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 '10 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. – Dr. belisarius Nov 13 '10 at 22:54
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    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. – Michael Natkin Nov 14 '10 at 7:41

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.

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    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 '11 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? – Dawood ibn Kareem Dec 30 '13 at 4:04
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    @DavidWallace: It must be north of the Middle East, I suppose :) – HelloGoodbye Jan 9 '15 at 22:47

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

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    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 '13 at 21:14

Start with 3 TBL then adjust to YOUR taste!!

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    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 '13 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 '13 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). – HelloGoodbye Jan 9 '15 at 22:46

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