Squeezing a lemon seems so easy, but we all do it in very different ways for different reasons.
Lemons are citrus fruits that contain vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy diet. In addition to boosting immunity, a burst of these vitamins can reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease with regular consumption. We like to think it tastes best as lemonade, but adding it to tea is also delicious.
Another common use of lemon is its cleansing power, thanks to its acidic juice. This isn’t new – we’ve been using lemon juice for centuries to remove grease and grime throughout our home. It’s all natural and doesn’t cost much – or the earth, environmentally speaking.
Aren’t lemons great? It’s no wonder we see a search rocket for this citrus variety, especially the question of how to juice it — and, spoiler alert, it doesn’t always come down to having the best juicer. (opens in new tab)although owning one can help.
How do you squeeze a lemon?
We have come up with 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, such as the Smeg CJF01 (opens in new tab). This does not require you to peel off the waxy rind – just cut the lemon in half before using the appliance.
While a cold press, on the other hand, grinds and chews the fruit and then pushes it through a sieve to separate the juice from the pulp.
While you can get a citrus juicer for $100 / £100, a cold press juicer can cost you $500 / £500. However, it can be used for other fruits and vegetables except lemons.
2. Use a manual juicer
This is probably the most common method of juicing a lemon, which is both affordable and easy to do. If the lemon wax is particularly tough, it will take some effort to get all the juice out of the lemon.
Hand washing after use can also be a bit cumbersome if the manual juicer has a fine mesh to clean and the small seeds and pulp are in between.
3. Use your hand
It helps if the lemon is cut in half to release the juice, but hey, this is one way to squeeze the juice out. Perhaps the most famous scene in which this is done is when you are served a slice of lemon with a fish & chip dinner. It does the job, and it’s free – but you can’t match the amounts a device can pull.
Ideas on how to use lemon juice
Now you have your lemon juice, what can you use it for? It has been used in various ways for centuries; from consumption to cleaning, but here are our favorite things to do with it.
Clean a coffee maker
You can clean a coffee machine (opens in new tab)with lemon juice with a descaling solution. Add 30 milliliters of lemon juice to two cups of water and pour into the coffee maker, bring to a boil and allow to cool. Run a coffee maker (without coffee) and flush it a few times to remove the lemon flavor.
Clean the oven
You can clean an oven by filling an ovenproof dish with water and lemon. Turn on the oven and heat – with only the lemon and water bowl in it – for 30 minutes at 250 C. Let cool, remove the bowl and wipe off any loosened grease or dirt.
Mix the lemon juice (about 3 lemons) with 140 grams of caster sugar and 1 liter of water.
Another way is to put the lemons, sugar and water in a blender (opens in new tab) and mix until the lemon is finely chopped. Then use a sieve over a bowl to remove seeds and fruit.
How do you get the most juice from a lemon?
Here’s a top tip: Rolling the lemon on the counter will loosen some of the citrus membranes and make the outside easier to squeeze.
You can also microwave the whole, uncut lemon for 20-30 seconds, which will burst some of the membrane inside and release the juice and soften it before squeezing.
Until For real maximize your juice collection, use the bottom of a spoon to clear the lemon and catch sneaky submerged juice pods.
The ripest lemons will perform the best, so squeeze as soon as possible after buying your next batch!