The amount of juice in a lemon can vary quite a bit depending on the size and variety of the lemon. However, as a general guideline, one medium lemon typically contains around 3-4 tablespoons of juice, or about 12-16 teaspoons.
The quick answer is that on average, one medium-sized lemon contains around 3-4 tablespoons or 12-16 teaspoons of juice.
Factors That Affect Lemon Juice Yield
There are several factors that affect how much juice you can get out of a lemon:
- Size – Larger lemons generally contain more juice than smaller ones.
- Variety – Some lemon varieties like Meyer lemons tend to be juicier than others.
- Growing conditions – Warm weather and abundant water typically produce juicier lemons.
- Maturity – Fully ripe, mature lemons have more juice than underripe ones.
- Thickness of peel – Thicker peel means less flesh and juice.
- Juicing method – Hand squeezing vs using a citrus juicer.
So the amount of juice can range quite a bit based on these variables. But for a typical, medium-sized lemon you buy at the grocery store, you can expect around 3-4 tablespoons or 12-16 teaspoons of juice.
Average Juice Yield Per Lemon
Here is more detail on the average juice yield you can expect from lemons of different sizes:
|Lemon Size||Average Juice Yield|
|Small (2-3″ diameter)||2-3 tablespoons (8-12 tsp)|
|Medium (3-3.5″ diameter)||3-4 tablespoons (12-16 tsp)|
|Large (over 3.5″ diameter)||4-6 tablespoons (16-24 tsp)|
As you can see, a medium lemon is your typical grocery store lemon and has about 3-4 tablespoons or 12-16 teaspoons of juice.
Juice Yield from Different Lemon Varieties
Different lemon varieties also produce different juice yields. Here are some common varieties and their average juice yields:
|Lemon Variety||Average Juice Yield|
|Eureka||3-5 tbsp (12-20 tsp)|
|Lisbon||3-5 tbsp (12-20 tsp)|
|Meyer||4-6 tbsp (16-24 tsp)|
|Bonnie Brae||3-4 tbsp (12-16 tsp)|
As you can see, Meyer lemons tend to have the most juice, while Bonnie Brae lemons have slightly less than a typical Eureka or Lisbon.
How Many Lemons for Different Quantities of Juice?
If you need to know how many lemons to buy for a specific juicing project, here is a general guideline:
|Amount of Juice Needed||Number of Medium Lemons|
|2 tablespoons||1 lemon|
|1/4 cup||2 lemons|
|1/2 cup||3-4 lemons|
|3/4 cup||5-6 lemons|
|1 cup||8 lemons|
Since each medium lemon yields around 3-4 tablespoons of juice, you’ll need about 8 medium lemons to get 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.
Tips for Getting the Most Juice from Lemons
Here are some tips for maximizing the amount of juice you can get from lemons:
- Roll the lemon on a hard surface before juicing – this loosens up the pulp and breaks some of the membranes, allowing more juice to flow.
- Juice lemons at room temperature – chilled lemons tend to yield less juice.
- Use a citrus juicer or reamer – you’ll get 20-30% more juice than squeezing by hand.
- Squeeze the peel afterward – twisting the peeled lemon over a bowl catches any remaining drips.
- Strain the juice – pouring through a sieve separates out the pulp and allows you to recover any trapped juice.
Using these simple tricks can help you maximize the amount of tasty, fresh lemon juice you get from each fruit!
How Much Does Lemon Juice Weigh?
The weight of lemon juice depends on the density and varies based on the content of pulp and seeds. Here is the approximate weight of lemon juice:
|Raw juice with pulp and seeds||8.5-9.0 oz per cup (240-255 g)|
|Strained juice with no pulp or seeds||8.0-8.5 oz per cup (235-245 g)|
|Bottled lemon juice||8.4-8.6 oz per cup (240-250 g)|
So in most cases, 1 cup (240 ml) of lemon juice weighs between 8 and 9 ounces or 235 to 255 grams.
Substituting Bottled Lemon Juice
Bottled lemon juice can be substituted for fresh lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio:
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice = 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice = 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
However, bottled juice lacks the bright, fresh flavor of freshly squeezed. Also note that most bottled lemon juice contains preservatives and additives. So for the best flavor, it’s usually preferable to use freshly squeezed when possible.
Storing and Freezing Leftover Lemon Juice
You can store leftover lemon juice in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life. Here are some guidelines:
- Refrigerator: Store strained, fresh lemon juice in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Frozen lemon juice retains its flavor for up to 6 months. Freeze in ice cube trays or muffin tins, then transfer to freezer bags.
- Canning: Lemon juice can be safely canned and stored at room temperature for over a year. Prepare using a tested canning recipe.
Freezing is the easiest method for longer term storage. Thaw frozen lemon juice overnight in the fridge before using.
Common Uses for Lemon Juice
Here are some of the most popular uses for lemon juice:
- Making lemonade, lemon water, or adding to iced tea
- Creating marinades, dressings, and sauces
- Providing acidity in curries, stews, and soups
- Brightening up desserts like tarts, pies, cakes
- Mixing with olive oil and herbs for salad dressing
- Marinating chicken, fish, pork, or shrimp
- Flavoring vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cauliflower
- Preserving cut avocados or fruits by preventing browning
- Adding brightness to grain bowls and rice dishes
- Making lemon curd, marmalade, preserves, and jams
Lemon juice adds bright, fresh flavor as well as acidity to both sweet and savory recipes. It’s one of the most versatile citrus juices used in cooking and baking.
Nutrition Facts for Lemon Juice
Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100ml) of raw, freshly squeezed lemon juice:
Lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C while being low in calories, fat, and sugar. It also contains small amounts of calcium, potassium, and iron.
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice
Some of the top health benefits associated with drinking lemon juice include:
- High in vitamin C – One cup provides over 30mg of vitamin C, which supports immunity and skin health.
- Alkalizing effect – Although acidic, lemon juice has an alkalizing effect when metabolized in the body.
- Aid digestion – Can help stimulate digestive juices and relieve constipation.
- Kidney stone prevention – The citric acid may help prevent kidney stones by raising urine pH.
- Antioxidant properties – Contains compounds like hesperidin that exhibit antioxidant activity.
- Helps with iron absorption – The vitamin C in lemon juice enhances nonheme iron absorption.
Due to its nutrition profile, lemon juice may provide many benefits when consumed regularly as part of a healthy diet.
Downsides of Lemon Juice
Some potential downsides of drinking large amounts of lemon juice include:
- Can erode tooth enamel over time due to acidity.
- May trigger migraines or heartburn in sensitive individuals.
- Not recommended for people with GERD.
- Drinking diluted with water is best for tooth health.
- Not a recommended source of hydration.
Moderation is key, as very frequent consumption of concentrated lemon juice may cause issues. Drinking diluted with water and rinsing your mouth afterward can help minimize the acid’s effect on teeth.
On average, a medium lemon yields 3-4 tablespoons or 12-16 teaspoons of juice. The exact amount can vary based on the lemon’s size, variety, and growing conditions. To get the most juice out of lemons, roll them before juicing, use them at room temperature, and squeeze out the remaining drops from the peel.
Lemon juice adds bright flavor and acidity to both sweet and savory recipes. It provides benefits like boosting vitamin C intake, aiding digestion, and preventing kidney stones. However, drinking high amounts can erode tooth enamel over time. Diluting lemon juice with water and rinsing afterward is best for dental health.
When cooking or baking with lemon juice, you can generally substitute bottled juice in a 1:1 ratio, although fresh-squeezed imparts superior flavor. Leftover lemon juice can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for several months while retaining its freshness.