HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today?

Try this for more juice from lemons and limes

blue room Feb 24, 2012 01:23 PM


I did this today and it worked, I'm a believer. I suppose it would work for oranges too?
My recipe called for 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 2 large lemons--
I used ONE with this method.

  1. r
    Rella Feb 24, 2012 04:56 PM

    Well, thanks a lot - I'm sure going to try it!

    1. mcel215 Feb 24, 2012 05:01 PM

      Thanks for posting this blue. :)


      1. TSAW Feb 24, 2012 06:45 PM

        Great tip. Thanks. I go through alot of citrus each week for various things so this might help. My only complaint is that everyone knows you don't measure liquid by holding the cup up and eyeballing it. Given the substantial visual difference, I'll give it a try!

        1. h
          HillJ Feb 24, 2012 06:54 PM

          Works equally well for oranges and grapefruits.

          1. w
            wyogal Feb 24, 2012 07:01 PM

            For those folks that don't want to click on the link (and go to a commercial page with ads where they are making $ on every visit) and sit through the video....
            cut the fruit lengthwise (stem to stern, so to speak), instead of the usual, cross ways. That's it. Oh yeah, room temp fruits, or micro briefly.
            He got 3 times more juice out of the lengthways cut citrus.

            11 Replies
            1. re: wyogal
              Jjjr Feb 25, 2012 12:38 PM

              Thank you. No offense OP but I hate it when people suggest something I might want to know by posting a link to it, especially when a simple explanation would have sufficed.

              1. re: Jjjr
                wyogal Feb 25, 2012 12:46 PM

                You are welcome, me too. :-)

                1. re: wyogal
                  blue room Feb 26, 2012 09:31 AM

                  Sorry, wyogal and Jjjr -- in this case I really didn't think anyone would believe "3 times more juice" -- thought people would have to see the video for themselves.
                  I usually don't mind clicking through, but I know the annoyance when the destination disappoints.

                  1. re: blue room
                    Jjjr Feb 28, 2012 02:46 PM

                    Fair enough although I still don't think there's anything super special about his method. I use the kind of juicer that's like a clamp, you put your citrus halve in and squeeze it closed. I guarantee you it gets every last drop of juice out and is even less effort than the type he's using. I have one of thsoe too and hate that dam thing.

                    1. re: Jjjr
                      Cilantra Mar 2, 2012 08:50 AM

                      Jjjr, I use something that sounds like your juicer. I bought it at a second-hand store for a couple of dollars, but my mother had one when I was a kid. She got it free when she bought a set of Wear-Ever aluminum pots. As you said, these work beautifully with virtually no effort. I wonder why they disappeared?

                      1. re: Cilantra
                        Madrid Mar 2, 2012 10:01 AM

                        If you mean this kind of hand-held juicer, they didn't disappear. I got a lemon and orange years ago from Williams-Sonoma and have seen them continously ever since at most of the major cookware chains such as Crate and Barrel and others.


                        I use the "orange" size for lemons and limes as well. Yes, it doesn't take much effort, but I still get up to twice the amount of juice if I nuke for 30 seconds first.

                        1. re: Madrid
                          Cilantra Mar 2, 2012 10:30 AM

                          No, that's different from what I'm talking about, although it may be what Jjjr has. My juicer looks like some of these on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=w...

                          1. re: Cilantra
                            gsElsbeth Mar 2, 2012 12:28 PM

                            You just took me back to my childhood. We had one of those juicers too. And wearever pans. I wonder why they stopped making them? Not sure it's progress.

                            1. re: Cilantra
                              Caitlin McGrath Mar 2, 2012 04:32 PM

                              I love that juicer. My mother has one that she's had since before I was born, I believe (I am in my early 40s), and I always wished I could find one. Then I got a new one five or six years ago that's enameled and was sold as a 'retro' design at somewhere like Williams-Sonoma. Not $2, but also not overpriced tthe way most things there are. I'm going to try slicing the citrus en-to-end and see how it works in my juicer.

                            2. re: Madrid
                              chazzer Mar 2, 2012 10:44 AM

                              If you went to a Mexican Market you would have spent a lot less on that hand held juicer.

                              1. re: chazzer
                                Cilantra Mar 2, 2012 10:54 AM

                                I got mine at a Value Village in Guelph, Ontario -- $2. A lot less than they're asking on eBay!

                2. m
                  Madrid Feb 25, 2012 05:12 AM

                  I cut them and put them briefly in the microwave....lots extra juice. Now I'll cut lengthwise and put in microwave!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Madrid
                    Isolda Mar 2, 2012 09:13 AM

                    I nuke mine before cutting, then roll them around on the counter. I've never tried the lengthwise cut, though, so will add that to my juicing routine.

                  2. b
                    bear Feb 25, 2012 09:18 AM

                    That's awesome, blue! Thanks for posting. It's such a simple thing, but never occured to me to try it that way.

                    1. p
                      pine time Feb 25, 2012 09:29 AM

                      Never occured to me, either, but I'll definitely give this a try. Thanks for the link. I do zap briefly in the microwave, plus roll 'em on the counter to break down the cells a little, for more juice, but never considered the pole-to-pole cut.

                      1. b
                        bitchincook Feb 25, 2012 11:06 AM

                        This would be more convincing if he weighed the two test lemons first to make sure that they were the same. Though even that won't account for natural variation in the amount of pith. I grow lemons on a tree in my backyard, and it's clear that the amount of juice I can get out of any given lemon varies quite a bit. So I am not sold on his idea.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bitchincook
                          hotoynoodle Feb 25, 2012 11:10 AM

                          i thought this as well, lol.

                          even weighing them doesn't account for the potential difference in available flesh for juice.

                          1. re: bitchincook
                            sunshine842 Feb 26, 2012 02:43 AM

                            Me, too -- I couldn't help but notice the difference in the thickness of the peel/pith between the first lemon and the second lemon.

                          2. r
                            RelishPDX Feb 26, 2012 12:00 AM

                            Well I'm going to call a foul on this one.

                            I just squeezed two limes, both within 5 grams of weight between the two. (I had a bag of 6 to choose from, and weighed them on a conventional electronic kitchen scale.)

                            After rolling both, I cut one the regular way, plopped it onto the cone of my Breville juicer and measured the results. I rinsed the juicer parts and dried them, then cut the second lime pole-to-pole, and squeezed it the same way. There was no measurable difference in the yield of juice.

                            This is my juicer, a sort of automated Mighty OJ:


                            From tangerines to grapefruits, it sucks citrus bone dry.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: RelishPDX
                              racer x Feb 26, 2012 01:54 AM

                              Tell me more about this rolling. Does it help release more juice?

                              1. re: racer x
                                sunshine842 Feb 26, 2012 02:44 AM

                                yes - rolling them on the counter under your palm (press a little -- not enough to crush it, but enough to squeeze it a little) before cutting breaks down some of the tissues inside, and will yield more juice.

                              2. re: RelishPDX
                                blue room Feb 26, 2012 09:26 AM

                                Well bone dry is bone dry. He doesn't claim the cut increases the amount of juice, just makes it easier to get out/at.

                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                  Caroline1 Mar 2, 2012 11:20 AM

                                  I rarely comment on other people's kitchen toys because I have so many of my own, but you've GOUGED my curiosity! That is some juicer! Do you use it commercially, or just for an occasional glass of morning OJ? Curious minds and all that... '-)

                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                    Cilantra Mar 2, 2012 11:33 AM

                                    Caroline1, are you referring to the Wear-Ever juicer? If you are, I use it at home, whenever I want fresh juice -- which is a lot more since I acquired this juicer!

                                    1. re: Cilantra
                                      Caroline1 Mar 2, 2012 02:14 PM

                                      No, I was talking about Relish's Breville juicer! I grew up with a WearEver juicer. My mother bought a full set of WearEver that included EVEYTHING in the 1930s when a family friend started selling it to make a little extra money during the Great Depression. It included the juicer, a "China hat," all sorts of pots and pans and a roaster and a Dutch oven. I don't remember any frying/sautee pans though. hmmmm... Or maybe she didn't like them and just stuck to her cast iron. Anyway, that was the ONLY juicer she used for the rest of her life. It lived on the top shelf of the under-counter cabinet next to the sink where it was always handy. She used it for at least fifty years and I think more, but I refuse to remember when she died. That would mean she really is dead! It's been a while. '-)

                                    2. re: Caroline1
                                      RelishPDX Mar 2, 2012 01:09 PM

                                      Hi Caroline, if you're asking about my Breville, it's simply for home use, I use it almost every day from about mid-to-end October right through April/May. Fresh juice really isn't that expensive if you have a good source for fruit. When you pull the top lever down on the Breville, the juicing cone automatically begins spinning, doing half of a citrus in 5 seconds or less.

                                      (Some of the below I also posted recently in another thread if it looks familiar.)

                                      There's a supermarket near here that carries the old-fashioned tangerines with seeds (Fairfields) in the fall for $1.98 for a 3 lb. bag, and you can get a good three 10 oz. glasses of fresh tangerine juice for less than $1 a day at that price. When those run out in Jan/Feb, they start with seedless tangelos for the same price soon after. I usually buy 4 or 5 3-lb. bags at once (like I did last night). The tangelos we're getting right now are on the small side, which means they're super sweet and have INTENSE tangelo flavor, really the best we've seen in a few years.

                                      Then at various times during the winter, like right now, we get red grapefruit for about 50¢ per lb., and Texas valencias for about 79¢ per lb., both great juicers, The blood oranges and white grapefruit are more expensive, so I do a few of those to break things up every now and then.

                                      I bought the Breville when my old manual Mighty OJ finally broke (metal fatigue on the handle), but it too was in constant use like this for a good 20 years or so. The Breville juices 7 or 8 tangerines or tangelos in just a minute or two, once the fruits are cut. I bought the Mighty OJ when I lived in L.A., where juice oranges often went on special 5 lbs. for $1 mid-winter. Compare the cost for FRESH wholesome juice vs. the best not-from-concentrate juice from the grocery, even Trader Joe's, and there's no comparison. Juice from a jug just isn't the same.

                                      When I have company, I have to juice ahead, because everyone wants a cocktail with fresh juice. I do Hemingway Daquiris as my specialty—juices from grapefruits and limes, light rum, a wee bit of grenadine, a bit of simple syrup, then topped with seltzer water for fizz, served on the rocks. People have to line up for them if I don't do some advance prep or assign someone juicing duty for 15 mins. or so.

                                      The Breville has juiced citrus as small as a lime to as big as an orinoco grapefruit with ease.I got mine at a Major Dept. Store a couple of Christmas' ago, when they had all juicers 40% off.

                                      Yeah, okay, I sound like a carnival barker going on and on, but truly, I'm *still* impressed with it. My recommendation: Buy one if you like fresh citrus juice, without a second thought.

                                      (Bonus: I've begun drying the spent tangelo peels and juicing to store in the freezer too—I'm going to be making Asian beef stir-fries with a crisp tangelo flavor all summer long.)

                                      1. re: RelishPDX
                                        Caroline1 Mar 2, 2012 01:45 PM

                                        Yup. I was asking about the Breville. Two hundred bucks! But I get sticker shock quite easily these days. Stuff like that happens when you can remember bread for nine cents a loaf. '-)

                                        And now I am REALLY upset! Valencia oranges are my absolute favorite juice orange in the whole wide world! And they're not bad out of hand either. AND I live in Texas. Yet I can RARELY get Valencias, and when I do they just aren't the sweet Valencias of my childhood that came from my family's Santa Anna, California orchards. I've pretty much given up on finding, buying, squeezing a decent glass of orange juice unless I can somehow manage to move someplace where oranges grow juicy and sweet and I can plant my own tree. <sigh> Such is life.

                                        My juicer is a 40 year old Oster "reamer" type with the upright reamer that sits in the center of a basket to strain out the seeds and pulp before the juice goes into the "basin" below and out the spout into a glass or whatever is waiting. Or the counter or floor if there's nothing to catch it. No on or off switches. Just press the citrus down on the reamer and it reams. Poor thing. Like me, it's getting old and isn't as spry as it used to be. I now have to give it a boost before I try to juice anything by pressing down on the reamer with the palm of my hand until the bearings get warmed up and used to dancing again. I can't believe it was very expensive. I don't think Oster was ever a high end brand. On the other hand, I do remember a time when "Osterizer" was tripping off everyone's tongue in the 60s, so maybe it wasn't as cheap as a glass Pyrex reamer. Whatever I paid for it, I've gotten my money's worh and a whole ot more. Is Oster still around? Do they still make juicers? Maybe I should check it out? I keep telling myself I should get a new juicer, but... until they start shipping decent Valencia oranges to my neck of the woods, what's the point? '-)

                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                          RelishPDX Mar 2, 2012 02:24 PM

                                          Yup, Oster is still around, I just bought an 'Osterizer' blender last summer, when a crucial piece in the base of my Cuisinart blender broke off, made of plastic, of course, and $25 to replace.

                                          The Breville works almost as you describe how the Oster juicer works with the pulp/seed screen, but this one has the juice basket at an angle, so the juice just freely runs down the spout into your glass by way of gravity. Easy peasy.

                                          But I'll be honest, if there wasn't a ready supply of good citrus here for over half the year, I would have just gotten another Mighty OJ for fifty bux. That has to be the deciding factor.

                                          Unbelievable that you can't get good citrus in Texas! Come to Oregon, and I'll squeeze a fresh daquiri for you. ;)

                                          1. re: RelishPDX
                                            Caroline1 Mar 2, 2012 02:33 PM

                                            You've made me cry tears of joy! Thanks. Be there in fifteen minutes flat!

                                  2. r
                                    racer x Feb 26, 2012 02:00 AM

                                    I used to always use a manual juicer like he uses in the video. That works fine for grapefruits and oranges, and is ok for lemons. Results have usually been disappointing with limes.

                                    I finally figured out that the best for limes is to shove a fork into the lime then use a twisting motion, sometimes also jabbing a little, while squeezing. Depending on how large and how firm the lime is, I may work around the lime in sections. Lots of juice!
                                    Sometimes I use this method for lemons too.
                                    (Btw, paring knives don't work as efficiently as forks.)

                                    So far, I've only used the fork method on a lime that has been cut transversely. Haven't tried it on a lime cut longitudinally yet.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: racer x
                                      sunshine842 Feb 26, 2012 02:45 AM

                                      I usually use a teaspoon, but same idea.

                                      1. re: racer x
                                        Rella Feb 26, 2012 06:29 AM

                                        Same here, except before I start 'forking' the lime, I use a sharp paring knife to put a few little slices into the meat of the lime, just to get it started. Probably silly, but it gives the fork a head start :-))

                                      2. b
                                        bear Mar 2, 2012 10:26 AM

                                        So, in true chow fashion, I took my bag of tiny organic lemons and found 4 that weighed exactly
                                        2 3/8 oz. each. I rolled them on the table and then cut two conventionally and two pole to pole. In both cases, I got a little more than a tablespoon of juice from the conventional ones and just under a tablespoon for the pole-to-pole. I made sure I squeezed pretty hard on all of them.

                                        Maybe it would work better with larger lemons.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bear
                                          Caroline1 Mar 2, 2012 11:14 AM

                                          You're not the first to report this. It just doesn't make sense to me t hat there would be that much difference in the amount of juice you get as a result of the direction you cut the citrus. Counter-intuitive! BUT.... I do maximize the juice from my citrus -- especially limes -- by nuking them until they're hot but the peel has not yet ruptured. This will rupture many of the "juice sacs" inside the segments and it does result in more juice. I hate those "winter limes" that are like straw inside when you try to juice them, but the microwave always convinces them to give as generously as they can. I think the guy in the demo just got lucky with one not so juicy and one very juicy fruit. I think.

                                        2. RetiredChef Mar 2, 2012 01:01 PM

                                          As other people have mentioned - the person did not weight the lemon before juicing so there is no proof that this works.

                                          What does work is microwaving the lemon 10-15 seconds before you juice it.

                                          1. m
                                            mbCrispyBits Mar 2, 2012 01:44 PM

                                            Great tip! I'll give this a try next time I'm cooking with lemons or limes or other citrus fruit.

                                            1. r
                                              racer x Apr 19, 2012 09:44 AM

                                              Alright. I've tried the extraction method that involves cutting the fruit lengthwise instead of transversely, then pressing the cut section down against the protruding part of a juicing bowl.

                                              I didn't do any formal measurements of volume extracted, but it seemed that the lengthwise cut produced less rather than more juice, and it also took a lot more force to get the juice.

                                              When you think about the internal structure of the fruit, it also seems unlikely that a lengthwise cut would work better. If you are using a lengthwise cut, you have to apply enough force to break through those fibrous septa in the flesh to reach the juice sacs, whereas with a transverse cut, the septa work for you rather than against you, since the juice sacs are being squeezed between the juicer cone and the septal walls.

                                              Show Hidden Posts