How many Oz does a lime have?

Limes come in many different sizes, which makes determining their exact ounce measurements difficult. However, there are some general guidelines that can provide a rough estimate of how many ounces are in a typical lime.

Typical Lime Sizes

Most limes sold in grocery stores are Persian limes or Key limes. On average:

  • A small/medium Persian lime weighs around 1.5-2 oz
  • A large Persian lime weighs 2-3 oz
  • A small Key lime weighs around 1 oz
  • A medium Key lime weighs 1-1.5 oz

So if you see a standard sized Persian lime at the store, you can expect it to be in the 1.5-3 oz range. Key limes tend to be on the smaller side, averaging 1-1.5 oz.

Factors Affecting Lime Size

There are a few factors that contribute to the varying sizes of limes:

  • Type of lime – Key limes are generally smaller than Persian limes.
  • Time of year – Limes tend to be smaller early and late in the growing season.
  • Individual fruit variability – Even limes from the same tree can vary in size.
  • Growing conditions – Climate, soil quality, and other factors impact size.

So lime size can vary quite a bit based on the specific type and time of harvest. The averages provided above are just general guidelines.

Estimating Lime Juice Yield

In addition to lime size by ounce, another useful estimate is how much juice you can expect from a lime:

  • A small Persian lime (1.5 oz) yields ~1 tablespoon of juice
  • A medium Persian lime (2 oz) yields ~2 tablespoons of juice
  • A large Persian lime (3 oz) yields ~3 tablespoons of juice
  • A small Key lime (1 oz) yields ~1 teaspoon of juice
  • A medium Key lime (1.5 oz) yields ~1.5 tablespoons of juice

These juice yields can vary based on ripeness and juicing method. But in general, expect about 1 tablespoon of juice per ounce of lime.

Measuring Lime Juice Accurately

For recipes that require very precise lime juice measurements, it’s best not to rely on these general size estimates. The most accurate way to measure lime juice is to:

  1. Juice the limes first
  2. Pour the fresh juice into a measuring spoon or cup
  3. Read the measurement

This will give you an exact fluid ounce or tablespoon measure for recipes.

Common Uses and Serving Sizes for Limes

Here are some typical uses and serving sizes for limes:

Use Serving Size
Garnish for drinks 1 lime wedge
Lime juice in water Juice of 1 lime (~2 tbsp)
Lime juice in recipes 1-3 tbsp juice
Limes for cocktails Juice of 1-2 limes
Lime zest Zest of 1 lime

In summary, most recipes call for the juice of 1-2 medium limes, which equals around 2-4 tablespoons of juice. Limes also frequently used for garnish and adding flavor without significant juice contribution.

Comparing Lime Sizes and Weights

Here is a visual summary comparing the sizes and weights of different limes:

Lime Type Size Average Weight
Key Lime Small 1 oz
Key Lime Medium 1.5 oz
Persian Lime Small/Medium 1.5-2 oz
Persian Lime Large 2-3 oz

As shown, Persian limes tend to be larger than Key limes. But there can be variation even among the same type of lime.

Tips for Getting the Most Juice and Zest from Limes

Here are some tips for maximizing the amount of juice and zest you get from limes:

  • Roll the lime firmly on a hard surface before juicing – This helps break down some of the membranes and juice pockets, making the juice flow more freely.
  • Juice limes when they are at room temperature – Cold limes tend to yield less juice.
  • Use a citrus juicer or reamer – This helps extract more juice than squeezing by hand.
  • Gently grate the outer rind for zest – Grate thinly so you avoid the bitter white pith underneath.
  • Squeeze out remaining juice after zesting – You can still juice the lime after removing the rind.

Properly stored, zested limes will retain their juice for a few days in the refrigerator. So you can zest first then juice later.

Storing Limes to Maintain Freshness and Juice Content

To keep limes fresh and juicy for as long as possible:

  • Store whole limes at room temperature up to 1 week.
  • Refrigerate whole limes in a plastic bag for 2-4 weeks.
  • Refrigerate halved or juiced limes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze lime juice in ice cube trays for several months.
  • Store lime zest in the freezer for 6 months.

Avoid leaving cut limes at room temperature, as they will dry out quickly. Refrigeration helps slow moisture loss and maintain juiciness.


In summary, the average lime size ranges from 1-3 ounces depending on the type and size. A standard Persian lime yields around 2 tablespoons of juice, while Key limes yield closer to 1 tablespoon. For accuracy in recipes, directly measure squeezed lime juice. Store limes properly and juice them at room temperature to maximize the juice you can extract. With these tips, you can get the most out of limes for any culinary use.

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