How to squeeze a whole lemon so that as much of the juice as possible is extracted. And as a second priority none/not many of the seeds?

What alternatives do exists for properly squeezing lemons?

Differences to that question:

  • whole lemon/s, not just a slice, I know the trick with the fork
  • no lemon crusher, I don't do that often enough to motivate the investment.

4 Answers 4


Roll the lemon on a surface, squashing it slightly, before cutting it in halves. It will be easier to release the juice using hand pressure.

Beyond that, accept that your hands will get covered in juice and press it until you can't get more juice out. You can apply more pressure by applying it to a small area and working around the lemon's circumference.

If you want to avoid the seeds, you can remove some of them before you crush it. To be certain, squeeze it through a filter or into a container before adding it to your food.

  • 1
    Microwave the lemon for a short time, trick often mentioned on TV, helps in getting juice out they say.
    – Willeke
    Dec 26, 2021 at 7:06

I will vouch for this method.


This one costs $1. You put in on a bowl to catch the juice and twist the 1/2 lemon on it until it is dry. Mine is like this but beige. I have had it for 29 years. Someone got me a metal lemon crusher but it is not as good. I still use the plastic one all the time.

  • 2
    I always thought the difference between a 'good' one & a 'bad' one was whether the curved juicer section matches the size of the lemons you use. I have two, a skinny one & a fat one, bought for me independently by different people [I'm not really that …ermmm… fastidious to have bought two for myself ;)
    – unlisted
    Dec 26, 2021 at 17:03
  • 1
    I think it is funny that this got a downvote. I hope the downvoter uses a $450 juicer and downvoted because the above juicer thing is just so plebian that it is an insult to lemonkind.
    – Willk
    Dec 26, 2021 at 20:02

To extract the most lemon juice ‘with your hands’ can be interpreted a few ways.

If you’re looking for using no tools at all (other than a knife to cut it), then rolling it around on the counter to break some of the juice sacs before cutting and squeezing helps.

Some people also advocate for microwaving the lemon for a few seconds to extract more juice, but you may not want warm juice.

But if the question is how to do it without buying any new tools, there are plenty of things that you may already have that can help you extract more juice.

If you own tongs, you can use those as a crusher— just put the lemon half towards the hinged end, and squeeze at the working end.

Spoons and forks also work as a citrus reamer— insert them into the lemon half, squeeze the lemon around them, and then rotate the utensil to break up more juice sacs.

You can also use the back end of many wooden spatulas. (Beach or similar seem to work best; bamboo and smoother woods are okay, but don’t work as well)

If you’re considering getting a utensil for dealing with citrus, I would recommend a wooden citrus reamer. They’re usually only two or three dollars (US), and their rough surface does a much better job than a plastic or metal one.


If you put a fork in the flesh of the lemon while you squeeze it I think that might help.

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