A lot of recipes call for the "juice of a lemon". I keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge as this is easier, cheaper and more convenient than buying lemons all the time but my problem is I never know how much juice should come out of a lemon. Surely it depends how thoroughly you squeeze it?

Does anyone know approximately what volume of liquid is meant when a recipe says "juice of a lemon"?

  • 10
    I had the same problem from the opposite end when I lived in California: the tree out back produced humongous lemons. The juice of one of those monsters was equivalent to two or three supermarket lemons. Whenever I met a recipe that gave its units in "lemons", I'd sit there wondering, "Whose lemons?"
    – Marti
    Nov 12, 2010 at 19:39
  • @Marti I have a grafted lemon tree that gives us fruit all year around, but winter and summer lemons are VERY different. In summer small and juicy, in winter big and dry. Nov 13, 2010 at 22:54
  • 3
    As FoodTasted says below, 3 tablespoons will get you in the ballpark; start a little south of there and then let your own taste be the guide. Also, if it isn't too much of a cost or convenience issue, sometime you should do a side-by-side comparison of your refrigerated juice vs.fresh. To me, the refrigerated juice is one-note, lacking all of the brightness of fresh lemons. Nov 14, 2010 at 7:41

6 Answers 6


It can range on the size of the lemon and the time of year. A medium lemon will give 2-3 Tablespoons of juice, where a larger lemon can give 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons). Just have to decide on much lemon flavor you want in your recipe as to which number you pick.

  • 10
    The temperature of the lemon will also effect the amount of juice it produces. Microwaving one for 10-20 seconds before squeezing can produce ~1 1/2 times the juice and save your hands some effort.
    – Fambida
    Sep 12, 2011 at 9:17

After searching different places, I could not find a clear answer. I therefor decided to measure it myselfe. I bought a bunch of normal sized lemons, and squeezed them.

On average, the lemons I bought yelded 55ml, thats 3,67 tablespoons of juice per lemon.


I live in Vermont and bought a lemon to squeeze for a recipe and got 5 plus tablespoons so I guess it can range from 3 to 4 to even more!


My lemons make about a quarter cup. They are medium sized, and I live in the northeast.

  • 6
    The northeast of what? Dec 30, 2013 at 4:04
  • 1
    @DavidWallace: It must be north of the Middle East, I suppose :) Jan 9, 2015 at 22:47

I think anywhere from 2-6 tablespoons depending on how much lemon flavoring you want.

  • 4
    Are you trying to say that if you squeeze more it affects the amount of flavor per tablespoon, not just the quantity of juice?
    – Cascabel
    Jul 1, 2013 at 21:14

Start with 3 TBL then adjust to YOUR taste!!

  • 4
    While the amount of juice in a lemon may vary based on the size and composition of the particular lemon, I don't think it is a matter of taste in any way.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Nov 9, 2013 at 20:15
  • It seems you are answering how to add the 'taste' of the juice of a lemon. While it's not really on topic, that kind of information would be better as a comment.
    – mfg
    Nov 10, 2013 at 4:54
  • @SAJ14SAJ Since the question does mentions recipes, I don't think it's wrong to say that it is a matter of taste (which is always the case when it comes to cooking). Jan 9, 2015 at 22:46

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