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A quick look at the benefits of lemon juicers
Have you got a lemon juicer?
Lemon juice is used in a lot of recipes, baking, cooking, in glazes, as well as being an ingredient in drinks. There is lemonade of course, but think cocktails too - quite a few are fantastic when made with real, freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The great thing about lemons (and limes for that matter) is that they keep for ages, and so are an easy source of fresh juice when ever you need it. While you can just cut the fruit and squeeze it by hand this is hard work, and doesn't ever get all the juice out. What you really need is a simple, compact lemon juicer. This isn't a big investment - nothing like a big electric juicer, rather a lemon juicer is just a hand held device that gives you extra leverage in squeezing the fruit out. A basic model is like a nut cracker - two handles, and in the middle is a cone where you place your lemon half. Pull the handles together and voila - every last drop comes out in seconds. This makes the job a lot easier than using your fingers, and is especially good if you need larger amounts of juice.
Are lemon juicers expensive? Not at all, you can pick up plastic ones for as little as $5, and even higher quality stainless steel models will cost no more than $15 to $20. If you think you will use it only once in a while you might as well buy a cheaper one - but if you want a life time companion, then buy the stainless steel juicer. Stainless is the commercial standard in food preparation and storage, because it never rusts and is very strong.
Because they are fairly inexpensive, these little juicers make good gifts too. If you know someone who loves citrus juice, has their own lemon or lime tree, or just likes clever kitchen gadgets then this might be a good idea for the next Christmas or birthday.
Here is a quick tip I was taught once - before cutting the fruit in half for juicing (whether by hand or with a juicer) give it a good hard thump on the bench. Roll it between your palms a few times, deliberately squashing and crushing it a bit. When you now cut it and juice it you will find that more juice comes out more easily. Try it next time - it really works, but don't ask me how!!!
What should I buy, and where from?
1. How much use will it get? If only rare use, then a cheap plastic one is probably fine. But they do break - you get what you pay for. the Stainless steel or Aluminum models cost more but are virtually indestructable.
2. Most kitchenware stores will carry these at any time. Ebay lists tons as well, and online stores always sell them. A good thing about buying online is that they don't weigh much and ship for reasonable rates.
3. Remember that if you already have a juicer machine you can just use this instead of a lemon juicer. All you need to do is use a sharp knife to slice off all the rind, and throw the lemon flesh through the machine. The big upside of the hand held juicer though is that there is minimal cleanup involved, unlike the larger machine that needs to be disassembled each time.