The citrus press is not necessary to squeeze a lemon. But to get the most juice, don’t make this mistake that everyone makes.

Whether to season a dish, prepare a refreshing drink or simply add a touch of acidity to your recipes, lemon is a key ingredient for all professional or amateur cooks. While squeezing a lemon or lime without a lemon squeezer may seem like a challenge, with a few simple tricks you can extract all the juice from this tart fruit without the need for specialized equipment, and without wasting a drop. But be careful not to make the mistake that everyone makes.

The simplest method is simply to squeeze it by hand while rolling it, to extract the juice from the lemon. Firmly roll the lemon on a flat surface with the palm of your hand. This helps relax the membranes inside, making it easier to extract the juice. Cut the lemon into two equal halves. Hold one half of the lemon over a container and squeeze it firmly with your fingers, using your thumbs to squeeze the cut side. Repeat the process with the other half.

You had thought about it of course, but you’re tired of losing half the juice from your lemon and having to squeeze like a madman. The reason is simple, like us, you are squeezing your lemon the wrong way,¬†upside down. And yes, there is a meaning to cutting lemon, and no one told us that!

Like most people, when you cut your lemon in half, you cut it widthwise. This is where you make a mistake. Thus, pressing will not be optimal, the membranes separating the quarters acting as a barrier to the juice. The American magazine Bon Appétit explains to us that we are going the wrong way and that we simply have to cut the lemon in the other direction, lengthwise. This way the juice is extracted more easily.

Here’s how to cut your lemon. Cut lengthwise into 3 more or less equal parts around the ribbed center. Once cut, these ribs will form lines and will no longer be star-shaped as usual. All you have to do is squeeze the lemon as explained above. This way you will harvest twice as much juice!

To make the task easier, you can also use a fork to pierce the pulp of the piece of lemon several times. Holding the lemon over a container, squeeze it firmly while turning it lightly with the fork to extract as much juice as possible. This will require less force and will be just as effective.