Yep, You Can Juice a Lemon Without Cutting It—Here's How

This 30-second hack is a game changer.

March 25, 2019

As much as I love the tart, punchy kick that a squeeze of lemon juice brings to any dish—from this creamy lemon pasta to this feel-good ginger and turmeric tea—I loathe the act itself.

Squeezing a lemon requires me to either A) pull out the bulky citrus squeezer that's buried at the bottom of my kitchen gadgets drawer, or B) do it by hand, which always leaves my fingers covered in sticky juice and more than a few acrid seeds sprinkled into whatever I'm making.

So I screamed with joy at the top of my lungs was quietly thankful when I stumbled across this random Facebook video of a lemon-squeezing hack that would forever change my life.

Not only does this ingenious trick not require a knife, but it also saves you from wasting a whole lemon every time you want a splash of juice. (Lemons start to dry out the second you slice them in half.) All you have to do is poke a hole. Seriously, it's that easy.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I like all the tips, lemon, bread and egg. No matter IF the lemon really isnt that big a deal to clean up, or perhaps the bread really ISNT moldy they are great tips and always useful. It disturbs me when people can simply be mean and for what reason. thank you ”

On top of everything, this hack takes just 30 seconds—or less. Not only that, I'd venture to guess it'll work on just about any type of ripe citrus. Here's how to do it:

  1. Roll your lemon (or orange or grapefruit, whatever it may be) on a cutting board or the counter to loosen up the membranes.
  2. Using a skewer, (clean) needle, chopsticks, toothpick, or pin (get creative!), poke a hole in the non-stem end of the lemon.
  3. Squeeze out the juice to your heart's content.
  4. Store the lemon in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator until you want to use it again.

No more dried-out refrigerator lemons!

Armed with this hack, you can now brighten up your favorite salads, pastas, teas, desserts, and more (there are so many ways to use a lemon) with just the prick of a pin—and without wasting an entire lemon.

My Favorite Lemony Dishes

What's your favorite lemony recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!
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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


Melinda April 5, 2019
This actually works! I zest what I can of the lemon after I'm finished with it at the end of the day and toss the zest into the baggie I keep in the freezer! I used to cut my lemons in quarters and squeeze it into a glass, them pour it into the container I drink out of, losing a great deal of it and dirtying a glass, now I just poke a hole and squeeze it directly into the hole my straw goes through! Do roll the lemon well, because I did have one split when I squeeze it.
james April 5, 2019
Very lightly warming the lemon in a microwave -- low power, briefly, until it feels just slightly warm to the touch -- helps a lot. I use 10-15 seconds at power level 3 (out of 10).
Jessica F. April 4, 2019
I've done this for ages by piercing with a fork in the shape of a square on one of the ends of the lemon. This method looks a little sleeker.
Roberta April 4, 2019
I love love love lemons! The fresh tang always gets me excited!
One of my families favourite (lemon) recipes is my tuna lemon pasta. So quick & so easy & is great for when you’ve been running around all day & haven’t had a chance to make it to the store.
This recipe feeds my family of 6 (including 4 teenagers). Cook a 750gm pkt short pasta (penne, spirali, orecheti etc) till aldente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. While pasta is cooking in a medium pot melt a generous knob of butter and sauté a finely chopped onion. Add 2x 425gm cans good quality tuna in olive oil (drained reasonably well - I always like to leave a little of the oil as it adds more flavour to pasta) and heat through. Don’t break up too much - the chunks are divine. Once warm add @1/2 cup lemon juice (more or less to taste). Toss tuna through drained pasta & stir. Add enough reserved pasta water to loosen. Finally stir through a bunch of coursely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley then serve. Also if I have available, I will throw in a punnet of cherry/perino/medley etc. tomatoes &/or big scoop kalamata olives at the end. This is always a family favourite and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. I’m fortunate enough to live in a semi tropical environment that I have parsley growing most of the year round. Mitsuba (Japanese parsley) is also a great substitute. It’s so easy to grow all year round and the larger leaves mean you get more bang for your buck!
Rebecca April 1, 2019
Sushi chef Davy Devaux's website How to Make Sushi is hardly random! I've seen his videos several times on Food 52. The guy is brilliant, he has nearly a million followers, and his videos are accessed in the gazillions! Give him some credit, please!
Terry April 1, 2019
How strong do one's hands need to be for this? I will certainly try this the next time I need fresh lemon juice, but with my child-sized hands my mental picture is more that of a dribble spilling onto the countertop than a tidy stream like in the photo.
FS April 4, 2019
The trick here may be the proper type of lemon. Try to get a thin skinned plump lemon rather than one of those thick skinned pebbly yellow rocks. The thin skin lemon will roll and squeeze much better than the spongy thick skin type.
Jonny April 4, 2019
Roll it under your hand on counter
patti March 31, 2019
LOVE this idea. Reminds me of those plastic lemons, filled with juice, in the supermarket. Just squirt. This is 100% better. Also, haters, if you don't seem to like an idea, be open to the suggestion. Try it out before criticizing. You might be surprised.
berkopat March 31, 2019
When friends bring me lots of lemons at a time, I squeeze them, using my electric squeezer, and freeze them in a plastic ice cube tray. Once frozen, I take them out of the tray and put them in a plastic bag in the freezer. When a recipe calls for juice, I always have some close at hand.
Terry April 1, 2019
I tried making preserved lemons last year(?) to use up a lot at once, and not only was it stupid-easy but I'm still working my way through the jar. Not the same as fresh juice obviously, but preserved lemon has its place in a lot of recipes calling for lemon.
Jenna K. March 31, 2019
My lemons and limes don’t spoil for days and weeks longer than before, after reading about the benefit of moisture. I store them in a plastic bag or other container, partially or fully submerged in water. It’s like magic. Although they have a shorter life span once cut or part of rind peeled off for a drink, but still helps.
Wendy F. March 31, 2019
OMG! My mind is blown!!!!!
Arthur J. March 31, 2019
I have two sizes of bare metal “behive” hand citrus juicers. I use them constantly. My hands aren’t sticky, I don’t keep weird deflated fruit in my fridge. Any halves I don’t use, I put in small fridge containers. Not complicated. Not wasteful. Cocktail Kingdom sells the unpainted hand juicers. My life is too short to spend time rolling fruit.
Elaine R. April 4, 2019
To quote the Church Lady, "Aren't you special?".
Some of us have disabilities which make those hand juicers unusable. I'm elderly and live alone but still love to cook and I appreciate all of these helpful and frugal tips. Arthur, life is short and some day you may enjoy the simple pleasure of the aroma and feel of rolling a lemon. Even more so if it has been warmed in the microwave first!
Matt May 19, 2019
Yet your life isn't too short to not waste it posting nonsense in comment sections? Seriously what did you just type?
[email protected] March 30, 2019
I like all the tips, lemon, bread and egg. No matter IF the lemon really isnt that big a deal to clean up, or perhaps the bread really ISNT moldy they are great tips and always useful. It disturbs me when people can simply be mean and for what reason. thank you
Ironstring March 28, 2019
Is this for real? Or just vacuous Buzzfeed-style journalism?

Just... rinse your hands and wipe 'em off on the artisinal overpriced towels for sale in the shop, or, IDK, the ones from Target that come by the dozen.

If the article had just stuck to "Ways to cut down on dried out half lemons in your crisper" and not injected the "ew, handling actual food is yucky" tone, then it'd be easier to take this seriously.
Elaine R. April 4, 2019
Why did you feel the need to post this comment? As a frugal senior citizen who lives alone, I appreciate all the tips like this one.
Tammy March 26, 2019
I've never thought of lemon seeds as "acrid".

I'd bet that a week old French bread wrapped in plastic would be a bacteria culture, teeming with mold spores, rather than something to "refresh" in the oven. Ick.
Smaug March 25, 2019
A cut lemon will actually keep quite well in the refrigerator; limes less so with their thin rinds, but there's always plastic wrap- or that new beeswax stuff.
HalfPint March 25, 2019
My favorite lemony recipe is lemon curd. Every time I make a batch, I am always amazed as how easy it is to prepare and how great it tastes.
Erin A. March 25, 2019
Me too! I recently made a lemon filling for a meringue pie (for the first time ever!!) and was shocked at how simple yet delicious it was.