How to Zest & Juice a Lemon

by Angela LaFollette ; Updated September 28, 2017

Zest and juice a lemon properly to add flavor to food and beverages.

lemon image by Aleksei Volkhonsky from

Lemons have a sour taste that adds flavor to many dishes. You can grate the rind of the lemon to make lemon zest to add to baked goods. If you need to add lemon juice to a beverage, you can squeeze a fresh lemon instead of purchasing the juice from the store. Commercial lemon juice is processed in ways that can affect its taste. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, phosphorus and magnesium, so they're good for you as well as tasty.

How to Zest a Lemon

Rinse the lemon off under cool water. Scrub the fruit with a scrub brush and dry it off with paper towels.

Place a bowl under a grater.

Hold onto the lemon tightly. Rub the lemon over the smallest area on a grater and let the zest fall into the bowl.

Rotate the lemon so that you remove the rind. Avoid grating the white pith of the lemon because this has a bitter taste.

How to Juice a Lemon

Sit the lemon on a smooth and flat surface. Allow it to reach room temperature.

Press the palm of your hand on top of the lemon. Roll it across the counter and press down gently.

Slice the lemon in half on a cutting board.

Hold one-half of the lemon over a bowl. Place your hand between the lemon and the bowl.

Squeeze the lemon to remove the juice. Catch the seeds in your hand. Continue to squeeze the lemon half until you remove all the juice, and then repeat the process with the other half.


  • A single lemon will produce about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.

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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.