How much juice do you get from a lemon?

On average, one medium lemon yields between 2-3 tablespoons (30-45ml) of juice. However, the exact amount can vary based on the size and juiciness of the lemon.

Factors That Affect Lemon Juice Yield

Several factors impact how much juice you can get from a lemon:

  • Size – Larger lemons tend to contain more juice than smaller ones. A large, plump lemon may yield up to 4 tablespoons (60ml) of juice.
  • Variety – Some lemon varieties are naturally juicier than others. Meyer lemons, for example, tend to be thinner-skinned and contain more juice.
  • Growing Conditions – Warm weather and ample water produce the juiciest lemons. Lemons grown in hot, humid climates often have higher juice content.
  • Maturity – Fully ripe, yellow lemons produce more juice than underripe green ones.
  • Quality – Fresh, firm lemons with thin, glossy skin generally have higher juice yields than older, thicker-skinned fruits.
  • Temperature – Room temperature lemons release more juice than cold ones straight from the fridge.

Typical Lemon Juice Yields

Here are some typical juice yields for lemons of different sizes:

Lemon Size Average Juice Yield
Small (2″ diameter) 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons (15-22ml)
Medium (2 1/2″ – 3″ diameter) 2 – 3 tablespoons (30-45ml)
Large (3″ – 3 1/2″ diameter) 3 – 4 tablespoons (45-60ml)

As you can see, a medium lemon is generally your best bet for getting an adequate amount of juice. Smaller lemons don’t have a very high yield, while larger ones can be tough to fully juice and may end up going to waste.

Juicing Methods

The way you juice a lemon also impacts the amount of liquid you can extract from it. Here are some common juicing methods and their effectiveness:

  • Hand Squeezing – This traditional method involves cutting a lemon in half and manually squeezing out the juice. It takes some effort and doesn’t extract all the liquid trapped within the pulp and membranes. Yield: 2-2 1/2 tbsp
  • Reamer – Reamers have ridged, teardrop-shaped heads that help break down pulp and release more juice than hand squeezing. Yield: 2 1/2-3 tbsp
  • Citrus Press – Presses have a lever-activated mechanism that crushes the lemon half to maximize juice extraction. Yield: 3-3 1/2 tbsp
  • Electric Juicer – Motorized juicers separate pulp and spun lemon halves at high speeds to remove the most juice possible. Yield: 3 1/2-4 tbsp

Electric citrus juicers and presses yield the most juice per lemon. However, they tend to be less convenient than simple hand squeezing or reaming.

Tips for Getting the Most Juice Out of Lemons

Here are some helpful tips to follow if you want to maximize the amount of juice you get from your lemons:

  • Select medium to large lemons that feel heavy for their size.
  • Pick lemons that have thin, glossy skins.
  • Roll the lemon firmly on the countertop before juicing to help break down pulp.
  • Allow lemons to come to room temperature before juicing if refrigerated.
  • Microwave lemons for 15 seconds to soften them up before squeezing.
  • Use a reamer or citrus press rather than hand squeezing.
  • Gently twist the lemon as you juice to work out every last drop.
  • Finish by scraping off any pulp and seeds from the juiced lemon half using a spoon.

How Long Does Lemon Juice Last?

Freshly squeezed lemon juice only retains its flavor, vitamin C content, and other beneficial qualities for a limited time. Here are some general guidelines on how long lemon juice stays usable:

  • Room Temperature – Juice left at room temperature is only good for up to 2 days before mold growth and off-flavors develop.
  • Refrigerated – Juice stored in an airtight container in the fridge keeps well for 5-7 days.
  • Frozen – Frozen juice maintains quality for 2-3 months but may suffer some loss of vitamin C over time.

For long term storage, freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays or muffin tins. Thaw as needed for cooking, dressings, marinades and other uses.

Uses for Leftover Lemon Juice

Don’t let leftover lemon juice from a few juiced fruits go to waste! Here are some ways to use up any extra:

  • Add it to a vinaigrette, marinade or salad dressing recipe.
  • Mix with olive oil as a flavorful dip for bread.
  • Stir into iced tea, lemonade or infused water for a citrus kick.
  • Mix with yogurt and use as a marinade for chicken, fish or tofu.
  • Add to pancake, crepe, muffin or cake batters.
  • Use in place of vinegar in pickling recipes.
  • Blend with garlic, herbs and oil for a tangy drizzle over pasta, rice or roasted veggies.
  • Mix with honey and warm water for an immune-boosting lemon-honey tonic.

Lemon Juice Conversion Guide

This handy guide helps you convert between common lemon juice measurements:

1 tablespoon lemon juice 15 ml
1/4 cup lemon juice 60 ml
1/3 cup lemon juice 80 ml
1/2 cup lemon juice 120 ml
2/3 cup lemon juice 160 ml
3/4 cup lemon juice 180 ml
1 cup lemon juice 240 ml

Nutrition Facts for Lemon Juice

Lemons are highly nutritious citrus fruits, and their juice is very low in calories while providing a good dose of vitamin C. Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5oz (100ml) of raw lemon juice:

  • Calories: 16
  • Total Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 1.5mg
  • Potassium: 60mg
  • Total Carbs: 5.4g
  • Sugars: 2.5g
  • Protein: 0.4g
  • Vitamin C: 38% RDI
  • Calcium: 1.5% RDI

With only 16 calories per serving, lemon juice is an ideal low-calorie component to include in recipes like salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and more. It provides over a third of your daily vitamin C needs in each serving.

Benefits of Lemon Juice

Drinking lemon juice and using it in recipes comes with many health perks. Here are some of the top benefits of this zesty citrus liquid:

  • Rich in Antioxidants – Lemons contain antioxidant compounds like hesperidin and d-limonene, which help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative damage.
  • Supports Immunity – The abundant vitamin C in lemon juice supports immune function and helps your body fight infection.
  • Aids Digestion – Lemon juice acts as a mild stimulant for the release of gastric juices that aid digestion.
  • Alkalizes the Body – Although acidic itself, lemon juice has an alkalizing effect when metabolized and helps balance body pH.
  • Freshens Breath – Lemon juice’s acidic pH helps kill odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.
  • Boosts Liver Function – The citric acid in lemon juice helps your liver effectively flush out toxins.


On average, you can expect to yield 2-3 tablespoons of juice from one medium lemon. The exact amount can vary based on the fruit’s size, variety, quality and juicing method. While hand squeezing provides an adequate amount of juice for most uses, implements like reamers and citrus presses maximize juice extraction. Properly stored lemon juice retains its fresh flavor for 5-7 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer. Incorporating fresh lemon juice into recipes, dressings and beverages allows you to take advantage of its many nutritional benefits and bright, refreshing citrus taste.

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