How to squeeze a lemon seems like such a simple thing to do, but we all do it in very different ways for a variety of reasons.
Lemons are citrus fruits that contain vitamin C, essential for a healthy diet. Along with boosting immunity, a burst of these vitamins can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease with regular consumption. We like to think it’s best served as lemonade, but adding it to tea is fine too.
Another common use of lemon is its cleansing ability, thanks to its acidic juice. This isn’t a new thing – we’ve been using lemon juice for centuries to get rid of grease and grime in our homes. It’s completely natural and doesn’t cost much – or the earth, environmentally speaking.
Aren’t lemons great? It’s no wonder we’re seeing a search rocket for this citrusy variety, especially asking how to squeeze it – and, spoiler alert, it’s not always about having the best juicer. (opens in new tab)although owning one can help.
How to squeeze a lemon
We thought of three ways to extract lemon juice from lemons. Some are easier than others, and some are more expensive than others.
1. Use a juicer
You can get a citrus juicer designed specifically for citrus fruits, like the Smeg CJF01 (opens in new tab). These don’t require you to peel off the waxy skin – you just need to cut the lemon in half before using the braces.
A cold press juicer, on the other hand, crushes and chews the fruit and then pushes it through a sieve to separate the juice from the pulp.
While you can get your hands on a citrus juicer for $100/£100, a cold press juicer can cost you $500/£500. It can be used for other fruits and vegetables as well as lemons.
2. Use a manual juicer
This is probably the most common method of making lemon juice, which is affordable and easy to make. If the lemon wax is particularly hard, it will take a little effort to extract all the juice from the lemon.
Hand washing after use can also be a little tricky if the hand juicer has a fine mesh to clean and the small lumps and flesh are stuck between it.
3. Use your hand
It helps if the lemon is cut in half to release the juice, but yes, this is a way of squeezing the juice. Perhaps the most familiar scene of this is when you have a slice of lemon served with a fish and chips dinner. It does the work and it’s free – but you won’t be able to match the amounts achieved by one device.
Ideas on how to use lemon juice
Now that you have your lemon juice, what can you use it for? It has been used for centuries in various ways; from consumption to cleaning, but here are our favorite things to do with it.
clean a coffee maker
You can clean a coffee maker (opens in new tab)with lemon juice with a solution that can be prepared to descale. Add 30 milliliters of lemon juice to two cups of water and pour into the coffee maker, then bring to a boil and let cool. Run a coffee maker cycle (no coffee) and rinse a few times to remove the lemon flavor.
clean the oven
You can clean an oven by filling an oven-safe dish with lemon water. Turn on the oven and heat – with just the lemon dish and water inside – for 30 minutes at 482˚F/250˚C. Allow to cool, remove the plate and wipe off any loose grease or dirt.
Mix lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons) with 1 cup (140 grams) of granulated sugar and 1 liter of water.
Another way is to beat the lemons, sugar and water in a blender (opens in new tab) and mix until the lemon is finely chopped. You’ll want to use a sieve over a bowl to remove seeds and fruit.
How to get the most juice out of a lemon?
Here’s an important tip: if you roll the lemon on the counter, it will loosen some of the citrus membranes and make the outside easier to squeeze.
You can also microwave the whole, uncut lemon for 20 to 30 seconds, causing part of the membrane to burst and release the juice, as well as softening it before squeezing.
For truth To maximize your juice collection, use the bottom of a spoon to countersink the lemon, picking up any submerged juice pods.
The ripest lemons will perform the best, so start squeezing as soon as possible after you buy your next batch!