Limes are tough little buggers to juice. They’re small, and the juice is hard to get out. That’s why you need the best lime juicer to get the job done. If you want to have a well-stocked and fully functional kitchen, it is important that all of the right appliances, tools, and accessories are in place. A good lime juicer is essential for any cook that wants to make delicious lime drinks and dishes.
Given the wealth of options in this common kitchen tool, however, it is important that shoppers take steps to find the best model for their specific juicing needs. The following are several important considerations to make when deciding which lime juicer is right for you.
How Often Do You Plan To Juice Limes?
Limes have a number of specific uses in the kitchen, in spite of their tart, pungent flavor. Most people eschew this small citrus fruit in favor of the more mellow and blendable flavour of its yellow cousin, the lemon. Others enjoy creating Southwestern dishes, tart dessert recipes and other fares that require the tangy juice of this fruit such as guacamole, key lime pie and even specially marinated steaks.
Thus, one of the most important considerations to make when selecting a lime juicer is the type of work that you will be putting it through. If you simply plan on adding fresh lime juice to cold beer or other beverages, a manual hand-held lime juicer will be perfect. If, however, you plan on using this fruit to win the local pie-making contest with your grandmother’s key lime pie recipe, you may need an automatic electric lime juicer. Many electric models can also be used with other types of citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
The Best Manual Lime Juicer Models
Manual lime juicers are very inexpensive and they won’t cost you anything in electricity because they run on your own muscle power. Most work very well and are simple to use. The only drawbacks are that they are slow if you want to juice a lot of lemons, and they do require some strength in your hands. To use them simply cut the lime in half and place the half in the juicer. Some manual lemon juicers have a cone and you place the lime half down on the cone and twist to extract the juice. One of my favorite of these types of models is the Progressive International Citrus Juicer.
Progressive International Citrus Juicer
This lime juicer comes with three pieces, a cone where you press the lime half down to extract the juice, a bottom round piece with measurement markings and a pour spout that catches the juice, and a dome lid that also can be used as a measuring cup. All parts are dishwasher safe. If you look close at the picture you can see that the bottom piece has a non-skid ring attached to it so it won’t move around as you press your lime down and twist.
The size of this unit is perfect for limes, lemons, and oranges, but not larger citrus fruits like grapefruit. It very reasonably priced, under $15. Click here to find the best price for the Progressive International Citrus Juicer.
The other manual lime juicer models work like nutcrackers and look like can openers. These types tend to be more specialized for use with just smaller citrus fruits like lemons and limes. With these models, you place the lime in the cup and squeeze down on the handles to extract the juice. One example of this type of model that I highly recommend is the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer.
Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer
This low-cost, hand-held juicer is simple to use and features a sleek design. The fresh lime half is simply placed face down in the cradle, and then the hand-held lever is squeezed by the user to express the juice. A concave sieve for removing seeds will also catch larger pieces of pulp, making the unit ideal for those with smaller cooking jobs. It also has a nifty gear device that increases the pressing force of the juicer and is much easier on your hands.
You’ll be able to use Chef’n FreshForce with lemons but not other larger citrus fruits. I found it for under $20 on Amazon.com, which is a really good deal. Click here to get the best price on the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer.
The Best Electric Lime Juicers
If you plan on making a lot of lime juice or juicing frequently then an electric model will be necessary. There is certainly a vast array to choose from. Most automatic units are designed to express the juice from limes and nearly every other type of citrus fruit as well, making this type of unit the ideal option for people who love juicing several types of citrus fruits at one time. While an electric unit is certain to cost a bit more than a simple hand-held one, the versatility that is supplied is often well worth the extra cost.
If you are concentrating on citrus juice primarily I would recommend staying away from centrifugal juicers. They work great on a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables but a citrus juicer is better able to extract juice more efficiently from oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits. Plus citrus juicers tend to be cheaper than a high powered centrifugal juicer.
Tribest Citristar Electric Citrus Juicer
One of the more popular options among electric lime juicers is the Tribest Citristar Electric Citrus Juicer. There are over 125 customer reviews for this model on Amazon.com alone with over 115 people rating it 4 or 5 stars out of 5, which is an astounding 90% of all reviews. In other words, people love it. This model features a wide-open cradle, with the juicing mechanism sitting atop. The citrus fruit is simply placed facedown and the machine does the rest, filtering out all seeds and pulp and pouring fresh, pure juice from the dispenser. You’ll be able to juice all citrus fruits with this machine, from tiny limes to big juicy grapefruits.
The Citristar retails for about $70 when I last checked. However, if you buy it on Amazon you’ll save over $25+, which is a really good deal. Click here to get the best price for the Tribest Citristar Electric Citrus Juicer.
Black & Decker CJ525 CitrusMate Plus Citrus Juicer
The Black and Decker 34 oz Citrus Juicer is another unit that is commonly purchased by home cooking experts who love having access to fresh juice. It also has over 270 four and five-star reviews (84% of all reviews) on Amazon.com, making it one of the most popular juicers on the market. You get two cones with the CitrusMate, a large one for grapefruits and a smaller one for lemons and limes. Then just place the fruit half down on the cone and the machine will start spinning. The cone will spin in one direction for a few seconds and then reverse and spin in the other direction so that it will extract as much juice as possible from the fruit.
There’s even an adjustment that lets you control how much pulp you get in your juice. Some people like a lot of pulp, like me, so this is a really cool feature that I mostly only see in more expensive juicers. The 34 ounces (1 liter) juice container is also a good size and it can be put directly into your refrigerator so that you can store and serve your juice later. This machine is heavy-duty enough to quickly prepare significant quantities of freshly squeezed orange juice but is also versatile enough to accommodate the needs of the average lime. Click here to get the best price on the Black & Decker CJ525 CitrusMate Plus Citrus Juicer.
Storing Lime Juice
One of the major benefits of owning a good lime juicer is that you can always have fresh lime juice on hand, whether preparing a spicy salsa recipe or searing jumbo shrimp. A lime juicer is perfect for making all of the crisp, sweet summer beverages that both adults and children love, including lime-aid, fresh citrus blends, Margaritas, and Mojitos. If you prefer to squeeze limes in abundance, however, and store the juice in your fridge, there are several important things that you should remember.
A glass container is usually preferable to a plastic one, as this fibrous material can harness germs which will contaminate and ultimately spoil any fresh juice or other items that get stored. If storing your lime juice in a plastic container, it is best to ensure that it is not just visibly clean, but that it contains no trace orders of the food or beverage items that it has previously stored. The best method of sanitizing such a vessel is by letting it run through the dishwasher.
Any fresh juice that gets stored in the refrigerator should either be used or replaced within two to three days. There is certainly no shortage of recipe ideas when fresh fruit juice is on hand. Whether making flavorful ethnic dishes or a delightful summer beverage, a high-quality lime juicer will make both preparation and consumption a joy.