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The Inexpensive Kitchen Tool Michael Symon Swears By For Juicing Citrus

If you've ever thrown all your arm muscles into squeezing a lemon, only to produce seeds and a few drops of juice — not to mention a painful sting from the juice seeping into an open cut — you may be on the hunt for a better method. Luckily, there are a few devices that can extract just as much or more juice than you could squeeze out with your hands.

One kitchen tool, in particular, comes highly recommended by celebrity chef Michael Symon. If you don't know the name, you may have seen him on his Food Network and Cooking Channel show appearances on "The Melting Pot," "Food Feuds," "Iron Chef America," and "The Next Iron Chef," where he won Season 1 in 2008. You might also have seen him grilling up a mean burger on "Burgers, Brew & 'Que" — or maybe you've bought one of his many award-winning cookbooks.

It's safe to say Symon is an expert on barbecue and burgers; he's taught us how to make the perfect smash burgers, how to whip up restaurant-quality bacon at home, and which seasonings are his go-tos for barbecues. But Symon also has a tip for juicing as much citrus as possible without getting your hands dirty, using a cheap device you probably already have in your kitchen.

Tongs can juice citrus in a pinch

Tongs are an essential tool for grilling, which no one knows better than grillmaster Michael Symon. However, the celebrity chef has another use for the staple kitchen tool, which sells for as little as $4.99 for a two-pack on Amazon: juicing citrus. In an interview with E! News, Symon explained that tongs are "versatile and useful, especially when cooking with fire or juicing citrus." Since tongs are designed to keep your hands free from touching food, this is an ideal, mess-free way to get the most juice out of your lemons or limes. All you have to do is squeeze a lemon half between the tong handles, and fresh juice will pour out.

The key here is to keep the citrus as close as possible to the "joint" where the handles connect and use your hands to squeeze the tong clamps. In a side-by-side test comparing tongs and a wooden reamer, Food52 found that the two tools yielded the same amount of juice, although more pulp came out when using the reamer. So while you won't necessarily get more juice out by using tongs, your hands should stay relatively clean, and you won't have to spend money on a device with only one purpose. Once you're done juicing your lemons, you can use your tongs to save your hands in plenty of other ways in the kitchen.