4 Tips on How to Juice Lemons and Limes to Get the Most Juice

Get the most out of your lemons and limes by squeezing out every last juicy drop.

Tips for Juicing Lemons and Limes

Read more: Select, Store & Freeze Lemons, Lemon Curd, Luscious Lemon Bars.

How Much Juice and Zest from a Lemon and Lime

Of course every lime and lemon is going to be a little different but on average, here’s what you can expect:

  • 1 lemon = 1 Tbsp of zest
  • 1 lemon = 2 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 lime = 2 tsp of zest
  • 1 lime = 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp of lime juice

The zest of limes and lemons is just the colored part. The white part underneath the outer most layer is called the pith. This pith is has a bitter flavor. When a recipe calls for zest, try to avoid as much of the white pith as possible, just get the colored portion.

4 Tips to get the Most Juice out of Citrus

1. Select the Juiciest Lemons and Limes

It starts at the store.  Choose lemons and limes that have a thin, smooth peel and are heavy for their size.  Heavy=juicy! For more tips on selecting the freshest, juiciest citrus fruit read Selecting and Storing Citrus Fruit.

choose smooth heavy citrus

2. Warm up Lemons and Limes for More Juice

warm a lemon

Place the whole, uncut lemon or lime in a microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.

If you prefer, you can also place them in a bowl of warm (not boiling!) water for a minute or so until the peel becomes warm to the touch.

3. Roll Lemons and Limes to Get More Juice

roll limes and lemons to get more juice

Break up those juice restraining membranes by rolling your citrus on a hard surface with the palm of your hand.  And yes, it’s okay to use a little pressure – you actually want to damage the poor lemon or lime’s insides.

4. Use a Juicing Tool to Get the Most Juice

Of course you can use your hands to juice a lemon and lime, it’s a perfectly cool thing to do.  A juicing tool or even a fork will just help get a few more drops out.  And, some models make it easy to keep out seeds or even some of the pulp.

juicing lemon - watermarked

The Best Juicing Tools

Do you use a tool?  Which one?  I use the type you place over a bowl to catch all the juice.  I’m quite happy with mine and have actually never tried any of the others, so I’m really curious about your experience with other juicing tools.

citrus reamer
citrus juicer bowl
citrus juicer press

Select, store and serve seasonal food for everyday cooking with Getty. Getty is a food educator and Professional Home Economistwho loves sharing tips and recipes following the seasons from her Canadian kitchenSign up to get seasonal tips and recipes delivered to your inbox. Learn more about Getty or check out her books and pdf guides.


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