Finding a new way to preserve fresh lemons is as easy as can be when you learn how to can lemon juice! No juicer? No problem! It’s super easy to learn how to juice a lemon without a juicer! You can even preserve fresh lime juice the same way!
A few weeks ago, I found myself with a $2.00 bag of clearance lemons. I love anything lemon and because we are working super hard to lower our cost of living and the amount of waste we put out, I wanted to use those lemons as effectively as possible.
In other words, I wanted to get as many uses out of those lemons as possible.
How to Juice a Lemon on the Stove
To start, I took my lemons – look at how pretty they were! – and decided I was going to make dried lemon zest.
Lemon zest is great to have on hand as a way to add a quick bit of extra flavor to your favorite recipes, but in it’s fresh form, it does not last for long. It’s also required for most lemon recipes (Six Dollar Family)
However, using my tutorial for how to dry lemon zest found HERE (Six Dollar Family), it will stay shelf stable for months!
How to Make Lemon Juice without a Juicer
So I zested my lemons, dehydrated the zest and was left with lemons that looked like this. Zested, but not peeled lemons.
Not quite so pretty now, are they?
It did not matter what they looked like now because the next thing on my list was canning lemon juice. However, I do not own a juicer.
It’s not like I don’t need a juicer. I probably should have one. I am just far too cheap to buy one when I know I can do things like juice a lemon without a juicer just as easily.
Really, it’s not that hard to make lemon juice without a juicer even though it takes longer.
How to Preserve Fresh Lemon Juice
The process for making lemon juicer without a juicer is pretty straight forward. The great thing about it is that you can also juice a lime wihtout a juicer the same exact way.
In fact, you can preserve fresh lemon juice or preserve fresh lime juice this exact same way so feel free to swap out limes for lemons if that is what you have on hand. Making dried lime zest works the same as making dried lemon zest as well so be sure to view the tutorial HERE (Six Dollar Family) if you have not already.
Doing more with your fruit is a great way to double up on the savings that you’ll eventually see from your work in the kitchen.
The Process for Juicing Lemons or Limes without a Juicer
The process for making homemade lemon juicer without having a juicer on hand goes like this:
- Cut the lemons in half and peel them. Set the peels aside if you’re going to use them to make homemade homemade lemon cleaner.
- Add around 2″ of water to a deep pot and add your lemons.
- Turn the heat onto low and heat until simmering.
- Simmer until your lemons begin to break down and make juice. Use a manual potato masher like THIS one (Amazon) to help the lemons break down and release more juice.
- Strain the pulp through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag like THIS one (Amazon).
- Preserve the fresh lemon juice by canning it or store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
How to Can Lemon Juice
Canning lemon juice is one of the easiest things you’ll ever can. Because it’s so acidic, you are able to process it in a boiling waterbath canner and it safely.
- Fill your canning jars with your fresh lemon juice making sure to leave 1/4″ headspace.
- Wipe the rim with vinegar making sure to not get any vinegar into the juice itself.
- Process in a water bath canner 5 minutes for quarts and pints of 10 minutes for half-gallon jars.
- Remove your jars and allow them to sit 12-24 hours to ensure a seal. Check jars for a seal, remove ring and reprocess or refrigerate any unsealed juice.
It really is that easy!
Can I can a half full jar?
If you look at my final product below,. you’ll notice that I did not have a full quart jar or lemon juice. I juiced around 14 lemons and got around 16 oz lemon juice as a final product.
Instead of canning it in pint jars – where there would have been too much air in the jar to safely can – I transferred it to pint jars and canned that way.
If your jar has too much air, you risk spoilage so be sure to keep an eye on that when you’re preserving fresh lemon juice.
How to Juice a Lemon without a Juicer + How to Can Lemon Juice
- Waterbath Canner with Rack or Large Stockpot with Rack
- Sharp Knife
- Large heavy bottom pot
- Cheesecloth or Nut Milk Bag
- Jars, lids and Rings
- 2 inches water
- Cut Lemons in half and peel.
- Add to large stockpot with approx 2" water.
- Simmer on low until lemons break down and juice. Mash them as needed to help release juice even more.
- Strain through nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Add to canning jar with 1/4" headspace. Process in a boiling water bath 5 minutes for quarts and pints or 10 minutes for half gallon jars.
- Do not can lemon juice unless you have enough to fill a jar full. If your jar has too much air you risk spoilage.
- Use a manual potato masher to mash lemons and help release more juice.
- 14 lemons juiced approx. 16 oz lemon juice.