This Hack Gets The Most Juice Out Of Limes & Lemons

juice from citrus

I have no problem reaching for the bottle of store-bought lemon juice in my fridge when that’s all I have on hand, but generally I try to use fresh juice from citrus fruits whenever I can. (Or whenever I actually remember to buy it, more like!) In cooking, baking, and even cleaning, using the “real thing” can make a big difference!

However, up until recently, I had all but accepted that I lack the hand strength to really get the maximum amount of juice from citrus like lemons and limes. So when I came across the ingenious citrus hack that I’ll be sharing with you today, I couldn’t wait to give it a try while making Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, a Nystul family favorite!

juicing citrus

The Secret To Getting The Most Juice? It’s All In The Cut

The trick to getting the most juice from citrus turned out to be much simpler than I’d imagined. The secret is in how you cut the fruit, rather than how you juice it!

This is one of those tricks that proves how powerful “thinking outside the box” can really be! The smarty-pants who discovered this brilliant juicing hack managed to create a method that’s more effective than any juicing gadget I’ve tried so far, and for that, they have my never-ending gratitude! :-)

Here’s how this simple trick works, so you can use it at home too!

Related: 9 Time-Tested Kitchen Hacks That Will Always Be Useful

How To Get The Most Juice From Citrus Fruit

juicing citrus

Step 1 – Give It Some Heat

Before you even get your knife out, take an extra 20 seconds to zap it in the microwave. This will allow the juices to flow more freely, especially if your citrus is coming straight from the refrigerator.

After microwaving it, let your lemon or lime cool for about a minute.

juicing citrus

Step 2 – Give It A Roll

Next, roll your citrus fruit back and forth on the counter a few times. This will help to burst the individual segments within the fruit, making it easier to get more juice out after you cut into it. (It’s like “pre-juicing” your fruit!) :-)

juicing citrus

Step 3 – Cut It Like An Apple

Instead of cutting your lemon, lime, or orange directly in half, stand it up on its end on your cutting board. (Cutting off a bit of the skin off of one end will help stabilize it.)

Using a sharp knife, remove the four sides or “cheeks” of the fruit, much like you would cut around the core of an apple. Try to cut close to the “core” of the citrus without actually cutting through it.

juicing citrus

Step 4 – Squeeze It Like You Mean It

All that’s left to do is squeeze the juice out of the citrus segments! This should be much easier to do now and yield almost double the amount of juice you would have managed to squeeze out of it using a different method.

To make sure you get every last drop of juice out of your fruit, don’t forget to squeeze the core too! And while you can use these tips individually, I suggest using all four tips in order to really get the most out of your citrus.

What are some of your favorite things to make with citrus juice?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • I already quick microwave my citrus, will now roll it as well. But my wood citrus reamer still rendered more juice than the slicing, both ways need to be squeezed (or reamed) over a small sieve strainer. Thanks for the additional info, after rolling the reamer was easier.

  • I feel so clever for doing the heating and rolling of my citrus to increase my juice yield before you told me however, I can do even better than that!

    1. Buy it at it cheapest.
    2. It will extend the life of the fruit.
    3. You always have some lime around if a friend drops by and they drink G&T’s.
    4. You will always have the fresh zest around or juice if a recipe calls for it.
    5. Freezing soft fruits, all, makes the cells of the fruit expand…we all know about soggy defrosted strawberries, banana and its juice separating on defrost – then collapse/burst on defrost. USE THAT ADVANTAGE TO GET THE MOST JUICE OUT- then squeeze!
    6. Zesting seems easier with a frozen fruit because its hard center gives resistance to the pressure applied – having said that you can end up with a freezer drawer full of naked fruit! Haha
    7. You have to make cake to use up all that naked fruit!

    I hope my additional step inspires someone!

  • Thanks for this Jillee, I love citrus flavour in anything, it is uplifting and refreshing and compliments many other flavours too, like you I try to buy fresh, especially if I’m needing the zest but will use bottled if I have no fresh or not quite enough.
    I don’t use a microwave so warm my citrus in the oven or a jug of boiling water for a couple of minutes giving the same results.

  • Good to know, thanks! I don’t normally use fresh citrus juice, but we started getting Hello Fresh meals recently (thanks for the suggestion!) and they often involve zesting and juicing lemons or limes. My favorite is diced tomatoes and onions marinated in lime juice with salt and pepper, yum!

    • There’s more surface area when you cut around the core. Although, there does seem to be some magic to it, that’s why it’s a hack – it just works… Give it a try. :-)

  • I’ve been microwaving and rolling lemons and limes for a long time. It certainly makes a huge difference. One thing I did learn, if you need the zest from the peeling, do that before you microwave or roll. I still use my grandmother’s old fashioned glass juicer.

  • This is great. I think I’ve tried microwaving the lemons before. It makes it much faster. I don’t know if it’s just my skin – but the acid from the juice really irritates my hands whenever I’ve had to juice them for recipes.

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