How Much Juice You Can Really Get From A Single Lemon

Lemons have a way of brightening up any meal. Whether it's in a refreshing glass of lemonade, baked into an easy lemon cake, or squeezed over a grilled piece of fish, this citrusy fruit packs a big flavor punch. But just how much juice can you get from a single lemon? It depends.

First, the more ripe your fruit is, the more juice it carries. Secondly, the size of the citrus is a key determinant. However, even while considering the external dimensions, you must also factor in the internal mass of flesh which varies according to the thickness of the rind — a thinner rind means more flesh hence more juice, and vice versa.

That said, in the culinary world, the amount of juice in a lemon is estimated based on the size of the fruit. A medium-sized lemon, roughly the size of a tennis ball, typically yields around 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice. But if you're dealing with a larger lemon, say one the size of a baseball or bigger, you might be looking at closer to 4 tablespoons of juice. On the flip side, smaller lemons might only give you about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the citrus liquid.

Get the most juice from your lemons

Now, no matter the size of lemon you have, to get the most juice out of it, you'll need to follow the right steps for extraction. To begin, before cutting or squeezing the lemon, give it a good roll on the countertop using the palm of your hand. This helps to break down the membranes inside the lemon, making it easier to extract the juice. You can also soften the fruit by microwaving it for 10 to 20 seconds or placing it in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes.

Next, cut the lemon in half crosswise. To squeeze each half, it's better to use a juicer e.g. a lemon squeezer, a citrus reamer, or a handheld manual juicer. Any of these tools will be more effective than using your bare hands which requires more elbow grease and is often harder to extract every last drop of juice. Finally, pass the juice through a strainer to remove any seeds that may have escaped into the liquid. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to extract the maximum amount of juice, ensuring that every lemon dish you make is bursting with that fresh, citrusy flavor.