicer completely malfunctioned and started to smoke on me. No juicer should allow that to happen! If some pulp can unbalance the shredding disc screen and allow it to become unseated, I feel that is a bad design. Because of this, and the lackluster impressions I had from this juicer, I would say pass and get a cheaper Costco juicer.
Click to find the best prices for the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain
For a more bang for your buck (but don’t have a Costco membership), go with the Jack Lalanne Ultimate Power Juicer