Citrus juicer

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
There's a chain of Mexican restaurants in the west called Cafe Rio. When I lived in California there was one just a couple miles from my house. Their food is quite good -- particularly the freshly made-in-the-restaurant tortillas -- but the thing that kept me coming back on a weekly basis was their mint limeade. They make it fresh in the restaurant each day using actual limes and real mint leaves. I absolutely love the stuff.

Now living a long way from the nearest Cafe Rio I've had to resort to my own devices as far as mint limeade. I've got mint planted in the back yard (in a container so it doesn't take over the whole yard) and get five pound bags of limes from Costco. I've also found a recipe that, if not exactly like the Cafe Rio drink, is very good.

Making enough of this to make it worth the bother requires squeezing a lot of limes. Given the price of the things, I want to get every last drop I can from them. I have a citrus juicer I got at the megamart. It's sturdy, which has been the problem with most of the others I've tried, but I think it's designed more for lemons than limes and doesn't allow squeezing enough to extract all the juice. So I'm looking for a new juicer. I don't do this enough to justify spending a ton of money on a fancy electric model. I'd like to find a different hand operated model that is sturdy enough that I won't break it in normal use (I've broken several), will extract virtually ever last drop of juice, and will fit comfortably in a kitchen drawer.

Does anyone have specific model recommendations? I looked at the ATK recommended one but wasn't sure that was really the way to go. It looked as though they didn't really review all that many different models so I can't help feeling there might be something even better out there.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
I hear ya about REAL fruit juice. I love margaritas. LOVE them :D I always use that reconstituted stuff in the green bottle. Don't know any better :(

I had some limes I needed to get rid of the other day so...........

Oh my were those drinks ever good. Super smooth. I never even considered using real limes till I tried them that way. There seems to be a lot more acidity in the bottle than the real stuff.

I use a manual juicer :D


I put the limes in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, then let 'em cool . Roll them under your hand (they shouldn't be hot to the touch} on the table like you're rolling out dough. Press hard (I mean, really flatten it).

Cut them in half at the equator and then use the manual juicer. There ain't nothin' left in my skins :D
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian

JimK

TVWBB Olympian
I have a collection of juicers like this one. Seems every time we go to the beach, we end up renting a house that doesn't have a proper juicer. It started when my sister used to have have a beach house. I bought one at the beach then and left it for her house - then she sold the house. Since then, I have to buy one every time we go (never think to pack mine). Then I end up coming home with one and giving it to a friend because I already have one (or more). They work great and I can juice a bag of limes for margaritas in minutes. And it works well with lemons, as the seeds don't get into anything.

 
Last edited:

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
@Len -- I used to use a reamer like that when I'd make lime sorbet. Some of the vesicles of juice would be extracted intact and make it through the whole sorbet creation process. They were like a little mix-in surprise in the sorbet when eating it. I'd usually only do three or four limes to make a batch of sorbet so using the reamer was reasonable. A couple liters of this mint limeade, however, means juicing more than a dozen limes. More than I'd care to do with a reamer.

The last one mentioned by Clint and the one by Jim are similar to the one I currently have. I think the multiple section one might do a bit better since the limes would fit better in the smaller section. Mine is more like the one Jim included a picture of. There's just something about the leverage that isn't right. I can squeeze it so the ends of the handles are just about touching but that doesn't translate to the same compression in the bowl.

Maybe I'm expecting too much but whenever I pull out the squeezed limes I can always squeeze more juice out by hand. That doesn't seem right. The edges of the lime curl over and protect the outer vesicles from being squeezed. This last time I tried cutting through the edge of the lime in four spots hoping it would keep it from curling but it didn't seem to matter.

I guess maybe I'll give the ATK recommended one a try. It's almost certainly an improvement over what I currently have.

Should anyone be interested in mint limeade, this is the recipe I used. The only things I did different is I made lime sugar by zesting four or five limes with a microplane and mixing the zest with the sugar called for in the recipe and leaving it to sit for a few hours. I also have read that lemon and lime juice improve in flavor if left to sit for a while after squeezing so I squeeze the limes and let the juice sit in the fridge for as long as I reasonably can (which is usually not long enough). Aside from that, the container I use isn't large enough for the full recipe so I add just four cups of water and then dilute further when serving. If you like limes and have access to fresh mint, I can highly recommend this. It's very refreshing.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
I have this style of juicer, albeit without the extra leverage (I can break it pretty handily, I've already broken 2 of the lemon sized squeezers.) These work pretty well for me.

Pro tip, for those who don't have one: the cut citrus goes in "upside down," i.e. the cut side goes down against the cup with the perforated holes, so that the rind gets inverted. This gives you maximum extraction with a minimum of effort. This is counter-intuitive to some people.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
I have this style of juicer, albeit without the extra leverage (I can break it pretty handily, I've already broken 2 of the lemon sized squeezers.) These work pretty well for me.

Pro tip, for those who don't have one: the cut citrus goes in "upside down," i.e. the cut side goes down against the cup with the perforated holes, so that the rind gets inverted. This gives you maximum extraction with a minimum of effort. This is counter-intuitive to some people.
I have one that's plastic and one that's metal - I'd recommend the metal one for sure.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
This one: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002XOG4B0/tvwb-20

Doesn't seem to be any reason to pay more for yellow, the green works fine on the lemons I buy.
This is the one I ended up getting. As it happened, when I went to the grocery store today they had limes 20 for $1. I juiced about a dozen of them when I got home. Perhaps I'm expecting too much but I can't say I was thrilled with the new juicer. Not totally disappointed -- it does seem to do a slightly better job than the old one -- but it still seems to me it's leaving more than a couple drops of juice behind. I did find I could get a bit more if I squeezed once, then moved the lime up one side of the bowl and squeezed again, and then moved it the opposite direction and squeezed a third time. The second squeeze brought maybe a dozen additional drops, the third somewhat less.

Funny thing on the pricing and the colors. From the what reviews say the green and the yellow are exactly the same size, yet the yellow was a couple dollars more than the green. And the day after I ordered it the price had gone up $5. I guess I timed it right.
 

Doug D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I normally squeeze the lemon half a second time after rotating it 180*, and that appears to yield the most juice that can be expected. Far better than just hand squeezing.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
I did actually have a motorized one a long time ago. I had an attachment for my original Cuisinart for juicing oranges back when you could buy juice oranges for $0.49/lb. It worked pretty well on oranges. Not sure how it would do on limes. But that juicer got lost in a move long ago.

Pretty much I'm seriously space challenged in the kitchen and just don't need yet another single-task kitchen appliance. The handheld one is small enough to not be quite such a problem finding room for. I do wish it had a hanging hole in the handle though. Many of my smaller kitchen tools are hanging on the side of the refrigerator and it would fit there just fine. Maybe I'll have to drill a hole.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Funny thing on the pricing and the colors. From the what reviews say the green and the yellow are exactly the same size, yet the yellow was a couple dollars more than the green. And the day after I ordered it the price had gone up $5. I guess I timed it right.
20 for $1??????????? Super price! Ours are 2 for $1 .

The yellows are more expensive because they are riper and should provide more juice. Always look for yellow(er) limes than green. Green are unripe ones. Yellow are ripe. Both are the exact same fruit.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
20 for $1??????????? Super price! Ours are 2 for $1 .

The yellows are more expensive because they are riper and should provide more juice. Always look for yellow(er) limes than green. Green are unripe ones. Yellow are ripe. Both are the exact same fruit.
Sorry, the yellow/green thing was referring to the colors of the juicer. They have green, yellow, and orange. Apparently, when these were first available the color suggested the size and intended fruit, but somewhere along the line they dropped at least one of the sizes, so the yellow and green differ only in color. It's not clear if the orange one is larger. I've seen reviews that say it's the same size and others that say it's larger.

As to the limes, 20 for $1 is a remarkable price, particularly for this store, which is usually high priced. Interestingly, lemons, sitting right next to the limes, are $1.39 each.

Ripe limes don't taste like what we think of as limes. Always get green ones and use them before they turn yellowish.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Been trying to sell the smoker and missed some of this.
Thanks Chris, exactly. Power Take Off. Saving the money on the limes might almost pay for,the Kitchen-Aid!
They last for years.
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
Wanted to post an update. It turns out that manual juicer I bought is not intended for doing more than a couple pieces of fruit at a time. Not that it isn't up to the task, but the hand and wrist of the user is not designed to do that much work in that position. I did a dozen limes, two dozen halves, and each half two or three times because they were smaller limes and I wasn't getting enough juice. The next day my wrist hurt like hell and I couldn't use my hand in certain positions without a great deal of pain. Repetitive stress injury. It's been a bit over a week and I'm just now starting to get close to full use of my hand again.

So I went looking for an alternative. Cooking Illustrated did a test of citrus juicers. These are all basically power reamers. After I rejected their $150 top-place selection, I checked on the $20 runner-up. They said it did an okay job and for $20 it was a good bargain. I must have caught Amazon at the right time because I got it for $17.

I just finished juicing my first batch of limes with it and have to say I was favorably impressed. It comes with two reamers, one for limes and lemons and one for oranges and grapefruits, has an adjustable pulp filter, and a receiving pitcher that holds 20 oz. It went through a dozen limes in short order and I was able to get very good extraction of juice. On my last purchase I bought two dozen limes. The first dozen were the ones that gave my wrist fits. I just barely got 12 oz. of juice from the dozen, and that only by re-squeezing most of the limes two or three times. From the remaining dozen, using the Dash Citrus Juicer, I got 15 oz. So either I managed to randomly leave the twelve largest limes to the end or the juicer did a significantly better job.

If you're looking for something to juice citrus on a budget, take a look at the Dash.
 

Top