Some cultures use a huge amount of lemon or lime juice in their cooking. This is actually great: it adds its own flavor while complimenting other ingredients, allows you to use less salt, and may even help to keep off the pounds.
The bad news is that squeezing out enough citrus juice to pickle vegetables or even raw fish can leave your wrists feeling like you’ve just armwrestled Muhammad Ali, while bottled juice has almost no flavor at all. You can try using the brute strength of your fingers for a quick spritz over a salad, but it’s impossible to get out more than half of the juice from a lime this way. The venerable citrus reamer can manage it, but the rotary motion this requires is far from natural and will definitely leave you feeling sore if you do it for long enough.
Although there’s no getting around a good quality juicer machine for real heavy-duty juicing, this lever-style juicer design has a number of things going for it: it doesn’t take up much space in a drawer, is very easy to clean, takes less than half a minute to handle almost any kind of citrus fruit, and extracts almost every drop of juice. Just remember to place your lemon half with the cut side facing down, which is the silly mistake I made at first. When this is done, the entire fruit half essentially gets turned inside out, leaving behind only the pulp, peel, and seeds.
Although there are numerous similar products around, we like this one for its sturdy construction. The company has recently started using a new, stronger hinge design, while the body is made from solid aluminum coated with food-safe plastic. More importantly, thanks to a basket-like insert, it works effectively with differently-sized fruits, from limes up to small oranges.
We do not, however, recommend this for use in a professional kitchen. Although the manufacturer has a reputation for good customer service and hassle-free returns, you should understand that citrus juice is highly acidic, so the plastic coating can’t be expected to last forever. Also, using it for fruit such as lemons with very thick rinds places a lot of strain on the hinge. If you just want something to occasionally make fresh-squeezed lemonade or desserts though, you’ll find that this gadget saves a ton of time and effort.