Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How to Juice a Lemon

posted in Fruits by Kathy Maister

Lemon juice can be used for multitude of things. It can be part of a salad dressing. It can be added to beverages like water, soda and mixed drinks. It enhances the flavor of chicken and fish. And it can add some vitamin C to your diet.

If you just need a squeeze, then slicing off a wedge of lemon is the way to go. (Wrap what remains in plastic wrap and it should last 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator.)

If you need the juice from a whole lemon, there are a few tricks to make it easier.

Rolling the lemon on the countertop (before you slice it) helps to break down some of the fibers and the juice will flow more freely when you cut it.

You also could zap the lemon in the microwave for 10 seconds. (I did not make that one up — it really works!) This, too, will help the juice to flow.

Some TV chefs cut the lemon in half, and then cup one hand under the lemon as they squeeze the lemon with their other hand. The cupped hand is to catch the seeds. This never works for me. Maybe I have weak hands but I never seem to get enough juice this way and the seeds just go everywhere.

I like to use a juicer. You cut the lemon in half and press it down on the raised bit. The juice collects in the base. You can pick up a juicer for less than $5.

Or there is the “reamer”, which is (also) specifically made for juicing citrus fruit. It’s generally made of wood, and costs about $5 as well.

You cut the lemon in half and press the reamer into the cut side. Then twist and press the reamer at the same time.

This works well, but I like my juicer better.

I then like to pour the juice into a small strainer to capture all those pesky seeds.

They do sell concentrated lemon juice in a bottle. You can also buy it in those little plastic lemons with the green top. I don’t recommend them. If anyone knows a brand that actually tastes like the real thing, I would love to hear about it!

Cheers!

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13 Comments

clive said:

I doubt that you’ll ever find a bottled juice that tastes as good as the real thing (unless it is freshly squeezed and sold that day…). Most contain preservatives like sodium metabisulphite (E223) and potassium sorbate (E202). These make it taste nasty ( as can the packaging e.g. the Jif plastic lemon.)

phatty said:

Or you could try this…

Pam said:

Thanks. I am trying the microwave lemon suggestion today.

Jeb said:

Don’t you think that Microwaving the Lemon will kill some of the enzymes in it? I was told that Microwaves just move molecules.. won’t that kill our nutrients?

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Jeb, Excessive heat and exposure ot oxygen can destroy vitamin C. I’m not sure what a few seconds in the microwave do to the nutrients in lemons? Any Food Science Experts out there who can offer an opinion?

Lynda Dixon said:

my question about concentrated lemon juice concerns content – not taste. What about the diuretic value – for help with hypertension? Need the real thing or will concentrate work?

Kathy Maister said:

Sorry Lynda, but someone else is going to have to jump in to answer that one! :(

Karen said:

I have heard if you cut a lemon a certain way you will get a lot more jucie out of it. Anyone know how to cut it?

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Karen, Have you checked out my video on How to Juice a Lemon?

GBSmith said:

In making jelly, I find the lemons I use cause the end product to be slightly hazy. Is there a way to make clarified lemon juice at home? Second best would be to find a store that carries such a product.

startcooking said:

Good question! (I’m guessing here but) perhaps you could try straining it several times through something like a coffee filter.

Perhaps some of my readers might be able to jump in with some ideas…

You can evidently buy clarified lemon juice (I just googled it and there are options…)

(Evidently clarified lemon juice is used in a lot of natural facial and skin care products.)

Nick Webroyalty said:

Very good posting. I just love it.

Good luck man with your work. :)

collin said:

Great stuff! Lemon can well used in diet as well as for some skin care. It can be used especially in face.

Thanks
Collin paul