Nothing completes a dish or a nice cup of tea quite like a tart splash of lemon juice. As chef Samin Nosrat explains in her hit Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, lemons are one of the easiest ways to add acid to a dish—and acidity is an essential component of good cooking.
“Acid brightens food and creates contrast,” she says in the show’s third episode. “Most importantly, acid does the absolutely necessary job of balancing flavors, which makes it indispensable to cooking delicious food.”
Unfortunately, getting fresh lemon juice isn’t always easy. It involves either a cumbersome citrus squeezer or doing it the old-fashioned way: by hand. And even the most skilled chefs know that squeezing a lemon by hand can be a sticky situation, one with plenty of opportunities for spraying seeds everywhere and getting the juice into open cuts. Ouch!
With a lifetime of less-than-glamorous lemon squeezing under our belts, you can imagine our excitement when we came across this brilliant hack (below) for juicing lemons without cutting them on YouTube.
The whole thing takes about 30 seconds. And not only does this simple trick save time, it also prevents having to waste an entire lemon in exchange for a single squeeze of juice. All you need is something pointy!
Here’s how to do it:
- Roll your lemon to loosen up the membranes.
- Using a clean skewer, needle, chopstick, toothpick, pin, or whatever long, sharp object you have handy, poke a hole in the non-stem end of the lemon.
- Squeeze out as much juice as you need.
- Store the lemon in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator until you need it again.
Game = changed.
Related: Food and Beverage Hacks for Airplane Travel
Originally published by Southern Living