What is the average weight of a lime?

Limes are a popular citrus fruit used in cooking, baking, and beverage making around the world. Their bright green color and tangy, sour juice provide a burst of flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes. Understanding the average weight of a lime can be useful when following recipes and portioning ingredients. This article will examine the typical size and weight range of different lime varieties to determine an average lime weight.

Key Facts About Lime Weights

– There are several different varieties of limes, each with slightly different sizes and weights. The main commercial varieties are Persian or Tahiti limes, Key limes, kaffir limes, and desert limes.

– Persian/Tahiti limes are the most common supermarket variety. They are oval in shape and about 1.5-2 inches in diameter.

– Key limes tend to be smaller, at around 1-1.5 inches in diameter. They are more round in shape.

– Kaffir limes have a bumpy, knobby texture and can be up to 3 inches long.

– Desert limes are tiny, at just 0.5-1 inch in diameter.

– The weight of a lime depends on its size, juice content, thickness of rind, and variety.

– On average, a single Persian/Tahiti lime weighs between 2-4 ounces.

– Key limes weigh around 1-2 ounces on average.

– A single kaffir lime can weigh from 2-5 ounces.

– Tiny desert limes usually weigh less than an ounce each.

Average Persian/Tahiti Lime Weight

Persian or Tahiti limes are the most common variety found in grocery stores. They have a smooth, bright green skin and light green flesh. Of all the lime varieties, Persian/Tahiti limes tend to be the largest.

On average, a single Persian or Tahiti lime weighs between 2-4 ounces. Let’s look at some typical size and weight ranges:

– Small Persian limes: 1.5 – 1.75 inches diameter, 2 – 2.5 oz

– Medium Persian limes: 1.75 – 2 inches diameter, 3 – 3.5 oz

– Large Persian limes: 2 – 2.5 inches diameter, 3.5 – 4 oz

When purchasing Persian limes at a grocery store or farmers market, selecting limes around 2 inches in diameter will typically yield a lime weighing about 3 ounces.

If you need just a tablespoon or two of lime juice, even a smaller 1.5 inch lime will give you plenty at around 2 ounces. For recipes needing 1/4 cup or more of juice, larger limes up to 2.5 inches will ensure you get the quantity you need.

Tahiti Lime Weight

Tahiti limes are essentially the same fruit as Persian limes, with Tahiti being the specific name for Persian limes grown in tropical regions. Tahiti limes tend to be slightly larger and seedier than Persian limes grown in other regions but still average 2-4 ounces in weight.

Average Key Lime Weight

Key limes are smaller and more round than Persian limes. They have a high acidity and strong aroma. Their smaller size means they weigh less on average than Persian limes.

A single Key lime generally weighs between 1-2 ounces. Some typical Key lime weights based on size are:

– Small Key limes: 1 – 1.25 inch diameter, 1 – 1.5 oz

– Medium Key limes: 1.25 – 1.5 inch diameter, 1.5 – 2 oz

– Large Key limes: 1.5 – 1.75 inch diameter, 2 – 2.5 oz

With most Key limes in the 1-1.5 inch range, you can expect them to weigh around 1 – 1.5 ounces each. If you need 2 ounces of Key lime juice, purchasing 2 medium sized limes should do the trick.

Key limes are great for squeezing over seafood dishes, using in marinades, or incorporating into desserts when you need just a touch of lime flavor without overpowering the dish.

Kaffir Lime Weight

Kaffir limes are less common than Persian and Key limes but still used in Southeast Asian and some Indian cuisine. They have a bumpy rind and an intense lime aroma.

Kaffir limes are generally larger than other lime varieties. A single kaffir lime can weigh anywhere from 2-5 ounces, with the average being around 3-4 ounces.

Here are some typical kaffir lime weights:

– Small kaffir limes: 2 inch length, 2 – 3 oz

– Medium kaffir limes: 2.5 inch length, 3 – 4 oz

– Large kaffir limes: 3 inch length, 4 – 5 oz

The rind of kaffir limes is often used in cooking, while the juice has an astringent, bitter quality. One kaffir lime will provide ample rind and juice for most recipes.

Desert Lime Weight

Tiny desert limes grow wild in the Australian outback. They have a diameter of just 0.5-1 inch and weigh under an ounce on average.

Desert limes are too small for juice but can be sliced or chopped to provide intense lime flavor to dishes. Due to their petite size and tough growing environment, desert limes are not widely cultivated commercially. They are most likely to be found at specialty markets in Australia.

Lime Weights in Recipes

Many recipes simply call for “1 lime” without specifying size or variety. Here are some typical lime amounts needed for common uses:

– 2-3 tablespoons juice – 1 medium lime of any variety

– 1/4 cup juice – 2 medium Persian/Tahiti limes

– 1/3 cup juice – 3 medium Persian/Tahiti limes

– 1/2 cup juice – 3-4 medium Persian/Tahiti limes

– Zest of 1 lime – Any variety, though kaffir lime has the most intense zest

– Wedges for garnish – 1/2 a lime cut into wedges will generally be enough for one serving

Ideally, recipes should list lime juice and zest amounts by tablespoon, cup, or gram weight rather than just calling generically for a certain number of limes. The specific juice and zest yield can vary quite a bit between varieties and size of limes. Still, the standard weights provided in this article can serve as a helpful guide when a recipe simply lists “juice of 1 lime” or similar.

Average Weight of Other Citrus Fruits

Like limes, other citrus fruits can vary in size and weight. Here are some typical weight ranges:

– Lemons: 2-4 oz

– Oranges: 4-7 oz for mandarins, 5-8 oz for navel oranges

– Grapefruit: 6-14 oz

– Tangerines: 2-5 oz

Again, there is a wide range of possible sizes within each type of citrus. Whenever possible, opting for a fruit on the heavier end of the range will yield more juice and zest. For lemons and limes especially, tiny fruits often have very little usable juice inside once you cut them open.

Factors Affecting Lime Weight

Several factors influence the final weight and yield of an individual lime:

– **Variety** – Key limes are smaller than Persian limes, on average.

– **Time of year** – Limes may be smaller and weigh less at the start of their harvest season.

– **Size and maturity** – Larger, fully mature limes weigh more than young, small limes.

– **Growing conditions** – Ideal climate, spacing, nutrition and water produce larger limes. Stress reduces size.

– **Juice content** – Some limes naturally have more flesh and juice than others.

– **Rind thickness** – Limes with thinner rinds often have more edible flesh and juice.

– **Seed content** – Seeded limes weigh more but have less edible flesh. Seedless limes can yield more juice for their size.

To maximize the amount of juice and zest from a lime, select limes that feel heavy for their size and have thin, finely textured rinds. Limes that feel light are often dried out inside.

Weight Loss After Juicing

When you squeeze juice from a lime, it will weigh significantly less than the whole fruit with rind intact. For example:

– A whole Persian lime weighing 3 ounces might yield 1.5-2 ounces of juice.

– A 2 ounce Key lime could produce around 1 ounce of juice.

– Expect around a 33-50% loss in weight after juicing a lime. The thicker the rind, the greater the weight loss.

If a recipe calls for 1 cup of lime juice, you’ll need to begin with about 1.5-2 pounds of whole limes, depending on ripeness and variety.

Dried, Freeze-Dried, and Powdered Lime Weight

Dehydrating or freeze-drying limes removes almost all their water content, concentrating the citrus flavor. Powdered lime is also available for convenience. In these forms, lime weighs significantly less:

– 1 ounce of dried limes equals 2-3 pounds fresh limes

– 1 ounce freeze-dried limes equals 5-8 pounds fresh limes

– 1 ounce lime powder equals zest of 20 fresh limes

A little bit of dried, freeze-dried, or powdered lime goes a long way due to the concentration effect. Use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount you would use of fresh lime juice or zest in a recipe.

Weight of Lime Juice

Weighing lime juice gives a more accurate measurement for recipes than counting limes. Here are some typical juice weights:

– 2 tablespoons lime juice = approx. 1 ounce/28 grams

– 1/4 cup lime juice = approx. 2 ounces/59 ml

– 1/3 cup lime juice = approx. 3 ounces/88 ml

– 1/2 cup lime juice = approx. 4 ounces/118 ml

– 1 cup lime juice = approx. 8 ounces/236 ml

When purchasing bottled lime juice, 1 liter = 33.8 ounces or 1.89 pounds. Again, these weights may vary slightly depending on the variety and ripeness of the limes used.

Weighing lime juice removes some uncertainty compared to relying on whole limes, which can differ individually in their final juice yield.


Limes can range in size and weight, even within the same variety. However, Persian/Tahiti limes tend to average 2-4 ounces each, while Key limes weigh around 1-2 ounces on average. Kaffir limes are larger at 2-5 ounces each, and tiny desert limes weigh under an ounce.

The many factors like maturity, growing conditions, juice content, and seeds impact size and weight. Whenever possible, select limes that feel heavy for their size and have thin rinds to maximize yield.

Understanding typical lime weights makes it easier to shop for the right number of limes your recipe needs. While exact juice amounts can vary, you can expect around 1 ounce of juice per lime. Weighing the juice directly is even more precise.

With these lime weight estimates, you can approach any recipe confidently knowing approximately how many limes to purchase or how much juice you’ll need.

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