How many cups is 2 lemons squeezed?

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! But how much lemonade can you make with just a couple lemons? Let’s break this question down and find out.

Quick Answer

On average, 2 medium sized lemons will yield about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of juice when squeezed. So for 2 lemons you can expect around 1/2 cup of juice, give or take a couple tablespoons.

Examining the Factors

To get a more precise estimate, there are several factors that determine lemon juice yield:

  • Lemon size – Bigger lemons contain more juice than smaller lemons
  • Lemon variety – Some lemon varieties are juicier than others
  • Lemon freshness – Fresher lemons tend to have higher juice content
  • Juicing method – Hand squeezing vs electric juicers

Let’s explore how each of these factors impacts the juice yield of 2 lemons.

Lemon Size

Lemon size can vary greatly, from small golf ball sized lemons to large baseball sized fruits. The average medium sized lemon is around 3 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. Here are the estimated juice yields for different lemon sizes:

  • Small lemon (2″ long): 1-2 tbsp juice
  • Medium lemon (3″ long): 2-3 tbsp juice
  • Large lemon (4″+ long): 4-5 tbsp juice

For 2 medium lemons, you can expect around 1/4 – 1/3 cup of juice. If using larger lemons, the yield increases to 1/2 cup or more.

Lemon Variety

The most common lemon varieties are Eureka and Lisbon. On average, Eureka lemons tend to be larger and contain more juice than Lisbons. Here’s how juice yield can differ between varieties:

  • Eureka: 3-5 tbsp juice per lemon
  • Lisbon: 2-3 tbsp juice per lemon

So with 2 Eureka lemons you may get around 1/2 cup juice vs 1/3 cup for 2 Lisbons. Other juicy varieties besides Eureka are Meyer and Femminello.

Lemon Freshness

Fresh lemons that are firm and heavy for their size tend to yield more juice than older, drier lemons. Signs of an older lemon are thin or wrinkled skin and a soft texture.

Test lemon freshness by rolling it firmly on a flat surface before juicing. Fresher lemons will feel heavy and roll smoothly. Older lemons will feel hollow and light.

With 2 fresh, firm lemons you can expect up to 1/3 cup juice vs 1/4 cup or less for older fruit.

Juicing Method

Hand squeezing lemons will give a lower yield than using an electric juicer. Here’s how the juicing method impacts juice quantity:

  • Hand squeezing: 1-2 tbsp per lemon
  • Electric juicer: 2-4 tbsp per lemon

A citrus reamer or hand press can help get a bit more juice out than squeezing by hand. But an electric juicer is best for maximizing juice extraction.


For 2 medium sized lemons, expect a juice yield of about 1/4 to 1/3 cup or 4-6 tablespoons when hand squeezing. If using larger, juicier lemon varieties and an electric juicer, the yield can potentially double to around 1/2 to 2/3 cup.

To increase lemon juice quantity, select fresh, large lemons and use an electric juicer. And add more lemons if you need more juice for your recipe!

Additional Questions

Here are answers to some additional common questions about lemon juice yield:

How much juice comes from 1 lemon?

On average, 1 medium lemon yields around 2-3 tablespoons or 1-1.5 fluid ounces of juice.

How much is one lemon wedge?

A standard lemon wedge is about 1/8 of a whole lemon, giving 1-2 teaspoons of juice.

How many lemons make 1/2 cup juice?

It takes about 2 large or 3-4 medium lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice. Allow 4-6 lemons if hand squeezing.

How much juice in a whole lemon?

One medium lemon has approx. 1-3 fluid ounces of juice. A large lemon may yield 3-6 ounces.

Can you freeze lemon juice?

Yes, freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays or other airtight containers. Thaw and use within 3-6 months.

Lemon Juice Substitutes

If you don’t have enough lemons on hand, here are some common substitutes:

  • Limes – Replace 1 lemon with 2-3 limes
  • White vinegar or lemon juice – Use 1 tsp per 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Orange juice – Replace up to half the lemon juice
  • Other citrus – Grapefruit, yuzu, etc can sub some lemon flavor

Vinegar or citric acid solutions can be used to provide acidity, but won’t replicate lemon flavor. Also consider juice concentrates, zests, preserves, or bottled lemon juice in a pinch.

Typical Uses for Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a versatile ingredient used in many recipes such as:

  • Lemonade, limeade, or citrus punch
  • Vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces
  • Citrus curds like lemon curd
  • Pie fillings like lemon meringue
  • Cakes, cookies, and bars
  • Fruit preservers or butters
  • Seafood dishes
  • Tea, water infusions

Lemon juice is also widely used to provide acidity for balancing flavor in savory applications.

Nutrition Facts of Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is very low in calories and rich in vitamin C:

  • Calories: 6 calories per tablespoon
  • Carbs: 2 grams per tablespoon
  • Vitamin C: Over 30% DV per tablespoon
  • Citric acid: Provides sour taste
  • Potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium
  • Antioxidants like hesperidin

Enjoy lemon juice to add bright flavor and nutrition without lots of calories or carbs. It packs a healthy dose of vitamin C.

Storing and Handling Lemons

Follow these tips for the best quality lemons:

  • Choose firm, smooth skinned lemons without blemishes
  • Store lemons at room temperature up to 1 week
  • Refrigerate lemons in a plastic bag for 2-4 weeks
  • Juice lemons when ready to use for maximum freshness
  • Roll lemons before juicing to maximize juice yield
  • Wash produce before juicing

Proper storage keeps lemons fresh longer. Refrigeration stops the ripening process to preserve juiciness.

Buying Lemons

You can buy fresh lemons year round in grocery stores. Prices may vary by season, but on average:

  • Bag of 5-6 small lemons: $1-2
  • Bag of 8-12 medium lemons: $3-4
  • Large, individually sold lemons: $0.50 – $1 each

Specialty grocery stores may carry unique lemon varieties like Meyer, Ponderosa, or variegated pink lemons at higher prices.

Opt for bags of lemons if juicing a lot for savings. Individual lemons are fine for occasional use.

Tips for Getting More Juice From Lemons

Here are some handy tips for maximizing the amount of juice you can get from lemons:

  • Roll the lemon on a hard surface before juicing to soften it up
  • Microwave lemons for 15-30 seconds to soften pulp
  • Soak lemons in warm water for 5+ minutes to increase yield
  • Cut lemons in half before juicing to expose more flesh
  • Use a hand-press or electric juicer, not bare hands
  • Strain the pulp afterward and press again
  • Juice lemons at room temperature, not cold from fridge

Implementing two or more of these tricks can help substantially boost the quantity of fresh lemon juice for your recipes and drinks.

Common Lemon Juicing Problems

Having issues with juicing lemons? Here are some potential problems and fixes:

  • Not enough juice – Use larger lemons and an electric juicer
  • Bitter taste – Remove the white pith which contains bitterness
  • Pulp in juice – Strain juice through a sieve after juicing
  • Seeds in juice – Cut lemons before juicing to remove seeds
  • Juice separating – Consume juice quickly or shake/stir before use
  • Poor texture – Use firm, fresh lemons and juice them when ready to use

Test different juicing methods to find what works best for your needs. Adjust your techniques as needed to yield the maximum refreshingly tart lemon juice.

Lemon Juice Conversion

Use these handy conversion equivalents when juicing lemons:

  • 1 lemon = 3 tablespoons juice
  • 1 cup fresh juice = 6-8 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon juice = 1/2 ounce
  • 15 ml juice = 1 tablespoon
  • 30 ml juice = 1 fluid ounce

Knowing juice equivalents can help when scaling recipes up or down. You can also estimate how many lemons to buy from the store.

Juicing Lemons FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about juicing lemons:

Are lemons acidic?

Yes, lemon juice has a very low pH around 2-3, making it highly acidic. The citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) contribute to the acidic taste.

Is lemon juice alkaline?

No, lemon juice has an acidic pH. But when metabolized it produces alkaline byproducts that help neutralize acidity in the body.

Should lemon juice be refrigerated?

For best quality and freshness, refrigerate lemon juice and use within a few days. It lasts 3-6 months frozen.

What is the white stuff in lemon juice?

The white pith or membrane contains lemon oil and bitter flavors. Strain juice to remove it.

Why is my lemon juice bitter?

Bitterness comes from the white pith. Remove it by straining, using a filtered juicer, or avoid it when squeezing.

Older lemons also become more bitter. Use fresh ones for better flavor.

Can lemon juice be substituted for vinegar?

In some recipes you can replace vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice, adding brightness and acidity.

But vinegar has a mellower flavor. Cider vinegar is best for mimicking lemon notes.

Is it better to juice a lemon or use the pre-squeezed juice?

Freshly squeezed juice has the best, most vibrant lemon flavor and nutrition. Bottled juice works when fresh isn’t available.

The Takeaway on Juicing Lemons

On average, two medium lemons will produce around 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice, or 4-6 tablespoons. The actual quantity varies based on size, variety, freshness and juicing method.

For maximum yield, roll large, firm Eureka lemons at room temperature before using an electric citrus juicer. Straining also increases juice recovered.

Fresh lemon juice adds bright, refreshing flavor. It brings vitamin C, antioxidants, and electrolytes without much sugar or calories. Lemon juice can help balance flavors, cleanse the palate, and add versatility to all kinds of recipes.

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