The Shortcut

Five Lemons, Five Methods

Which extracts the most juice?

Everyone has a preferred method for getting the most juice out of a lemon, including Slate’s L.V. Anderson, who advised readers to spring for an inexpensive electric juicer. Good advice. But what do you do if you don’t have special equipment, or if you’re making a cocktail at an ill-equipped friend’s house?

The Shortcut posits that many people end up juicing lemons by hand, and the most effective method is difficult to pin down. So we acquired five lemons of roughly equal heft and tried five of the most popular techniques we found, including the familiar (lengthwise, crosswise) and the more unusual (cutting around the center). We allowed no tools outside typical cutlery. And in our crop, there was a clear winner. 

Note: We started with room-temperature lemons (sorry to evangelists of the microwave).