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My go-to flavor pick-me-up is fresh citrus. Whether I’m juicing lemons for a summertime mint lemonade, blood oranges for a twist on a vinaigrette, or grapefruits for a morning boost of Vitamin C, fresh citrus juice makes everything taste zingier and better.
A citrus juicer is an ideal tool, of course, but there are so many options, from small handheld models to professional-level, big investment electric juicers. If you only squeeze a lemon or lime every now and then, a small wooden reamer that you can easily store away might work best for you. But if fresh lime juice for Friday night margaritas will make every weekend that much better, a beautiful electric juicer should have dedicated space on your bar cart. Those who find themselves entertaining often should look for a different kind of electric juicer, one that can handle big batches.
From a 34-ounce electric juicer with two reamers to our favorite handheld squeezer here’s a guide to the best citrus juicers for every kitchen.
Best Overall, Electric: Proctor Silex Alex's Lemonade Stand Citrus Juicer
What We Like: Can control pulp level, two reamer sizes, dishwasher-safe components
What We Don't Like: Plastic construction, motor can be loud
The best citrus juicers can handle any type of citrus, no matter how big or small. From the largest pomelos to tiny key limes, the Proctor Silex Alex's Lemonade Stand Citrus Juicer efficiently juices all types of citrus.
It comes with two sizes of reamers, which nest for easy storage, and empties into a convenient 34-ounce take-to-your-table pitcher. Simply turn the dial to select your desired pulp level (another great perk) and push down to juice. The juicer automatically reverses when needed for maximum juice extraction. When you're done, the pitcher, lid, reamers, and pulp control basket can all be popped into the dishwasher, while the cord can be tucked away into the base. Bonus: $1 of the proceeds from each juicer sold go to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. This is a highly effective juicer at a great price.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.9 x 7.8 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Wattage: 30 W | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Overall, Manual: Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer
What We Like: Produces more juice, does the work for you, dishwasher safe
What We Don't Like: Limited to smaller fruits
Squeezers are a great handheld option. They juice a citrus half in one efficient motion and extract more citrus oil from the peels than reamers, giving you highly flavorful juice. And we've been fans of the Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer for a long time.
Chef'n's dual-gear hinge mechanism creates great leverage, for a smoother, easier experience than the standard citrus squeezer. Lined with concentric ridges, it keeps citrus securely in place for less fuss and less mess. The total force means this will produce more juice than similar manual juicers. Its nylon and stainless steel construction ensures a long lifetime of use, and it’s top-rack dishwasher safe for fast cleanup.
"This thing is a tank: hefty, solid, and most importantly when it comes to handheld citrus juicers, it takes minimal effort to get maximum results. I don't have to squeeze the life out of this thing to get it to work!" — Cambria Bold, Senior Editor
Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.25 x 3.25 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 10.6 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Budget: Black+Decker CJ625 Citrus Juicer
What We Like: Affordable, auto-reversing juicing cones, adjustable pulp control, the container doubles as a pitcher
What We Don't Like: Motor not durable enough for long-term everyday use
If you need a juicer for the occasional brunch or large recipe, this affordable option might be for you. This compact Black+Decker juicer yields an impressive amount of juice, requires practically no exertion, and isn’t too noisy.
First, it includes an auto-reversing cone that extracts as much juice as possible, and the pulp control feature lets you choose your ideal pulp level. The pitcher has easy-to-see measurements so you can see whether you need another orange or not. The dishwasher-safe removable parts make cleanup painless. With a plastic cover and a handy integrated cord wrap, this juicer is easy to tuck away when you’re not using it.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.4 x 6.4 x 8.9 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Wattage: 30 W | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Juicers
Best Compact: Oxo Good Grips Wooden Reamer
What We Like: Made of solid beechwood, comfortable grip, effective for all sizes of citrus
What We Don't Like: Reamers are inherently messy
Reamers are the quintessential manual juicer. You simply point the tip into the center of a citrus half and twist the fruit while slightly squeezing. There is a known downside and that's the juice will run down your hand, with seeds and pulp going into the juice unless you use it over a sieve. But if you're just juicing a lemon for a gin cocktail, that's easy enough to handle.
This gadget from OXO is a classic for good reason. It’s affordable, compact, and durable, and its flared shape means it works great for both small and large fruits. It's made from solid beechwood, which doesn't react with citric acid, with a natural oil finish and a sizeable handle for a comfy grip. Its surprising sharp tip and ridges work like magic to juice citrus, no wrist strain required. Since this is made of wood, it does need to be hand washed or the wood might split.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 0.6 x 0.6 x 6.3 inches | Weight: 1.6 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best for Cocktails: Smeg Citrus Juicer
What We Like: Built-in sensor, very chic for your bar cart or kitchen counter, Triton cover, built-in strainer
What We Don't Like: Pricey, one-sized reamer
This sleek, retro-vibed electric juicer from Smeg looks great on any bar, it even comes in colors like pastel green, pink, and red. And it does a fantastic job juicing, too, whether you're juicing oranges, lemons, or limes.
With a die-cast aluminum powder coated body, universal stainless-steel strainer, stainless-steel reamer, and anti-drip stainless steel spout, this is built to last. It has a built-in sensor, so once you apply gentle pressure, the juice will start flowing directly into your glass. It does have rubber feet, though it sometimes moves around on the counter while juicing. The strainer, along with a Tritan plastic protecting lid and bowl, can go in the dishwasher making this relatively easy to clean.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7 x 7 x 11 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Wattage: 80 W | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Vitamix Blenders
Best for Big Batches: Gourmia GMJ9970 Large Citrus Juicer
What We Like: Gets the maximum juice out of fruits, high-quality construction, suction cups on the bottom provide great grip
What We Don't Like: Takes up a lot of space, requires some force to pull lever
If you’re making a lot of juice, this manual model is nearly as efficient as an electric machine. Made from high-quality stainless steel and cast iron, this large juicer is easy to clean, long-lasting, and durable. Most importantly, it can handle most citrus fruits including pomegranates.
The old-fashioned juice press has a retro design and makes quick work of juicing citrus with the pull of a lever. It suctions to your counter so it won't easily be knocked over and is slim enough to hide in a corner. You will need to check your vertical space though as it's about 27.5 inches with the handle up. Its metal filter keeps out most small seeds, but does let in just a bit of pulp.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 7 x 15 inches | Weight: 15.3 pounds | Dishwasher Safe: No
If you're looking for a relatively affordable electric model, the Proctor Silex Alex's Lemonade Stand Citrus Juicer (view at Amazon) is a surefire bet. The Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer (view at Amazon) is our favorite manual citrus squeezer.
What to Look for in a Citrus Juicer
Electric versus manual
If fresh OJ is part of your morning ritual, or you’re regularly hosting big parties with citrus-forward signature cocktails, a fast, efficient electric juicer is perfect for you. If, like me, you’re more of a light to moderate juice consumer, a manual option will serve just fine.
Reamers have a handle attached to a ridged, inverted cone with a tapered tip. You ream the tip into the flesh of a halved citrus fruit and then twist…voila, fresh juice! There are other handheld options, like squeezers that clamp down on the fruits to extract the juice, plus tabletop manual options and fully electric models.
Like all kitchen tools used for food prep, sanitation is key. Gently scrub a squeezer or reamer under warm water with a few drops of dishwashing soap. You can use a small brush to get to the hard-to-reach places, like the small holes of a citrus squeezer. Then lightly pat it with a clean towel and let it air dry. Some of the electric models have parts that can be run through the dishwasher.
Do you peel citrus before juicing?
No need! One of the perks of using a citrus juicer is that you can skip this step. If you are using a masticating or centrifugal juicer—a juicer not specifically for citrus—you’ll need to peel your lemons, oranges, or limes before juicing them. When you're done juicing, you can freeze extra peels for future zesting.
How do you clarify citrus juice?
If you don’t like the particles and murkiness of fresh citrus juice, you’ll need to clarify it. Clarified citrus is an elegant addition to cocktails and helps the juice last longer. The first way to achieve this is by lining a strainer with a coffee filter, pour in the juice, and allow it to drip through. The filter will catch the tiny particles that make the juice cloudy, leaving you with a clear, clean liquid.
The second way involves a little science. You’ll need to juice and strain your citrus, then measure 0.33 teaspoon of agar-agar per cup of juice. Whisking constantly over medium heat in a saucepan or double boiler, gently dissolve the agar powder without boiling the juice. The concoction will get congealed and thick, and then straining it through cheesecloth will leave you with a clarified, beautiful juice worthy of the fanciest cocktails.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Hannah Howard has been writing about food and beverages for over a decade, including the memoirs “Feast” and “Plenty.” She lives in Brooklyn and spends a lot of time scoping out and savoring fancy juice. She also makes a mean blood orange vinaigrette, perfect on an arugula and fennel salad.
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