MEHU-LIISA Steam Juicer Review
July 7, 2010
For many years I have relied on our MEHU-LIISA steam juicer to extract the liquid goodness from all kinds of fruit and tomatoes. It came from Lehman's Hardware, where I have been a customer for nearly 40 years. The hot steam inside the unit releases the juice with out any pressing, straining, peeling or grinding. Steam transfers heat very efficiently, and the fruit is heated less than being processed in a hot water bath canner. It should retain more vitamins, and it is easy to see and taste the difference. Delicate fruit flavors and colors are retained. Some fruits with seeds in them can have an off flavor near the end of the batch of juice. Raspberries in particular. Apples and Pears should be cut in quarters, and have the seeds removed.
While canning fruit, much sugar is added to preserve the flavor. With the steam juicer, the sugar is optional, and not needed at all. So you can save a lot of money, and put up fruit even if you do not have sugar. This bottled fruit juice is so flavorful, you will probably want to add water and drink it as punch. Use it in tea or coffee, or as a glaze or marinade for meats. It can also flavor vinegar for salad dressing or add character to poultry stuffing. Wonderful Fruit syrups for pan cakes or ice cream anyone?
This steam juicer is made of stainless steel and has no moving parts. Any ordinary burner can operate it. The juice comes out hot from a drainage tube. It's ready to put into hot sterilized bottles or jars and covers. Our bottled juices keep just fine on the shelf for years, although as far as I know, this is not a US Government approved method. We also strain and extract all our fruit for jelly making the same way. Recently we made 5 batches of Raspberry jelly, one after another. As the steam juicer was extracting each quart of juice from a single batch of 10 quarts of berries. After everything was set up in the kitchen, it took only about 2 hours to extract the juice and boil all 5 batches in our Maslin pan. We made about 40 eight ounce jars of jelly or could have bottled 5 quarts of juice. Various kinds of fruit will yield different amounts of juice. Because seeds are still in the fruit, the taste of the last 5-10% of the juice extracted could have a strong off flavor. Raspberries in particular have this problem. When making pear juice, remove ALL seeds when cutting up the fruit, and it would probably be wise to remove apple seeds as well.
After the MEHU-LIISA cools a bit, I just hose it off outside. There is little left to clean with hot soapy water. No cheese cloth or berry screen to scrub. No handle to crank or electric appliance to disassemble. Steam does all the work, and readies the juice for bottling or jelly making at the same time. The whole process is easy and simple. You put up to 10 quarts of clean fruit in the top. We have made juice from quartered tomatoes, apples, peaches and pears [remove pits or seeds on peaches and pears]. Grapes and all kinds of berries burst from the steam, and are just put in whole. Fill the water vessel. Attach the hose drain and set it on a burner. Be sure to read and follow all the directions which come with the juicer. You do have to keep an eye on the process. If you are just bottling juice, you really are not that busy while the steam is steadily extracting the juice. There is also time to boil batches of jelly as the juice is being extracted. The scalding hot juice mixes quickly with sugar and comes to a boil. Follow the recipe which is included with the pectin carefully.
The Mehu-Liisa and the Maslin pan are both quite expensive to buy, but it is a lifetime investment. I can't imagine wearing either one out. Both are made of highly polished stainless steel, which is very easy to clean up. They have thick slabs of aluminum bonded to the bottom to greatly improve heat transfer from the burner. That saves fuel costs or makes the fuel you have last much longer. The Mehu-Liisa is able to bottle fruit juices capturing the peak flavor so it will keep on the shelf, WITHOUT sugar. You can add it if you want to, but you don't NEED it. I have not been able to find a recipe for home canning of fruit with out using a sugar syrup. You may mash and boil down fruit, but it will discolor. We are accustomed to brown apple sauce, but trust me, brown stewed peaches are not appetizing. Steaming vegetables including corn on the cob, or even potatoes can be done in the Mehu-Liisa. The Maslin Pan is perfect for boiling down tomatoes and all sorts of fruit, or anything you want to reduce efficiently.