How to Juice a Small Citrus Fruit

Two Methods:Cutting and SqueezingRolling and Pressing

Squeezing a lime, lemon, orange, or other citrus fruit for its juice can be time-consuming and wasteful if not done properly, or expensive if done with a fancy juicer. Here's how to do it efficiently.

Method 1
Cutting and Squeezing

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    If you want to use the peel of the fruit in cooking, scrape it off with a grater's fine holes. Take care not to grate your fingers.
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    Cut the fruit in half along its axis. The core should run the length of each cut face.
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    Set the fruit on a cutting board cut side up.
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    Use a small sharp knife such as a parer to cut parallel to the core and at a 45-degree or so angle to the cut face deep into the fruit but not through the peel, on each side of the core. By doing so you slice through the middle of each of the many, many tiny capsules that hold its juice, each of which runs from the core toward the outside of the fruit.
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    Squeeze the juice into a bowl or directly into what is being cooked. Because the cuts are away from the center of the fruit the seeds are unlikely to be ejected but pick them out if they are. Depending on how the cuts were made, the central part of the fruit may be ejected but it should all be together and easily picked out. If the cut edges are squeezed together, up and inwards the central part may be less likely to be ejected.
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    Use the leftovers. The husk can be fed to a garbage disposer to deodorize it while making it go away, composted, thrown away, or given to an animal capable of digesting it such as a cow.

Method 2
Rolling and Pressing

  1. 1
    Roll your small citrus fruit on a hard surface while gently pressing down on it. This will release the juice inside your fruit to get more juice out of it.
  2. 2
    Cut across your fruit and place a fork inside it to help you juice it. Just wiggle the fork while putting pressure on your fruit with your hand.


  • This method has no relevance to fruits that do not have their juice contained within a series of small capsules running the width of the fruit as citrus fruits have.
  • A blender-like juicer that liquefies the entire fruit would preserve whatever nutritional value its rind may have.


  • Do not simply hold the fruit in your hand while cutting it, or slice with the sharp edge or a sharp tip of the knife facing toward your hand. A citrus rind looks dense but it isn't particularly strong compared to the membranes in the juicy part which you want to cut, so you can't expect the blade to simply stop against it. You could cut yourself, and have a superficial wound to care for, or worse.
  • Be careful with the grater or knife, and do not allow a child to use either except under close supervision.
  • A knife with a blunt "sheep's foot" point[1] that can chop and slice, but not stab much, is generally safer.

Things You'll Need

  • Lime, lemon, orange or other citrus fruit
  • Small sharp knife such as a parer
  • Grater

Article Info

Categories: Citrus Based Drinks | Basic Cooking Skills