# How many lemons makes 1/4 cup of juice?

Lemon juice is a versatile ingredient used in many recipes. Whether you’re making lemonade, marinades, dressings or just want a squirt of citrus over fish or desserts, fresh lemon juice adds bright flavor. But lemons can vary in size and juice yield. So how many lemons does it take to make 1/4 cup of lemon juice? Let’s take a closer look.

## What Size Lemon Should I Use?

When juicing lemons, it’s best to use medium sized lemons that feel heavy for their size and have thin, smooth skin. Smaller lemons tend to have thinner peel and more seeds, while larger lemons often have thicker skin and drier, more fibrous flesh. Medium lemons in the 3-4 inch diameter range typically have the best balance of juice and peel.

## How Much Juice is in a Lemon?

The amount of juice you get from a lemon can range quite a bit based on size. Here are some general juice yields for lemons of different sizes:

Lemon Size Average Juice Yield
Small (2-3 oz) 1-2 tablespoons juice
Medium (4-5 oz) 3-4 tablespoons juice
Large (6-7 oz) 5-6 tablespoons juice

As you can see, medium lemons tend to have around 3-4 tablespoons of juice each. Since there are 2 tablespoons in 1 fluid ounce, that’s about 1.5-2 ounces of juice per medium lemon.

## How Much Juice in 1/4 Cup?

Okay, so now we know how much juice we get from the average lemon. But how much juice is in 1/4 cup?

There are 4 fluid ounces in 1⁄4 cup. And we learned that a medium lemon yields roughly 1.5-2 fluid ounces of juice.

So if the average medium lemon produces about 1.5-2 ounces, simple math tells us:

• 4 ounces in 1⁄4 cup
• ÷ 2 ounces per lemon
• = 2 medium lemons makes 1⁄4 cup juice

Two standard sized lemons should give you approximately 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. But because juiciness can vary, you may need another half or whole lemon to top it off if your lemons run small or dry.

## Tips for Getting the Most Juice Out of Lemons

To maximize your lemon juice yield, here are some handy tips:

• Roll the lemon on a hard surface before juicing to soften it up and release more juice
• Juice lemons at room temperature, not straight from the fridge
• Use a reamer, juicer or squeezer to extract more juice than hand squeezing
• Pre-cut the lemon into quarters or halves before juicing to expose more flesh
• Squeeze firmly and twist to wring every last drop out
• Strain if needed to remove any seeds or pulp

Following these simple steps can help ensure you get the most out of every lemon.

## Factors That Affect Lemon Juice Yield

There are a several factors that can result in lower lemon juice yields:

• Small sized lemons have less juice than larger ones
• Thicker skinned lemons produce less
• Older lemons can become dried out
• Warm lemons yield more than cold ones
• Not rolling or softening before juicing
• Not fully squeezing and twisting skins
• Juicer or tool not extracting maximum liquid

So for peak lemon juicing, select medium to large sized, fresh lemons with thin peel. Store at cool room temperature, not the fridge. Rolll them before juicing and use a quality juicer or reamer. Fully squeeze and twist skins to wring out all the juice. Straining optional.

## Juicing More than 1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice

If you need to juice more than 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the math is easy based on our calculation above:

• For 1/2 cup lemon juice, you’ll need about 4 medium lemons
• For 3/4 cup lemon juice, you’ll need about 6 medium lemons
• For 1 cup lemon juice, you’ll need about 8 medium lemons

Just remember that actual yields can vary based on lemon size and juiciness. It may take a lemon or two more or less. Taste and add additional lemons as needed if your recipe requires very precise lemon flavoring.

## Cautions When Juicing Lemons

While lemon juice provides great flavor, there are a few cautions to heed:

• Lemons can corrode metal knives, pots and pans. Use wood or plastic cutting boards.
• Don’t store lemon juice in metal containers. Use glass instead.
• Acidic lemon juice can damage tooth enamel. Rinse mouth after drinking straight.
• Lemon juice can irritate skin. Wash immediately if hands or skin are exposed.
• Drinking large amounts may cause digestive issues due to acidity.

So enjoy lemon juice, but handle with care and don’t overdo it. Moderation is key.

## How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?

Freshly squeezed lemon juice will maintain peak quality and flavor for about 3 days in the fridge. To extend the shelf life, you can freeze it.

• Fridge: 3-4 days
• Freezer: 6-8 months

For long term storage, freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays or small containers. Thaw as needed for recipes. Frozen and thawed juice may have diminished flavor, so it’s best for cooking rather than drinking.

Discard lemon juice if it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance. When in doubt, remember the old adage – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Use that lemon juice promptly to enjoy the fresh citrus flavor.

## Ways to Use Lemon Juice

Here are some ideas for using up fresh squeezed lemon juice:

• Citrus marinades for chicken, fish or shrimp
• Tartar sauce, yogurt sauce or mayonnaise
• Vinaigrette dressing or citrus drizzle for salads
• Lemon meringue pie filling
• Curd for tarts or fruit preserves
• Household cleaners and stain removers
• Freshener for water pitchers and vases
• Natural bleach to brighten whites
• Sour flavoring for cocktails like lemon drops

Lemon juice instantly brightens up both sweet and savory dishes. Keep a supply in the fridge to add a little zip whenever needed.

## Nutrition of Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is low in calories yet packed with beneficial nutrition including:

• Vitamin C – one lemon has about 31mg, or 35% DV
• Potassium – 74mg per lemon, or 2% DV
• Folate – 10mcg per lemon, or 3% DV
• Vitamin A – 2% DV
• Small amounts of magnesium, calcium, vitamin E
• Phytochemicals like limonoids and flavonoids

Lemons are especially excellent sources of antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals that can damage cells. Lemon juice’s combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packs a nutritious punch.

Just be aware that most of the fiber and beneficial white pith are removed during juicing. For maximum nutrition, use lemon zest or eat the pulp after squeezing.

## The Power of Citrus

All citrus fruits – including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit – contain unique beneficial plant compounds. Here’s an overview:

• Vitamin C – Citrus is best known for immune boosting vitamin C. Just one lemon meets over 30% of your daily needs.
• Potassium – Important for nerve and muscle function, citrus potassium helps balance fluids and mineral levels.
• Folate – Citrus fruits are among the best folate sources. This B vitamin is vital for cell growth and DNA production.
• Phytochemicals – Abundant flavonoids, limonoids, carotenoids and other antioxidants help fight disease and inflammation.
• Dietary fiber – Though reduced by juicing, citrus fiber aids digestion and heart health.

So juice those lemons and get a concentrated shot of antioxidant power!

## Delicious Lemon Juice Recipes

Here are some tasty ways to use up homemade lemon juice:

### Lemon Vinaigrette

• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 tbsp chopped herbs like parsley, basil or oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients until blended. Toss with mixed greens, veggies or grains.

• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and pour over chicken breasts. Marinate 30 minutes or more before cooking.

### Lemon Blueberry Scones

• 2 cups flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup cold butter, diced
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk dry ingredients. Cut in butter until pea sized crumbs form. Add milk and lemon juice. Fold in berries. Scoop dough onto baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Enjoy warm.

• 1 cucumber, sliced
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
• 2 tbsp chopped mint
• Salt and pepper to taste

Gently toss all ingredients. Chill 1 hour before serving.

## Tips for Juicing Lemons

Here are some final tips for getting the most juice and flavor out of lemons:

• Select medium sized lemons that feel heavy, with thin smooth skin
• Warm to room temperature before squeezing if chilled
• Gently roll on hard surface to soften before juicing
• Use a wooden reamer or juicer, not just hands
• Squeeze firmly, twisting lemons to get all the juice out
• Strain if needed to remove any pulp or seeds
• Use freshly squeezed juice within 3-4 days for best flavor
• Freeze leftover juice in ice cube trays for longer storage

Following these tips will help you get the most flavor and quantity from your lemons. Juice on for zesty lemon recipes all year round!

## Conclusion

To recap, it takes about 2 medium lemons to make 1/4 cup of fresh juice on average. But lemon size and juiciness varies, so you may need a 3rd lemon. Roll and soften lemons before juicing. Use wooden reamers or squeezers to extract more juice than hand squeezing alone. Strain optional. Store lemon juice for 3-4 days maximum in the fridge. Or freeze for 6-8 months in small containers. Adding bright, fresh lemon juice to recipes provides a wonderful pop of citrus flavor.