The Truth About Cutting Lemons: Should It Be Vertically or Horizontally? Many People Are Astonished at How They’ve Been Doing It Wrong All This Time

Lemons are a common ingredient in most households' kitchens. However, not everyone knows whether they should cut lemons vertically or horizontally.


Lemon is a common spice found in the kitchen. It is often squeezed for its juice to make dressing or mixed with water to make a refreshing drink. This food is rich in vitamins and minerals, so it has many health benefits such as weight loss, immune system enhancement, improved cardiovascular health, prevention of kidney stones, and prevention of anemia.

Although lemon is commonly used, not everyone knows how to squeeze it to get all the juice without the bitterness of the essential oil. So, should you cut the lemon lengthwise or crosswise to “squeeze it dry”?

According to experienced people, cutting the lemon lengthwise is the right way because it will help you avoid the core of the lemon and get more juice. On the other hand, if you cut the lemon crosswise in the traditional way, you will find the lemon wedges tightly squeezed together, so you cannot get much juice and it will be wasteful. Even if you use too much force to squeeze, this lemon juice can still get caught by the essential oil, causing bitterness and an unpleasant taste.

To be able to squeeze lemon “as perfectly as in a restaurant”, get all the juice and avoid splattering essential oil, you can refer to this method of cutting the lemon.

Step 1: Choose lemons

Choose lemons with thin skins and smooth textures, without roughness when touched with your hand.

Choose lemons that are medium-sized, feeling heavy and firm when held. You should not choose lemons that are too large because they may have more flesh and less juice.

You can lightly press your fingernail onto the surface of the lemon. Normally, fresh and delicious lemons will emit a gentle, fragrant aroma. Avoid buying lemons with dark or unpleasant-smelling peels.

Step 2: Wash the lemons

After buying lemons, they should be washed with clean water to remove all the dirt clinging to the skin. Then, lift the lemons out and let them drain.

If you are using lemons stored in the fridge, you can take them out and leave them at room temperature for a while before squeezing. In case you need to use them urgently, you can immerse the lemons in warm water for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Roll the lemons

To make the lemons soft quickly, you can place them on a table and gently roll them with your hand. This action helps to extract more juice from the lemons.

However, do not roll the lemons too hard as they may become smashed, release more oil, and taste bitter.

Step 4: Cut the lemons

Depending on your habits, you can cut the lemons in different ways.

Method 1: Cut the lemons lengthwise

Instead of cutting the lemons crosswise, you can cut them lengthwise because this way will reveal more lemon wedges and help you get more juice.

Method 2: Cut along the circular edges of the lemon

First, place the lemon on the chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut the edges around, leaving only the core. Then, gently rotate it with your hand to squeeze out all the lemon juice in the core.

Method 3: Cut the lemon crosswise into 3 equal parts

If you still prefer to cut the lemon crosswise, you can divide it into 3 equal parts instead of the usual 2.

In case you have already squeezed out the lemon juice, you can pour the remaining part into glass jars with airtight lids and store them in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days.

Frequently asked questions

Always wash lemons with clean water to remove any dirt from the skin. If you’re using lemons stored in the fridge, let them sit at room temperature, or immerse them in warm water for a few minutes. Rolling the lemons on a table with your hand will also help to soften them and extract more juice.

There are a few methods: cutting the lemon lengthwise reveals more wedges and gives you more juice. Alternatively, you can cut along the circular edges, leaving only the core, and then squeeze or use a reamer. If you prefer to cut crosswise, divide the lemon into three equal parts to expose more of the flesh.

Lemon juice is rich in vitamins and minerals and offers a range of health benefits. These include weight loss, improved immune function, better cardiovascular health, and the prevention of kidney stones and anemia.

Pour any remaining lemon juice into a glass jar with an airtight lid and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for about 5-7 days.
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