Juicing lemons can be a long and laborious task, especially if you need a lot of juice. By the third lemon, you might start questioning whether it’s even worth the effort, or if store-bought juice would do the job.
Whether you are making homemade lemonade, or you need some lemon juice for lemon water, or a lemon-based recipe, read on as we look at the different ways to juice lemons, ensuring that you’ll get the most out of each fruit.
Before You Start Juicing
- No matter which method you use, make sure to wash the lemons thoroughly to get off any grit and pesticide residue. Once the lemons are nice and clean, you can start juicing them.
- Look for unblemished lemons with a relatively soft skin since they’re likely to be juicier. The weight of the lemon will also give you an idea of how much juice it contains.
- Pop the lemons in the microwave for just a couple of seconds before juicing them. The liquid will be more fluid and will come out of the lemons more easily. This is particularly helpful for thick-skinned lemons. Make sure you don’t overheat them, or you’ll start losing juice.
- Alternatively, let lemons sit in warm water if they’re coming straight from the fridge.
- Gently roll the lemon before you start juicing to make it more pliable and encourage the juice to come out more easily.
4 Ways To Juice A Lemon
- Start off by cutting each lemon in half from one slightly pointed end to the other. This will make the peel more pliable.
- Place a strainer over a bowl to catch the seeds and the pulp. If you want pulp in the juice, don’t use a strainer and instead use a slotted spoon to get them out once all the liquid has been collected.
- Place a lemon half between the two faces of the kitchen tongs and squeeze until no more liquid drips out. Repeat this process until you have the desired amount of juice.
- Cut the lemons in half, the same way as you would for the tong method.
- Place a large bowl on the counter and face the lemon away from your face.
- Use a spoon or fork and starting from one end, push the pulp outwards into the bowl as you rotate the lemon.
- Keep going until the pulp can no longer be removed with your fork/spoon.
- If you don’t want to waste any juice, give each lemon a squeeze with your hands to get out any remaining drops.
- Forks tend to get out more juice with this method, but if you’re tackling a larger pile of lemons, a spoon will help you get the job done faster.
A manual juicer will help you get the job done quite quickly and will create less of a mess as opposed to the other two methods. Ideally, look for a wooden or plastic one since the metal will corrode if it comes in contact with the acidic lemon juice.
There are different types of manual juicers;
- Hinged squeezers where you insert the lemon into the mould and press the top half down to instantly turn the lemon inside out and release all the juice.
- Reamers, where you hold down the lemon and rotate a knob above it to press down and release the juice.
- Hand juicers, which are quite similar to reamers.
If juicing lemons is a daily task, you may want to invest in an electric juicer. Choose one designed specifically for citrus so that the blade won’t corrode due to the acidic juice and the juicer won’t get too much of the white pith of the lemon into your juice.
Can Fresh Lemon Juice Be Stored?
After a day or two in the fridge, fresh lemon juice starts developing a strange taste and may start losing flavour. This is why it’s ideal to use fresh juice immediately.
If you’re not using the juice immediately, you can freeze it for later use. You can pour the juice into an ice cube tray and take them out as needed. This will save you the hassle of squeezing fresh lemons every time.
Can You Juice Zested Lemons?
If you’ve already grated the zest off the lemons, you can still juice them, but you’ll have to act fast. Removing the rind exposes the inside to the elements and causes the juice to start drying up. Juice them immediately after zesting and either use the juice or freeze it for the freshest flavour.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice takes time and effort, but the hard work is definitely worth the taste. Not only will you get the best flavour, but the juice will also be free of any chemicals or other items mixed in store-bought juice.
If you need to juice a lot of lemons on a regular basis, an electric juicer is the best way to go. For smaller quantities, use manual methods.