I had a good harvest of pomegranates this year.
I also purchased a steam juicer a couple of years ago and had never used it. My juicer is from Europe and is a pressure steamer. I bought it on a clearance site and it had no instructions. So, I had never used a steam juicer and nobody but me seems to have a pressure steam juicer. It took a while to get to the point where I was going to make time to learn how to use it.
It drives the juice out quickly, therefore making sure the juice is cooked as little as possible before I bother canning it.
But, with either a gravity fed steam juicer or a pressure steam juicer I don’t think I’ve hit the best option for pomegranate juice yet.
I am excited about using this steamer on things that do not have outer membranes (like watermelon.) If I juice anything else with a skin (like muscadine grapes or persimmons) I will make sure to slice them up first.
I had to run the juicer twice (it boiled dry twice, taking about an hour or so.) and the outer arils are tough. It takes a couple of rounds to cook the juice out and I’m sure there’s an easier way. The outer skin and the rubbery yellow membrane between the arils must be removed before steaming because they’re bitter.
That is a lot of work, and I’ve tried every method of aril removal out there. The problem is if you are processing 50 or more pomegranates: no matter what method of removing arils that you use, it is going to be tedious.
My current favorite way of processing pomegranates is cutting the flowering end off, slicing down the separate membranes and turning the fruit inside out and knocking the arils away from the skin. I don’t recommend whacking these with a wooden spoon because dark, red pomegranate juice dye shoots out all over your kitchen. Depending on ripeness, your pomegranates will be easier or more difficult to separate.
I have seen citrus presses used for pomegranates and I think that will be my next adventure with juicing them. I just think that the arils are too tough for steam extraction and I still had to remove the arils from the skin and membranes to get it into the juicer. It just wasn’t my “favorite activity ever”. I’ll let you know what I think of the juice press next year.