How to Juice a Lemon Without a Juicer
The thickest, fattest, prettiest lemons often have the least juice, oddly enough. For the juiciest squeeze, look for thin-skinned lemons. You can tell because the exterior is actually smoother, almost a little translucent, not knobby and bumpy as it is with thick skins.
A lemon will yield, roughly, 3 to 4 tablespoons of juice, so if a recipe calls for "juice of 1 lemon," you can feel safe squeezing whatever size you have at hand. A tablespoon more or less in a recipe is mainly about your own taste and it won't do any harm.
1 Start with a lemon at room-temperature. If you're taking a lemon straight from the fridge, soak it in hot tap water for 2 minutes or microwave it for 20 seconds.
2 Wash the lemon in clear running water or soak it in a bowl of water and rinse.
3 Using the palm of your hand, roll the lemon on a clean countertop or cutting board, pressing down as firmly as you can without popping the fruit. This bursts the individual cells, releasing the juices inside.
4 With a sharp chef's knife, cut the lemon in half widthwise.
5 Using a citrus reamer, if you have one, or a fork if you don't, hold the lemon half over a bowl and twist the tool and the lemon half in opposite directions while squeezing.
6 Once most of the juice is out, fold the lemon like a sandwich and squeeze with your hands. Insert the tool and scrape left to right inside the peel to get the last remaining juice.
7 Strain the juice to remove seeds and any bits of fruit pulp that may have fallen into the bowl.