There's no such thing as a unanimous opinion on juicers that draw hundreds of user reviews, but the Breville Juice Fountain Plus JE98XL comes close. Both experts and owners love its relatively quiet, but powerful and versatile juicing. They also say it's (relatively) easy to clean.
Although the Breville Juice Fountain Plus JE98XL doesn't draw quite as much user praise as the Breville Ikon BJE510XL (*Est. $200), it's still a clear favorite for beginners and frequent juicers alike, who say it juices just about anything efficiently, is easy to use and is easier to clean than most juicers. It's a good alternative, most add, if the price tag of the Breville BJE510XL is a little out of reach. If your budget is even tighter, consider the even less costly Breville Juice Fountain Compact BJE200XL (*Est. $100) as well.
The Breville JE98XL draws near-universal praise. The Breville Juice Fountain Plus JE98XL draws top marks for performance in one comparative expert review, and user reviewers agree that it's both powerful and versatile. Several owners posting on Macy's website list items the JE98XL handles easily, ranging from kale, celery and spinach, to green peppers, carrots, oranges, mango, papaya, various melons and pineapples. It's possible that the few scattered complaints we saw about difficulty juicing softer foods -- like spinach and berries -- are from users that didn't know to use the juicer's lower speed for soft produce.
Reports vary on exactly how much foam the JE98XL generates, but users agree that the pitcher's froth separator does a good job of separating foam from juice. Vibration -- another common problem for juicers -- seems to be well under control too; as one reviewer on Macy's website puts it, the JE98XL "does not vibrate the counter or terrify my child when I turn it on like my last one." Centrifugal juicers like the JE98XL are usually pretty loud, and a few owners do complain about the noise -- but one expert source says that, all things considered, it's surprisingly quiet; it measures at 82 decibels, or about as loud as a dishwasher.
Everybody loves the wide feed chute. Experts and owners alike praise the ease of juicing with the Breville JE98XL's 3-inch-wide feed chute. Small apples and large carrots fit down the chute without needing to be chopped first, and large apples make the trip in halves or large quarters, saving you plenty of prep time.
Reviewers also say that this juicer is easy to disassemble and clean, especially if you put a plastic bag in the pulp container -- that way you just lift the bag out and don't have to wash the pulp container. "What I love about my juicer is it is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to take apart," summarizes one Amazon.com reviewer.
The JE98XL draws praise from experts for having mostly smooth surfaces, with fewer crevices in which juice or pulp could lodge, and they say the included cleaning brush does a good job. However, a few users caution that if you don't clean the JE98XL right after use, a film can develop over the plastic, and there is the usual smattering of people who are frustrated by a 5- to 10-minute cleanup time -- which is actually pretty typical for a home juicer.
Users say the JE98XL stands up to frequent, long-term juicing. Expert reviewers don't comment on durability, but users have plenty to say, and in this case it's positive feedback. The JE98XL seems to draw frequent juicers (at least daily, sometimes more often), who often stop by user-review sites to report that the juicer's still going strong after months of frequent use. "Parts seal properly and nothing leaks," says one reviewer on 877MyJuicer.com, citing this unit's build quality as one of several high points. Another user, this time on Amazon.com, posts periodically for her first several months of using the juicer twice a day. Her only complaint is minor leakage when juicing pineapple, which she blames on herself for not giving the juicer enough time to empty out before adding more fruit.
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1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Excellent The editors of Cook's Illustrated test six electric juicers, including the Breville JE98XL, and rate them in three categories (performance, ease of use and cleanup). Each unit receives a brief, but detailed review.
Review: Electric Juicers (Juice Extractors), Editors of Cook's Illustrated, September 2012
Very Good More than 260 Amazon users review the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus, resulting in an overall 4.6-star rating. Most say it's fast, efficient, stable and easy to use.
Review: Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Very Good More than 120 owners review the Breville JE98XL juicer on Macy's website, and it earns a near-perfect rating. Just under 95 percent say they'd recommend this product to a friend. Although most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, people aren't shy about noting any perceived negatives.
Review: Breville JE98XL Juicer, Two-Speed Juice Fountain, Contributors to Macys.com, As of October 2012
Good Nearly 40 contributors review the Breville JE98XL, and it earns a score of just over 4 stars. Users largely say the JE98XL is very easy to use and that cleanup "is a breeze."
Review: Breville Juice Fountain Plus - JE98XL, Contributors to 877MyJuicer.com, As of October 2012