Freshly squeezed lemon juice can be a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of drinks and also meals! Extracting the right amount of lemon juice, however, can be quite a tricky skill to master. It is known that warming up the lemon prior to using it, as well as applying light pressure, can be two methods which maximize the overall juice output. Both of these actions help to weaken the lemon’s membranes which trap the juice inside the fruit’s flesh.
In this article, we look at 8 different steps on how to get more juice from lemons. Hopefully this will help you to make the most of your lemons, and leave you with a lot more juice than you previously had!
Leave the lemon at room temperature
Rather than sticking your lemons in the fridge, keep them on the counter. This will make them easier to work with rather than if they are used straight from the fridge. The cold temperatures causes the lemon’s membranes to constrict and therefore solidify, which in turn makes the fruit more rigid. Lemons at room temperature will have a softer texture and this will make them much easier to squeeze and juice.
Heat the lemon up in a bowl of water
The warmer the lemon, the more juice you will receive. This is because softer lemons will naturally give out more juice. The water should be more lukewarm rather than boiling or steaming. Simply sit the lemons in a bowl of water so that the water covers them completely, and then let them sit for around 30 seconds to a few minutes. When the lemon’s skin feels warm to touch, and before the water cools down, you should take the lemon out.
Roll the lemon
Before cutting the lemon, give it a good strong roll along a firm surface such as the kitchen counter. Applying a little pressure on a hot lemon will allow it to break the membranes inside which will allow you to extract a larger amount of juice. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and keep in mind that it will already be softer than it originally was before being in the hot water.
Heat it up in the microwave
This is a tried and tested method which can allow the production of 30-40% more juice. You can leave the fruit as it is or cut it in half to expose it; however, leaving the lemon as is will prevent any moisture from being absorbed by the microwave. A better trick is to pierce the lemon a couple of times prior to putting it in. It is recommended to heat the lemon for around 10 to 20 seconds and no longer. The lemon should be ready when the skin is again warm to the touch.
Freeze the lemon
Before the microwaving stage you could also freeze the lemon beforehand. The freezing temperatures will cause the water inside to expand and turn into ice. This expansion will help weaken the membranes inside the fruit which will lead to extra juice after squeezing. As solid lemons will be difficult and pretty much impossible to squeeze, placing them in the microwave will do the trick. Placing a frozen lemon in the microwave for around 30 to 60 seconds will make it soft enough to cut. The molecules inside will be able to break freely and effortlessly.
It’s all in the cut
Often when it comes to squeezing fruit, you are so quick to carry out the process that you don’t realize the cut is also key to how much juice you’ll extract in the end. If you cut the lemon lengthwise rather than crosswise, it will produce three times as much juice. Usually a crosswise cut will lead to 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice from an average sized lemon. A cross length cut on the other hand will produce up to 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice. This is because the larger amount of surface area exposes more pulp.
Use a Fork
When it comes to the actual juicing process, using a fork is better for the juice extraction. Cut the lemon in half and then insert the end of a fork into one end and squeeze the lemon as you would normally do. As the juice starts to flow, rotate the fork to a different position and continue to squeeze. Keep rotating the fork as you squeeze until no more juice comes out.
Repeat this process with the other half of lemon. This process uses basically the same principles as a citrus juicer through the added pressure and sharpness of the fork, which helps pierce the membranes and allow the liquid to flow out. This way you are guaranteed to extract all the juice with nothing left behind.
Make Use of a Juicer
A good quality manual citrus juicer may be the best option for extracting more lemon juice. This is a very easy thing to do and doesn’t require too much effort. Simply slice the lemon in half and place each one into the juicer at a time. Using the handle, pull down the lever with as much force as you can.
The pressure from these appliances should be more than enough to extract a good amount of juice for you. These are also better for people with arthritis who find it hard to just squeeze using their hands. Also, the strong design of the juicer may be stronger than you in general so this may also be a final option to consider.
And there you have it, 8 easy to follow steps to extract more juice from a lemon. There are many little tips and tricks which help you to get the best amount of juice possible. We believe if you follow our tips correctly, then you won’t need to worry about not having enough lemon juice ever again.