Lemons are one of those ingredients that we can’t live without. They’re an easy way to brighten up a heavy dish like stew, their juice is essential for salad dressings or marinades and we love the sweet-and-tangy vibe they bring to desserts. The only problem with lemon juice is that extracting it is a little messy. Things can get sticky after you cut one in half, and any leftovers are likely to dry out in the fridge.
We know about an easier way to juice a lemon by tossing the whole thing into the food processor, but that method still requires knives and strainers. So when we saw this hack on TikTok that promises to juice a lemon with nothing more than a barbecue skewer, we were intrigued.
Does This Lemon Hack Work?
To our complete and total amazement, this hack works! Poking a tiny hole in a lemon resulted in a thin stream of lemon juice that was free from seeds. Our hands, cutting boards and knives were clean, and we didn’t need to use a citrus reamer or strainer. The best part: Because we only poked a tiny hole in the lemon, we were able to preserve the leftovers without them drying out. We popped the rest of the lemon in an airtight bag and stored it in the fridge for access to fresh lemon juice all week long.
Unfortunately, the hack didn’t work as well with grapefruits, oranges or limes. The grapefruits were too large to squeeze, the oranges too soft and the lime too dense. But the lemons were just right, making them the Goldilocks winner of this incredible hack.
How to Juice a Lemon Without Cutting It
- A lemon
- A clean skewer, knitting needle, chopstick or similar
Step 1: Roll the lemon
Roll the lemon on the counter or cutting board. You don’t need to use a ton of force here, just enough to loosen the membranes inside the lemon and release the juices.
Step 2: Poke the non-stem end of the lemon
Using the skewer, poke the non-stem end of the lemon — the side that pops out a little bit. Push the skewer in as far as you like, but at least an inch into the lemon. Be careful not to poke the skewer all the way through the lemon and poke your hand!
Step 3: Squeeze, and be amazed
Turn the poked side of the lemon towards a bowl and squeeze to create a thin stream of lemon juice. Keep squeezing until you have enough juice.
Step 4: Store the leftover lemon
Place the lemon in an airtight bag and store it in the refrigerator if it still has juice to give. Pull it out and give it a squeeze the next time you need a little lemon juice.
As a bonus, since the lemon isn’t cut in half, you could still zest the lemon without making a mess.