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Found at last: a vintage citrus juicer

May 22, 2012 | 11:18 am

Silex JUICITEver since my faithful little Krug citrus juicer bit the dust, I’ve been juicing oranges by hand on one of those old-fashioned glass models you sit over a bowl. Or else, with a metal Mexican hand-held job, a slightly larger version of the lime squeezer.

Why? Because I haven’t been able to find a small compact electric juicer that works. I don’t like to keep small appliances out on the counter, so I want something that can be stowed away in a drawer. And I don’t want some big pig of a machine, however efficient. 

I finally thought I’d found a compact electric model, ordered it online and returned it after making two glasses of juice. It had a design defect: The hole that the juice ran through kept getting clogged with pulp.

For larger juicing jobs, I’ve been borrowing a neighbor’s vintage Proctor Silex JUICIT J101W. This was last made in the '70s, I believe. The design is a bit lumpen, but it works beautifully.

Funny, when I was just in New York, my friend Mary complained how juicers these days don’t have a powerful enough motor: When you press the orange down on the reamer, the motor strains and sometimes stops. She got up on a step-stool to pull out her vintage juicer: the very same Proctor Silex model, 125 watts as opposed to 30 to 80 watts for some of the newer juicers.

OK, so I set up a search on eBay. The Proctor-Silex JUICIT does show up, but for weeks the ones I saw seemed too pricey or too worn. Finally, I bid on one in excellent condition and won the auction for $31, plus $10 shipping, which seems fair. It’s heavy duty. The body is metal, the reamer porcelain, and this juicer just rips through the oranges, giving out a steady stream with just the right amount of pulp.

Mornings are just that bit happier now.


Enter our Battle of the Burgers

First Impression: Beachwood Cafe

Open this weekend: Garagiste Festival satellite tasting room

-- S. Irene Virbila


Photos: My new/old Silex JUICIT. Credit: S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times