As a home canner, I’m always looking for ways to short cut the task of home preserving. One of the most time consuming of all tasks is making grape juice. The popular old fashioned way of juice making is to strain the boiled grapes through layers of cheesecloth. This process is messy and can take up an entire afternoon just to put up a few quarts of juice. An easier method is by using a steam juicer, such as the kind made by Back to Basics.
A steam juicer is a 6 piece vessel not unlike a 3 tiered double boiler. The principal behind steam juicers is that they use steam to extract the juice from the grapes, which collects in a separate reservoir to be decanted later. Although they may not be the best juicer 2017 they still work great!
Review of the Back to Basics Steam Juicer
Steam juices start at $55 and can go as high as $179. For a piece of canning exhibit that will only be used for one week out of the year, I wasn’t willing to spend big bucks on a steam juicer. The Back to Basics Steam Juicer offered by both Walmart and Amazon was the least expensive of all the juicers available on line, and priced in the neighborhood of $55.
My juicer arrived a few days ago, and here’s some of the features I noted:
1. Tapered base. Most juicers I’ve seen are cylindrical in shape, and tend to be some inches larger than the diameter of standard range top burners. The Back to Basic steam juicer is the only model I’ve seen that tapers towards the base to match the size of the burner. This is a total plus.
2. Extra large size. Having used other models of steam juicers in the past, the Back to Basic unit appears to be a larger than most other models. The extra large sieve means that larger quantities of grapes can be processed at a time.
3. Can be stacked for storage. When fully assembled, juicers can be quite tall and take up a lot of space. With the Back to Basic steam juicer, the steaming reservoir tucks neatly inside this sieve for easier storage.
4. Made of aluminum for lightweight handling. Stainless steel steam juices can be quite heavy, especially when loaded up with juice. The Back to Basic steam juicer is made of aluminum, which is extremely lightweight and easier to carry.
5. So-so quality. The only thing that was disappointing about the Back to Basic steam juicer was the quality of construction. The exterior of the steam juicer was not well polished and machine marks could be seen on the outside of the main reservoir. Also noted were “pinched” pleats from improper molding within the reservoir itself which looked like tiny dents.
While none of this has an impact on the functionality of the Back to Basic Steam Juicer, it is noticeable and could bother a person who prefers their kitchen tools to look “picture perfect.” My opinion of this product? I can live with a few imperfections when it comes to a steam juicer that’s half the price of the competition. What’s important is that the Back to Basic Steam Juicer does what it’s suppose to, which is to eliminate the drudgery of making grape juice.