We use a lot of citrus fruit in my house, mainly due to the fact that we belong to a fruit and veg co-op at the local family centre. This enables me to buy tons of fruit very cheaply. As a result we drink a lot of fresh juice and it tastes far superior to supermarket juice. We also use citrus juice to make bath scrubs and soaps. When I make up a jug of fresh juice I usually use a ratio of 8 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 limes. The oranges are usually juiced with my electronic juicer and the smaller fruits I do by hand. This lot then goes into a big jug with ice and is delicious on a hot day (even more delicious with vodka in it). I have a range of juicers in the house, an electric one, a general citrus one which manages bigger fruits such as grapefruit, and then two of these.
The benefit of having a small hand tool for juicing a lemon or a lime is that you do not have to keep dragging out a cumbersome electric juicer with a multitude of parts to dissemble and wash up. This does the job quickly and efficiently with very little mess.
I love wooden kitchen tools too, I have a fine wooden spoon collection, some of which belonged to my wonderful nan. This is a beechwood device so not particularly exciting to look at in the wood grain department, but it is long lasting and easy to use and clean. Beech is is a European tree which is used in lot of things around the home from cupboard knobs to furniture. Beech is a strong and heavy wood which is relatively inexpensive, making it ideal for small kitchen aids such as this one.
This little tool is around 5" long and is well made. It has a smooth and well sanded surface. It comprises a handle and a pointed carved top part which is designed in such a way that maximum juice is reamed from the fruit leaving very little waste. It is small enough to sit alongside cutlery in a drawer and is lightweight and easy to use.
The pointed carved end has deep set grooves in the wood and is shoved into a halved fruit and rotated over a bowl or similar to catch the juice. This leaves very little juice and pulp left in the skin and you get a surprising amount of juice when it is used compared to even a bog standard juicer. The pressure needed to use this effectively is minimal and I have no trouble using it to juice a bagful of lemons and limes despite having issues with my hands.
Being wooden it is best to rinse it off straight after use to ensure that the wood does not stay damp too long. Leaving it means that the pulp becomes tricky to remove and you will spend ages getting it out with a knife and muttering rude words under your breath. I have owned this for a couple of years and my care method is pretty much neglect... it seems to cope with minimal care and attention. However when I can be bothered I do sometimes oil it in linseed as I do all of my wooden ware. I would not recommend putting this into a dishwasher as the heat and water will cause it to split eventually.
This little wooden wonder comes with a 12 month guarantee and is created from sustainable European Beech. It is amazingly good value for what it manages to do and it gets a lot of use in my house.
Priced at just £2 inc postage on Amazon.
For those of you into natural remedies and are able to pick up citrus fruits in bulk like me, then I will leave you with this recipe for a natural detoxing salt scrub:
You will need the following:
* 1kg of fine sea salt (table salt will do at a push but sea salt is better)
* 1 teacup of Epsom salts
* 1 teacup of Bicarb
* The juice of 8 lemons, 2 limes and 2 oranges
* 500ml of good quality oil ( Sweet almond is best but you can even use sunflower or olive)
Shove the lot in a bowl and mix it well. The salt and dry ingredients will start to absorb the oil and you may hear some fizzing from the acid in the citrus fruits and bicarb. Let it sit until the fizzing goes and store in a Kilner type jar or storage box. Keep in the bathroom for use. This can be used as often as you wish but be careful if you have open wounds/ezcema etc as you will shout a lot. This mixture is very detoxing and softens the skin amazingly well. Rub clockwise into the skin to detox or in any direction to exfoliate. Then just rinse off leaving the oil on your skin.
Although I love lemons and limes, since we moved house I have been reminded of how useful it is to have a gadget which helps you when juicing them. The most well known type and the one I used before was a glass product which was sort of like a bowl with a raised point in the centre with ridges on it - you placed the lemon half on it and rotated it over the top, removing the juice and seeds. This is quite a different product, but it's also quite practical and useful, and avoids you having to get sticky lemon juice all over your hands - it also helps to remove more of the juice, so you don't end up wasting half the lemon.
-ooo- The Product -ooo-
This is very different to the kind of product I mentioned above - it's like a rounded, heavy stick - although the head of it is quite similar to the design of the other product, as it has long grooves running along the length of it. You use it by pushing it against the centre of a lemon that has been cut in half and twisting it, pushing it still, which will make the juice run out into a bowl along with the seeds.
The product is very solid and sturdy in its design, and I don't think you could break it very easily. It seems to be made from a hard wood, and is very durable and strong. It has no problems cutting through the flesh of the lemon, and you don't need to apply too much pressure, just a little will enable you to juice it.
-ooo- Would I Recommend? -ooo-
I think this is a really good product if you have nothing, and is really useful in the kitchen. It makes getting the juice out of a lemon or lime much easier and means you don't waste as much of the fruit as if you were just squeezing it. The product is really easy to clean, too - you just give it a quick wipe and it's clean - there are no awkward parts to get into, no mesh or small holes where things get stuck. Because of this, I think it's a really good, long lasting device, and it's a gadget that's you'll be able to keep and re-use for a long time.
However, I still prefer the other product, with a bowl and a bump that you push down onto and grind the lemon. This type of product is even better, as you can apply more pressure and get more juice, you can collect the juice in a bowl (with this product (the reamer), you still get some juice on you) and also it's easy to separate the juice from the seeds - which you can't do with the reamer. Overall, I think this is a good product, and I like the design, but I don't think it's the best kitchen gadget for juicing lemons.
When we were setting up home I was very tempted with all the fancy kitchen gadgets in the shops and I very nearly opted for an expensive electrical gadget that removed the juice from lemons etc and was supposed to do just about everything else! But my sensible head took over and instead I bought a Beech wood Lemon Reamer for a few pounds instead. I'm very pleased I did too!
Lemon reamers are available in most cook ware shops and on line stores. I bought mine from a local independent shop but they are available on Amazon for less than £5.00.
My lemon reamer is made from beech wood and is approximately 15cm's long. It is made in one solid piece of wood. The handle is rounded and shaped to make using it easy. The actual part that you use to extract juice is ridged and is the same shape as a regular lemon squeezer but made in wood and there's no little tray to catch the juice. The reamer has a small point on the end of it which will pierce the fruit as you push it in and also help remove any pips. Once in the fruit its just a matter of twisting it backwards and forward and watch the juice flow. Of course you need to do this over a bowl.
The reamer must be hand washed which is fine by me, I was a bit worried that being made from wood it might crack or stain but neither has been a problem.
I have used my reamer more times than I can remember, and every time I use it I think of the electric gadgets I was first drawn to and give myself a pat on the back. My reamer is quick and easy to use, it takes no room in the cutlery drawer, its quick to clean and it was less than fiver, Great!
Obviously the reamer isn't just for lemons, it can be used for any citrus fruits and I use it mainly for limes. One of our favourite desserts is key lime pie and the reamer is ideal for this. It removes juice and pips efficiently and fast. I've also used it for lemons and grapefruit too.
I would definitely recommend this little wooden gadget. Its cheap and basic but does the job quickly.
A little bit of back ground:- the lemon squeezer was invented by John Thomas White and patented in 1896.
My Key Lime Pie Recipe
Make a biscuit base with melted butter and crushed biscuits
Whisk together 300mls of double cream and a tin of condensed milk
Remove the juice and zest of 5 limes and add it to the whisked ingrediant
Pour the whisked ingredients over the biscuit base and chill.
Sit back and enjoy.
I'm not sure about you, but I have always squeezed lemons and thought i could extract more juice than I have done. It wasn't like a big issue I have had that I had sleepless nights over, just something that I looked for a solution to and in this Beach Lemon Reamer I found the answer. Lemons have quite thick and tough skins, and getting the most out of them is simplified by this lemon reamer. Obviously it is crafted from solid beach wood, and helps extracting juice from all kinds of citrus fruits.
The product is well designed, with a long enough handle to get plenty of purchase whilst pressing into the fruit, and the reaming end offers enough grip to ensure all juice is extracted. These can be picked up for a couple of pounds and I believe that they beat the stainless steel and plastic products due to their natural feel and looks. You can thread string through the handle to create a hanging hook if you wish, but I havn't done this as it would soon attract bacteria during washing. This brings me to the next point, the reamer is simple to wash and whilst using it with citrus fruits it hasn't become discoloured or stained by the juice. The simplicity sells this product, and with a low price it is a must-have for any cook!
I dislike electric juicers and that's why I have a Metrocane citrus press. But sometimes I just need to juice one small lemon and it seems a waste of time and energy to take out the whole press just squeeze that one little bit, and then have to wash up the whole contraption. That's why I also have a lemon reamer.
A lemon reamer is a hand-held item, where one end looks like the serrated cone shaped squeezing part of a table-top juicer which has been removed and placed on a handle. The idea is you hold the handle in one hand, and then press the lemon into the cone-shaped part to juice the fruit. I should say that using them really efficiently can take a bit of practice and I still don't know if holding it in my left hand and the fruit in my right works better than holding it the other way round. Mostly, I find that both methods work but one way or another you'll need to put a little bit of elbow grease into getting the juice out. However it still is easier and more efficient than squeezing the fruit by hand. Mind you, if you use this directly into the food you're making you're likely to get pips falling in, so be careful to scoop all those out.
It doesn't really matter what material your reamer is, since they all seem to work about the same. Mind you, I personally have an all plastic one (bought at Harrods, of all places), but I can see where the metal ones might be a touch sharper, and therefore easier to use. The wooden ones look really nice, but unless yours has been treated properly, some of the cheaper ones might have splinters when new, and you might want to sand it down a touch before you use it. Also, since wood is absorbent, these might warp or expand with excessive use if they aren't treated. I've also seen these in porcelain and silicone, but never used them. In any case, I'd worry that the porcelain ones could break or chip easily, and the silicone ones are just unreasonably expensive. You can pick up a wooden one for around £2; and the plastic ones are even cheaper than that. The metal ones cost in the £6 range, while the porcelain ones are usually over £7 and the silicone one I found was an outrageous £11.50. Still, if you must have the silicone one, it isn't going to break the bank, either.
Aside from the cost, having one of the small reamers in addition to the mechanical juicers isn't going to be problematic, either. They take up practically no space in a drawer and as you can see, cost very little to buy. These are also extremely easy to clean as you just rinse it off when you're done using it and unless yours is wooden, can be dried right away and placed back in the drawer for the next time. I can't think of anything simpler. Mind you, if you have more than two lemons or three limes to juice, you might as well bring out the big guns instead of using one of these, but I think that every kitchen should, and can have both. Of course, if you're really strapped for space, this may be the only juicer you can fit into your kitchen, and if you're going on a camping trip or picnic this would be a handy item to bring with you, that won't weigh you down.
In short, this is a clever little gadget that won't cost you much or take up lots of space. It's easy to use and convenient for juicing small quantities of fruit, won't break down and is easy to clean. No reason to give it less than a full five stars and get a high recommendation from me!
Thanks for reading and happy squeezing!
Davida Chazan © November 2007
You can find these in any kitchen utensil shop, as well as on-line. I found one good place that has a good selection called "The Cooks Kitchen" and their reamers can be found at http://thecookskitchen.com/browse_2626
This is a very traditional way to extract juice from your lemon and what's more it is one of the best ways to get every drop out of your fruit and into your food.