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How to get more juice out of lemons, limes and oranges

 

An easy trick to get more juice out of your lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruits. Also learn how to zest your citrus, and get great recipes.

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How to get more juice out of a lemon, lime or orange

If you've ever felt like you're barely getting any juice out of your lemons, limes or orange, this tip is for you. This simple trick is the best way to juice your citrus to get more out of them, and more juice is always better!

The best way to juice a lemon, lime or orange

This trick for getting will work for almost any citrus fruit. 

Tip: Do you also need the zest from your fruit? Make sure you zest before you juice. Scroll down to read how to zest citrus.

Warm your fruit

Warming your lemons, limes or oranges before you juice them softens them and makes the juice easier to extract. To warm, remove any stickers and place the whole fruit in the microwave (do not cut). Heat for 20-30 seconds or until warm.

Pre-roll your fruit

Roll the lemon, lime or orange on the kitchen counter using the palm of your hand and firm pressure for around 10 seconds. You are aiming to bruise the fruit loosen up the juices inside, so press down firmly.

Cut and juice

Cut the fruit in half. Juice using a citrus press or a reamer, squeezing firmly.

Ta-dah! That's as juicy as it gets.
 

How much juice is in a lemon, lime or orange?

Each variety of fruit produces slightly different amounts of juice, but this is a rough guide:

  • An average lemon will contain 2-3 tablespoons of juice.
  • An average lime will contain about 1 tablespoon of juice.
  • An average orange will contain 4-5 tablespoons of juice.
     

How to zest citrus

This technique will work for almost any citrus fruit, including lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and more. 

Zest the fruit whole - it’s easier to zest a whole fruit. If you need both zest and juice from a fruit, always zest it first.

Clean the fruit - you’ll be using the outer skin of the fruit, so ensure it’s washed in cold water and dried.

Avoid the pith - Using a zester, microplane or the finest grater available, grip your fruit and firmly run the skin of the fruit over it. As soon as you can see the white, bitter pith, stop grating and turn your fruit to a fresh area of peel.

If you don't have a zester or grater, you can use a vegetable peeler or small sharp knife to carefully slice large pieces of zest off. Then slice zest finely with a knife. Be aware that using a vegetable peeler will give you chunkier zest which can change the texture of your recipe.

Save the fruit - Scraping the zest from the fruit will make it dry out much faster. If not using straight away, store the rest of the fruit in an airtight container in the fridge.
 

What does zest do in cooking?

Zest is full of citrus oils which add intense citrus flavour without acidity or liquid from the juice. It's often used in baked goods, sauces and as a garnish for its colour.

Recipes with lemon zest:

Recipes with orange zest:

Recipes using lemons, limes and oranges

Get the recipe: Lemon and White Chocolate Crackle Cheesecake

This recipe uses both the rind and juice from lemons for a full lemon flavour and beautiful colour.

Get the recipe: Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder With Lemon, Garlic And Rosemary

The lazy chef's way to make a tender and flavourful lamb roast. Lemon, garlic and rosemary are classic flavours that work so well with lamb.

Get the recipe: Classic Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Kiwi Fruit

This recipe for lemon curd can be used on more than just pavlova, try it on ice cream or to fill cakes.

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Easy As Australian Lobster with Lemon and Tarragon Butter

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Easy Custard Berry Trifle

Apple and Berry Crumble with Orange Custard

Satay Noodle Prawn Soup

Eggplant, Lime and Tofu Laksa

BBQ Garlic, Lime and Chilli Prawns

Mini Baked Lemon and Blueberry Ricotta Cakes

Lemon Butter Sauce