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Between squeezers, reamers, and juicers, what's the fastest way to juice small citruses?

Limes are cheap in my area, so I'm willing to sacrifice juice per fruit if I can get the same volume faster from more of them.

I care about volume because I'm using juice in drinks.

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Similar (maybe even same answers): cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/4854/… –  rumtscho Apr 30 '13 at 8:15
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5 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Short of using an electric juicer, the squeeze press type of juicer is very popular for doing large quantities of citrus quickly and efficiently. They are both fast, and squeeze almost all of the available juice, getting the best of both worlds.

enter image description here

These come in sizes that are best for limes, lemons, oranges, or even grapefruits.

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Some manufacturers tend to make the hinge pins of these devices out of weak metal. When it breaks, go to the hardware store and get a stainless nut and bolt that'll fit the hole. Then the device'll last for years. –  Wayfaring Stranger Apr 30 '13 at 16:07
    
I never quite know how to use one of these. To begin with, what direction do you put the lemon half - do you match the curve of the device, or do you go against it? The location of the holes argues for the latter, but if I do it that way, I always get a folded-in-on-itself mess, not a fully juiced lemon. –  Marti Apr 30 '13 at 23:26
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Counterintuitively, most experts say that the fruit goes flat side to the holes, rounded side to the crushing anvil, and it gets inverted as it gets squeezed. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 30 '13 at 23:29
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For a large quantity of juice, buy a simple electric juicer. I doesn't have to be a large fancy machine. I use one to juice the many grapefruit from my tree. This link might help: http://canvasli.com/citrus-juicers/best-citrus-juicer-reviews/

For a smaller amount, say for a recipe, I use a wooden citrus reamer. Do a Google image search and you'll see what I am talking about. I've used mine over a strainer and it is quick and simple.

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For making large amounts of margarita, I've found it hard to beat a press like this one:

enter image description here

It extracts almost all the juice in one easy movement.

I don't see the benefit in a rotary juicer.

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This image is missing. –  Thalecress Apr 30 '13 at 15:29
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Can anyone reproduce @Thalecress's problem? It works for me. –  slim Apr 30 '13 at 15:31
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Works for me too. –  Vicky May 1 '13 at 15:02
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Tim Ferris in 4-Hour Chef quotes Chef Jeffrey Zurofsky:

"make sure you roll them out by hand first. You'll get twice as much juice."

This should work regardless of the device used to aid with the juicing. I'm personally not a fan of the crushing devices as they tend to break the seeds which release bitterness. The rotating citrus juicers (electric or otherwise) such as this one work for me:

enter image description here

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I'm not sure I've ever noticed the bitterness from the seeds using my squeeze-style juicer on lemons and limes. I believe you that the seeds are bitter, but I think it's a fairly minor concern. –  Jefromi Apr 30 '13 at 15:33
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Since the question as it is written asks for speed, one of the devices mentioned above will definitely fit that bill. Especially if you are processing a large amount of citrus. Me personally, I'm not a huge fan of uni-taskers in the kitchen. Thus, I generally opt to:

  • Roll the fruit in all directions while still whole. Apply a decent amount of pressure.
  • Halve the fruit
  • Squeeze the fruit into your container, you can use a mesh strainer to catch seeds and large amounts of pulp
  • You can use this method in conjunction with a sturdy fork pressing into the fruit against the palm of your hand to extract as much juice as possible.

Mesh strainer -- http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-KRONA-Stainless-Steel-Strainer/dp/B00004RDE1

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I find that I actually get more juice quickly using a spoon rather than a fork, as it better matches the shape of the fruit. (when I don't want to pull out the wooden reamer ... plastic reamers suck, as they slip rather than breaking up the membranes). You can also use the spoon to squeeze out the pulp that catches in the strainer. Another good tool for citrus are kitchen tongs -- use them as a second class lever (ie, like a nutcracker) to crush the citrus half. –  Joe May 1 '13 at 0:16
    
The tong-squeeze is a nice thought. Haven't thought of that oen before. Thanks for the tip! –  NW Tech May 1 '13 at 1:31
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