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The Best Citrus Squeezer in a Pinch Isn't a Squeezer at All

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Okay, folks. We're barreling into margarita, guacamole, and spontaneous any-reason-to-dine-outside season. Lots of occasions to get together and finally use that chic handwoven picnic tote we've been itching to break out all winter long.

If you suddenly find yourself on margarita duty, deep into a bag of limes, with just a sole citrus reamer at your disposal, grab a friend and another handy tool that you likely already have lying around:

One of my very favorite tools in the kitchen.
One of my very favorite tools in the kitchen. Photo by Me


I once saw a prep cook intently focused on squeezing every bit of juice out of a container of halved limes. Maybe it was for a cocktail base like me, maybe it was for a vinaigrette. Whatever the reason, it had me smacking my forehead in a Why didn't I think of that? sorta way.

It makes so much sense. Leveraging the strength of the tongs to extract as much juice as possible—a daunting task for particularly stubborn limes that refuse to yield even a bit by hand. It's made even simpler if you make sure to give the orbs a nice press and roll on a cutting board or work surface to loosen up the membranes within before cutting them in half.

Try to get the halved citrus as close to the "apex" as possible.
Try to get the halved citrus as close to the "apex" as possible. Photo by Me

Put the citrus half in between the arms of the tongs, trying to get as close as possible to the end, and squeeeze using both hands for the best effect. Remove the half, reposition it within the tongs' embrace, and squeeze again, until you're confident it's given everything it's got.


And just so you know (because I needed a control study!), when I put the tongs head-to-head against my trusty little wooden reamer, it produced the same amount of juice. More pulp in the reamer-yielded juice, but both came out at about 1/4 cup per lime.

Very scientific study right here.
Very scientific study right here. Photo by Me again

Now, I'm not discounting the useful purpose of unitask juicers; I love those cheerful yellow squeezers (you know the ones) and gorgeous milk glass juicers as much as the next person. But if you, like me, find yourself in a bind and need to juice—fast!—there's no better tool than one you already own.


Margarita by Erika Kotite

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole by Genius Recipes

Handwoven Picnic Tote

Handwoven Picnic Tote

Glass Juicer

Glass Juicer


What other unexpected kitchen tools do you use to juice your citrus? Share your findings below!

Tags: Kitchen Hacks, Citrus