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Expensive Equipment? No thanks!

Hello, I'm a working newlywed and I'm ALMOST new to going raw but I'm waiting to purchase the appropriate equipment to prepare meals. I've studied much on going RAW and I'm extremely pumped about starting! But I've noticed in websites and books referrals to expensive, top-notch juicers and dehydraters. I'm planning on purchasing the necessary equipment, but NOT the expensive, top notch kind. At least not yet. What's the fuss about about that great equipment? Is there a true difference between what's recommended, and what's sold in stores (besides longevity)?

Can't wait to get started!


  • ConstantinConstantin Raw Newbie

    Vitamixes are definitely worth it. If you don't have ANY blender /dehydrator/juicer and are going to buy a cheaper one, it may be better to just do raw dishes where you don't NEED those things until you can afford a vitamix/excalibur/champion.

    In the case that you do find any of these around the house or for cheap at a garage sale or something then by all means get them, but there is a big difference atleast when it comes to vitamixes. Just be sure you realize that none of this equipment is NECESSARY--you can eat pure fruit and vegetables and there are even many "gourment" raw dishes that you can make with normal kitchen supplies.

  • HI. I'm a new raw fooder. just trying this kind of eat.

    I have been vegetarian for more than 7 years and the last week, after think a lot about raw food I decided to move my diet to raw.

    I think i have been done well. Where I live Vitamix doen't exist and dehydrators are not usual.

    I have been eaten pieces of fruit and vegetables prepared en salads.

    At the moment mi equipment is basically an standar juicer ( to make juice of carrots and others vegetables)

    and a mixer ( like this http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nmPw9Kxffm8/R7c7ldrAa1I/AAAAAAAAARo/CsTDOaysSNs/s1600-h/HR1372_90_webImage370.jpg) and of course a good knife! :)

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    I completely agree with Constantin - rather than buying inferior tools, avoid recipes that require them and start to save up.

    The Vitamix is really the only one that I'd say is necessary. It is a commercial-quality blender that far exceeds the capabilities of a regular home blender. The extra power and speed is necessary for things like nut milks, sauces, and even a good green smoothie. They are sold all over and there are rarely any deals unless you find something on eBay. We got ours from metrokitchen.com, which does free shipping deals so that helped.

    Hopefully you got a food processor as a wedding gift, which is also very handy. Another thing I'd grab is a $20 spiralizer.

    The juicer may never be required, unless you plan on doing a lot of juice fasting. The dehydrator, well, I just got one from the Excalibur eBay store for a good price, but it's our first one and we started "dabbling" in raw foods about four years ago.

    If you're anything like me, you'd rather save up for beautiful shoes than buy cheap knockoffs that will hurt your feet and fall apart after one season...which is a waste of money anyway. So if you can avoid buying "good enough" appliances and save up for the right gear, it ends up paying off in the long run.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    oh too bad you didn't register for it all for your wedding. I finally got rid of our waffle maker. :-)

    you can certainly not buy all the equipment, you just have to see what you like and what you'll make. I started out with a food processor and cheap blender. the food processor is great, but you can also use the blender to process stuff. the difference between a high speed blender and regular is night and day, but if you haven't tried the high speed one you won't know what you are missing.

    a juicer is great if you want to juice. for me, juice is essential. it's turned into a daily thing. But some peeople juice from their blenders.

    the dehydrator for me became a cost saver because i was buying flax crackers and needed to finally make my own.

    you can get used equipment off freecycle or craigslist for pretty cheap. just go slow and see what you need.

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    Another PLEASE understand,,, the cheap brands of juicers and dehydrators will not give you raw food. The regular blenders will burn out when you try to get the right texture and I have two sizes of Cuisinart processors as they will do the best job.

  • PamPam

    If it's going to take a long time for you to come up with the funds, it may be worth your while to make a few concessions. Before you spend a dime, though, I'd ask friends and family members if they have items you can borrow or have, like a blender or a food processor. (Just be careful not to burn out a borrowed blender!) If you have lots of family and friends, I'll bet you can find a food processor, a blender AND a juicer just by asking. When I first started raw, I traded an ice cream maker for a Cuisinart food processor (to the same person who gave me the silly ice cream maker in the first place!)

    If you can't beg or borrow stuff, I'd purchase a Hamilton Beach food processor for $40 at a minimum. They are noisy, but you really don't need to spend more, even for the long haul.

    If you can find a Kitchenaid or other high end blender at a garage sale for $10, I"d say go for it until you can afford a commercial-grade blender. I actually wish that I still had my Kitchenaid because it would make frozen fruit and ice smoothies with NO additional liquid, which the K-Tec or Vitamix struggle with.) The K-Tec Champ blender is about $80-$100 less than the Vitamix (and used by Starbucks and lots of smoothie bars).

    As for the dehydrator, if you want one, I would save up for the Excalibur, at least a 5-tray. The 4-tray sounds tempting (and cheaper), but it's actually only 1/2 the drying surface. Keep in mind, though, that many people buy dehydrators and use them a few times and then stop. I still use mine for bread and crackers mostly but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't have one.

    If you can wait to buy stuff, then wait. But if not having a ____ (fill in the blank) presents a psychological barrier for you, then do what you need to do to get started. If you have wedding presents you don't want, you might think about selling them on eBay to get your equipment. ;o)

  • vegan2rawvegan2raw Raw Newbie

    Get the VITAMIX everyone told us when we started last summer all you need is the vitamix and we bought the excalibur *yuck and we got a free family gift processor used champion on craigslist and a spiralizer and cheap mandoline. We sold the excalibur (sorry to anyone who loves them) but I felt it was cheaply made and hardly worth the price charges for a plastic box whit a fan in it. Besides when you buy expensive organic veggies just to put them on chemical plastic bisphenol trays why? So we are saving for the stainless steel dehydrator and the vitamix right now. The spiralizer and mondolie are nice but not essential in my opinion. We have a kitchen aid blender with the glass carafe and I must say it it great as far as blenders (top of the line in the regular world) but does not compare to the vitamix. The processor does get used a lot for us.

    So I agree you should ask around to relatives and go used and simple (you really dont need the dehydrator right away the oven cracked door method works well enough for starting out) but a good blender would be my pick for essential everything else you can get as you go and get used or cheap if that is where your at. You can always sell them later and upgrade when your ready. Its like was your first car a convertible leather seat luxury or did you start our simple and sweet like most people?

    Peace and Good luck

  • Thank you all for your comments! I bought a few cheap things to get me through while I save up for better equipment! You were very helpful.

  • i'd echo everyone who says the vitamix is the thing to splurge on. so true. after using a crappy blender for years i finally sprung for one and it just came in the mail, yay! my dad has been using one for the past year to make his green smoothies and the texture is just so much smoother, plus they're way easier to clean because they don't come apart. anyway, i totally recommend it.

    if you use this code when you order, you can at least get free shipping:

    Order directly from Vitamix and get free standard shipping when you quote the code 06-003915

    Call: 1 (800) 848-2649 Ext. 2303 or order online:


  • Yes to the Vitamix. I got mine over 11 years ago when I hadn't even heard of the whole raw diet yet. And I LOVE it.

    I got a cheap spiralizer.

    I also got a cheap dehydrater with temp. control from walmart for only 40 bucks when I first started. Just to see if I would stick with this. I very much enjoy my dehydrator. So I will probably eventually get a good one if I keep with this for another year.

    I use my food processor a lot also. For xmas I got a great Kitchen Aid processor.

  • ras-saadonras-saadon Raw Newbie

    To be honest I don't use any of those, only "fancy high tech" device I'm using and even that not that often is a cheap food processor, I eat mostly salads with tons of veggies, greens&nuts, fresh fruits and nuts butters of many kinds, Raw can be very cheap and minimal, you don't HAVE to use all those devices, I'm lazy, and enjoy my food very much just as it is, so I see no way to start doing all kind of funky stuff to it.

  • Expensive gadgetry isn't necessary unless you make a lot of raw gourmet foods. I already had a Cuisinart food processor and it's a very handy tool to chop lots of food very quickly--a big time saver. I got a high-speed blender (thanks to a generous Christmas check from one of my siblings). It really is great and I am happy to have it, but honestly I was okay using my trusty Black & Decker. Don't have a dehydrator and don't plan to get one. I don't have a spiralizer either.

    I think the best investment that a raw foodist could make is to get some good knives and to take a class on knife skills. Lots of cooking schools and community colleges offer them, and there are also instructional DVDs. If your knife skills are good enough, you don't even need a food processor. One of the most amazing things I have seen regarding food prep was watching Jacques Pepin chop up vegetables. He is lightning fast (not surprising, since he apprenticed as a cook when he was 13 years old and he is now 73 years old). He proves that technique, good knives, and practice can trump the necessity for machines.

  • I was thinking about investing in a good blender but I'm still debating on which one. Blendtec has a 20amp one that is supposed to be awesome...and unlike Vitamix it only needs the one container to do wet and dry. Is it really necessary to use the dry blade one for vitamix when doing nuts and stuff?? I hear alot about Vitamix on this site but does anyone have a Blendtec?

    I have my Jack laLaine for carrot, beets and celery but it will NOT do parsley, spinach and various other leafy veg. I only had a Cuisinart blender/food processor combo thing. So its a smaller FP but it works for me and my hubby...the blender took forever to mix my greens. Had to keep opening, pushing stuff down, restart, stop mix it around, add water, stop, start uuuugggggh Afterwhich, I put that blended mush thru a paint strainer bag. It tasted good tho LOL

    BUTas I just found out, my friend has a Breville that she has never used and is letting me borrow...blade looks wicked and the container is flat bottom unlike my cuisinart so hoping it will blend my greens better. Anyone heard if Breville is any good?

  • HaroldCasadosHaroldCasados Raw Newbie

    I'm not usually a fan of single-purpose devices, but with waffles, avoid the temptation to buy a waffle maker that doubles as something else. Waffles require very specific settings, and the compromises you'll make for a multipurpose device aren't worth it.

    You'll want a cast-iron or nonstick model. Whether or not it flips is up to you. Some swear they get better waffles from a flip model because gravity forces the raw batter into the other side when you flip, and it cooks more evenly. But a quality non-flip model will do the same. Electric makers that beep when it's done are best because it lets you keep cooking other things without watching for an indicator light or steam. 

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