The Lemon Juice Trick

Writing my cookbook, I learned a nifty trick from Chef Jonathan Waxman for when you just need a squeeze of lemon. You cut around the lemon like you’re cutting around the core of an apple, leaving the center and creating these flat wedges that squeeze extra easily and produce lots of juice with a minimal amount of seeds. I use that trick all the time, but not when I want to use the juice of a whole lemon. When I want all the juice out of a lemon, like when I’m making a blender salad dressing, I use a technique that makes the job a lot easier, especially if the lemon is full of seeds.

Here’s what I do: I put a strainer on top of the blender, slice the lemon in half and squeeze like crazy. Seeds fly left and right but it doesn’t matter because they all get caught by the strainer.


This is really just a time-saver. Of course you could always just cut the lemon in half and pick the seeds out, but I find that to be time-consuming, especially when there are a lot of seeds and you’re worried about one falling into the blender and ruining your dressing. So this way, you plop the strainer on, get all the juice you can out of the lemon, and put the strainer in the sink to wash later. It’s a good trick to know about. In other news: who thinks I have a hairy arm?

16 thoughts on “The Lemon Juice Trick”

  1. I had a déjà vu moment because this was one of the 24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips posted on Serious Eats today. I wonder what other nifty tricks are out there. Everytime I come across one I kick myself for not thinking of that.

  2. Karen in Dallas

    I’ve seen a lot of people squeeze cut side up and strain through hand. (It’s how I usually do it). Bonus: hands smell great ;-). Also, press & roll lemon on counter 1st, and lately I’m finding I get more juice cutting it the long way. (Using hands, not reamers or other tools).

  3. I’m not exactly sure how you cut the lemon. Picture please. Normally, I just cut my lemon into quarters and put into one of those Mexican lemon squeezers mentioned in the comments.

  4. You really need to get what Christine recommended–just halve the lemon, squeeze, and you’ve got all the juice and none of the seeds (it also works well for limes). I have very few unitaskers, but I use this all the time for mixed drinks and dressings.

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