The trick to getting the most juice out of your lemons

The trick to getting the most juice out of your lemons

We’ve all been there: Desperate squeeze into one lemon about a bowl in the hope that we will get something get out, even a drop. It’s not exactly a fun time. We can all agree that the pre-squeezed stuff in the lemon shaped bottle isn’t great – and is it even real juice? But it’s easy to get so tired of dry citrus that we might consider buying it.

There are many hacks for squeezing citrus fruit floating around the internet. Microwave your lemons before juicing. Roll them against the counter. Cut them from top to bottom instead of around the equator. And my personal favorite: buy a juicer. But none of these tricks will extract juice from a lemon or lime that doesn’t have much juice to begin with. The best way to get more juice out of your citrus is to choose the right fruit from the supermarket.

When we think of lemons, most of us picture the beautiful, bright yellow with a thick, textured rind. These lemons may look great on Instagram, but they contain the least amount of juice. The best lemons for juicing are actually the ugliest. They are pale yellow in color with smooth, thin skin. They should feel a little soft and, surprisingly, a little juicy when you pick them up.

The same rule applies to limes: Light green, thin-skinned limes will yield much more juice than their dark, bumpy-skinned siblings. And if you find one with balding brown spots, even better.

Merethe Svarstad Eeg / EyeEm//Getty Images

So, how do you make sure you’re getting the right kind of lemons when you hit the store? Well, start by actually going to the store. Grocery delivery services are convenient, but there’s no way to ensure whoever packs your order will give you that imperfectly perfect citrus to squeeze. (And if you’re thinking about putting it in the “comments” or “special requests,” forget it.)

If you’re at the store, skip the prepackaged bags. You can’t possibly judge something if it’s trapped in those nets. Instead, hand-pick your citrus from the bulk tray one at a time. Pick them up and run your fingertips over their skin. Squeeze them lightly to assess their juicy potential, then choose the best candidates.

When you get home, store your lemons in a dry zip-top bag in the refrigerator. They stay good there much longer than in that beautiful dish on your counter. By the way, if you have the Turn right those, they’re not exactly pretty specimens, are they?

Portrait photo of Taylor Ann Spencer

Assistant Food Editor

Taylor Ann Spencer is the assistant food editor at Delish where she develops recipes, creates recipe videos and designs food. With a background in writing and theatre, as well as professional cooking, she loves to share her love of global flavors and all things baking through informative posts, hosted videos and casual everyday conversation. When she’s not cooking, she’s brainstorming her next culinary mash-up. Mac ‘n’ cheese chili rellenos, anyone?