Tips & Techniques

A Trick for Juicing Citrus

May 22, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Associate Editor Kenzi Wilbur shows us a simple trick for juicing any kind of citrus. Step one: open your utensil drawer. 

A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52

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No matter how big your kitchen, I firmly believe that we should all play by the small-kitchen rule. If you don’t need a certain tool or appliance -- or if you don’t use it regularly use it -- it should go. (To a friend, to a neighbor, to a future Yankee swap.) 

That goes for that egg slicer you got in your stocking three Christmases ago, or the new-fangled garlic peeler you inherited from an event gift bag -- and if you want it to, that also goes for citrus reamers. (Exception: the beautiful vintage version you just found at the flea market. That stays.) Lovely as they are, they’re not necessary to juicing citrus for your vinaigrettes or your curds. You can, in fact, make lemonade without them. And often, this way will be faster, simpler.

The only thing you need is hiding in your utensil drawer. 

A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52

To juice any citrus without a fancy tool, just grab a fork -- long-tined is best, for leverage -- and insert it into the cut side of a lemon or a lime or whatever you’re wanting juice from. (Make sure you roll the citrus first on a hard surface to loosen up its juices. This will make your job easier.) 

Gently move the fork up and down with one hand while squeezing the fruit with the other. If you’re really on your game, you’ll do this over a strainer (a multi-purpose one, of course) to catch any errant seeds. 

You deserve 10 citrus desserts for being so efficient.

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Anita March 21, 2023
I knew about the fork by either watching cooking shows or I just tried it out one day.
Luvtocook June 4, 2014
I would NEVER trade my citrus reamer for a fork! And you forgot the most important advice: for a cold lemon, nuke it for a minute before you roll it on the cutting board and cut it in half. I've been juicing lemons this way for maybe 40 years! Everything old is new again, huh? As for egg slicers, mine broke a few weeks ago and I WILL REPLACE IT soon since it's (1) speedier than using a knife and (2) makes uniform slices, something harder to do without it. We're not in log cabin kitchens these days, folks, and kitchen tools really are timesavers as well as making food LOOK GOOD. I wouldn't give up my blender, my food processor or my stand mixer for ANYTHING!
Carol May 26, 2014
Have used the fork trick for years, despite having a beautiful vintage juicer/measuring cup. But I'm NOT giving up my egg slicer! Use it at least once/twice a week.
Kathryn May 23, 2014
I'm going to have to try this tip! Thanks Kenzi!
Johnna C. May 23, 2014
If you love lemon you have to try this lemon,cayenne, apple, cucumber, and juice recipe
mrslarkin May 22, 2014
I LOVE the fork trick!