Gear review: 4 ways to juice lemons

February 25, 2010

If you don’t luck out at thrift stores, eBay, or Craigslist, getting started in juicing can be a serious investment.  One easy practice to start with can be adding fresh lemon and water to your morning routine.

Method 1: your hands

The cheapest and messiest way to do this is to cut a lemon in half and squeeze it over a glass with your bare hands while making Hulk sounds.  The Hulk sounds are not optional.

Pros: Cheap, hands readily available, get to sound like the Hulk.
Cons: Messy, doesn’t get as much juice as other methods.

Method 2: citrus reamer

Next up is the simple citrus reamer, which is basically a roundish grindy thing on a stick and looks like this:

citrus reamerI’ll confess, I’ve never used one of these (I skipped right to method 3,) but it seems just about as messy as the bare hands method, and I don’t think you get to make Hulk sounds.

Pros: You can feel superior for using simple tools.
Cons: Still messy, no Hulk sounds.

Method 3:  citrus juicer

There are a lot of variants to this one, but here’s what I grew up with:

citrus juicerYou can get handheld squeezer versions, motorized versions, and even attachments for your food processor, but I always liked the manual style as shown.  They can be a little hard to find if you don’t want the motorized type (I think those are overpriced for what they do and take up too much space) so Amazon’s a good friend here.  Here’s a link to a bunch of them because I had a search open while writing this (and yes, it’s an affiliate link so if you buy something through it we get a kickback.)

Pros: Simple to use, efficient.
Cons: Does not look like R2D2.

Method 4: The Juice Press

This brings us to where we’re at now in our home, with a full-on juice press:

juice pressCome on, am I the only one who sees the R2D2 resemblance? The one we use at home is a vintage Juice King model from the ’50s or so (I think,) which is a little battered but works great. I think of it as R2 during the Battle of Yavin, and the one pictured above is the polished version for the medal ceremony at the end, but I’m a bit of a geek.

Like I said, ours is really really old and it still works great.  Sure, you can use the same massive juicer that you use for your apple carrot juice etc., but the cleanup time is way higher – we basically just run the removable cup under the sink when we’re done.  Sorry to be all commercial and stuff, but the one pictured is only $5o at the time of this post on Amazon, and it’s a darned pretty way to get started juicing.

Pros: Easy to use, fast cleanup, looks like R2D2.
Cons: Takes up counter space.

No matter what method you end up using, fresh lemon juice and water is an incredibly healthy addition to your routine.  Your tastes will vary, but here we typically mix 1 litre (or quart) of water per lemon in a pitcher, or if I’m in a hurry I’ll have half a lemon in a pint glass of water.

I’ve heard recommendations to add cayenne pepper to the mix, but haven’t gotten into that yet.  Limes also juice well with these techniques, though they’re smaller so you may need more of them.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony April 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Awesome I would go with the 3rd one as well. Much simpler. Juicing is a good way to become healthy. Lemons are good for detoxing but do not over do is as they have a lot of acid in them. But they do wonders for clearing up acne and stuff ( so I have read.)

Jason April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Tony! From an acid/alkaline perspective, lemons apparently do some weird Optimus Prime trick in your body and actually alkalize, but yeah, on your teeth? They’ll sting a little if you’re sensitive to those things.

donna jesso September 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Hi: Loved the info on lemon squeezing. I currently have a “Juice King” certainly vintage. But I am afraid to use it as I am not sure what kind of metal it is made of. Not chrome, some dull metal. Can you shed any light on the material that was used way back when in the manufacture of these R2D2 models?

Thanks!

Donna

Jason September 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Hi Donna! Best guess is that it’s aluminum, best hope is that it’s not lead 🙂 Newer models might have smartened up but I haven’t looked into it or, frankly, thought about it until just now, so thanks for the comment! I think I’ll keep using my Juice King but I’ll keep that in the back of my head and see if any new thoughts emerge.

PCL April 25, 2013 at 5:51 am

I remember the cup and strainer on our Juice King being made of some kind of pot metal; looked too dark to be aluminum. Pot metal is the result of melting scraps of non-ferrous metals (typically including lead) together. I’d have it tested if I wanted to use it today; lead with citric acid seems like a bad combination. Some pot metals were of such a crude mixture that the metals would separate and shrink at different rates during cooling, then snap apart unexpectedly later on; I’ve not heard of Juice Kings being plagued with that problem, though.

PCL April 25, 2013 at 6:37 am

I’ve noticed that most of the descriptions of the Juice King cup and strainer on the web list it as aluminum; some even say that aluminum will turn a chalky gray if these pieces are put into the dish washer. So, it’s probably aluminum, but I’d be inclined to get it tested as soon as conveniently possible. Even if it is aluminum, it’s a good idea to get the juice into a glass container as soon as it’s squeezed, since even aluminum and stainless steel containers pose some health risks if corrosive liquids are left in them.

commercial masticating juicer October 1, 2013 at 5:12 am

I like it when people come together and share
thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

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