No one can argue that juicers aren’t extremely effective tools. However, they do cost quite a lot of money and take up a ton of space! Not to mention, finding one that makes juice with the perfect amount of pulp you like is nearly impossible!
So, for that reason, many people have reverted to juicing oranges by hand. It is a great way to perfectly measure out the pulp you want in your juice. And, it also retains the most nutrients of all options!
But, how do you juice oranges without a juicer? There are 5 common techniques you can use. You can either juice the orange halves by hand, or use tools like a hand-held reamer, tabletop reamer, or a citrus press. You also find more expensive and effective versions of these tools that work better.
Today, we will be looking at the best ways to juice oranges that work for you! We have included methods that don’t require tools, that make small quantities only, and ones that can be used for large batches.
We will also be looking at how what to consider before making the juice, and some fantastic preparation techniques to try. All-in-all, this in-depth guide will answer all of your questions and more.
What Is Real Orange Juice?
Would you believe us when we tell you that most juices aren’t made with juice from fruit? Don’t believe us? Have a look at the ingredients used on the juice carton the next time you go to the shop—you will be shocked!
Most of the juice products you find on the shelves are fruit-flavored apple juice or grape juice.
And this is exactly why so many people have started making their own juice at home. But, you will also see loads of “real orange juice” in stores and restaurants. So, what does that mean?
Real orange juice, by law, is any juice that is made using only oranges. It doesn’t contain any preservatives, flavor enhancers, colorants, or stabilizers.
It is only 100% orange juice. So, you can imagine how incredibly delicious the flavor must be!
When making orange juice at home, you are making the freshest form of juice that you possibly can and almost always using only one fresh ingredient.
Types Of Orange Juice
Now, we have established that real orange juice is made from only oranges and nothing else. The same goes for what you are making at home. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a bit of variety in options.
Two elements can make real orange juice products differ. The first is the type of orange you use and the second is the texture of the juice.
Type Of Orange
When it comes to orange types that are very easy to find in most parts of the world, there are about 10 options. We know that is quite a lot! And, there is a lot more!
Oranges can be divided into two main categories, sweet and bitter. Both of these have specific varieties categorized under each. Naturally, the name is a dead give-away of the flavor to expect.
So, when making orange juice at home, think about the flavor you want. If you want a sweeter juice, choose a varietal like the common orange, blood orange, navel orange, or an acid-less orange.
If you are looking to make a more bitter-flavored orange juice, then varietals like Seville, Bergamot, and Trifoliate oranges will be best.
Now, here’s a big tip from our expert chefs! You can use varying ratios of each category to create a balanced bittersweet juice! Trust us, it takes a while to play around ad find something you truly like, but it is well worth it!
You likely already immediately know what we are talking about – juice pulp! Yes folks, while there are some people (maybe yourself included) who hate juice with pulp in it, there are others who love it! And that also goes the other way around.
This is a personal preference thing and neither options are wrong! And, you can adjust the amount of pulp you have in your juice. When juicing, you can strain the pulp and add the perfect amount that you’d like.
The benefit of doing this without a juicer is that a juicer doesn’t automatically add the perfect amount of pulp. Some add a lot while others don’t add any at all. So, when juicing by hand, you can more easily adjust the pulp to juice ratio.
Nutritional Value Of Orange Juice
It is likely that you already know that oranges are very nutritious.
While everybody knows that citrus is high in vitamin C, it may surprise you to learn that it is also high in vitamin A, B6, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and thiamine.
Orange juice is unfortunately quite high in calories, measuring at roughly 110 calories per cup of juice (240 ml).
However, the biggest benefit of juicing without a juicer is that you keep a lot more nutrients inside the juice. Juicers tend to remove some nutrients, especially when they are further processed with additives.
Preparing Oranges For Juicing
Oranges are very easy to juice and generally don’t require a lot of prep. We would say that there are only 3 must-follow steps to prep oranges before juicing. They include:
- Washing the skin
- Slicing the orange in half
- Removing the seeds
Now, you may think to yourself, “Why would I wash the skin if it doesn’t end up inside of the juice?” The answer is really simple.
While the skin doesn’t directly end up inside the juice, any foreign unwanted objects on its surface can potentially fall inside. This includes mostly dirt and dust.
However, if the skin has any chemicals on its surface, like pesticides, it can come into contact with the juice you squeeze, which lands in the glass. So, rather be safe than sorry!
Then, most oranges are sliced in half before you juice them. This is especially crucial for hand-juiced oranges. And, removing the seeds with a small knife before will make your life easier afterward.
After doing the initial essential preparation steps, there are some other things you can do.
Often for hand-juicing methods, many people prefer removing the peel entirely!
The peel has a more bitter flavor than the orange flesh. When pressed, some juices from it will also go into the juice, making it slightly more bitter.
While some like this flavor, others don’t at all. What we will say, is that the peel contains a lot of nutrients and, in our opinion, helps balance the overly sweet flavor.
So, give it a try before slicing it away. You may be surprised as to how much you like it! And, it will save you a lot of prep time.
Another optional preparation you can do is setting up a strainer. This will help reduce the work later if you don’t like a lot of pulp inside your juice.
To set up a strainer, place a sieve or tea strainer over a glass or bowl. Whichever juicing method you choose, make sure to juice directly over the sieve. Then, pour the strainer juice into a glass and stir in the amount of pulp you want, if any.
How To Juice Oranges Without A Juicer
Finally! We get to the good part! How to make orange juice without a juicer. We will be looking at 5 methods today.
What makes these methods so great is that each of them is also versatile. You can even combine some techniques to help make the hand juicing process a lot less painful.
For example, cut the flesh of the orange (method 5) before juicing it with a hand squeezer (method 4).
So, let’s get right to it!
1. Manually Squeezing Oranges
The original juicing method that existed before any type of tool – hand juicing! This is a tried and tested method that is still used today.
Why? Well, because it works and you don’t need to buy any equipment or tools. It also saves you on storage space.
To manually squeeze oranges, you do need some muscle, or at least determination and patience! It is a laborsome method, as all hand-juicing techniques are.
After the initial preparation of the orange, simply squeeze a half between your hands to help release the juices.
Pro tip: Heat the orange halves on a microwave-safe plate for 10-seconds. This will help soften the fibers and release a lot more juice!
Keep in mind though that you have to wait for the juice to cool down before serving and the heat will remove some nutrients.
- This method saves you money as you don’t have to buy any equipment
- It will free up some kitchen and drawer space
- It is an effective method, especially when using the microwave technique
- This method will take the longest out of our list
- Not recommended for large quantities of juice
- Is labor-intensive
- Doesn’t release as much juice as the other methods
2. Use A Hand-held Citrus Reamer
Now, there are many different types of hand juicing tools. This one specifically is one of the oldest tools that have the simplest designs.
A hand-held citrus reamer is often made of solid wood. It consists of a handle and head. The head is what is used to help release the juice. It is shaped like a round cone with grooves running down vertically.
These grooves help break the juice-containing fibers. To use this tool, press into an orange half while giving the tool a twisting motion. You will immediately start seeing the fibers break and a ton of juice come out.
- This tool is very easy to find and very budget-friendly
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space
- Works very well and releases a ton of juices
- Very durable tool
- While being cheap, it does still cost money for the tool
- Mold can start growing if you don’t properly clean it, specifically the wooden ones
- Is still labor-intensive, despite being more effective than hand juicing
- Very messy if you don’t use the correct technique
3. Tabletop Citrus Reamer
This citrus reamer works in the same way as a hand-held one does. But, the biggest difference is in the design.
This reamer has two or three components and is assembled to stand directly on a table. The main component is the reamer part. It fits over a strainer and bowl.
When juicing, the strainer catches any pulp and seeds while the juice runs down into the bowl.
- Works extremely well
- Catches pulp and seeds, making later straining unnecessary
- Mess-free juicing option
- Can make large quantities using a lot less effort
- This tool does cost more money than any other hand-held juicing tool
- Some designs can be very fragile
- Requires more cleaning than other methods and tools
4. Citrus Squeezer Or Hand Press
There are a few different designs for this specific tool, but they all work in the same way. The simplest design is a hand press made of two parts connected at one edge.
The citrus half is placed inside the “bowl” part, and once you start squeezing, the other half helps press out the juice.
Then, you can also get a tabletop manual press. This option is very large, but works extremely well and can make large quantities of juice with no effort at all.
But, it costs a lot of money. It works in the same way as the hand-help press does, just on a much larger scale.
- Very effective method that juices well
- Manual tabletop juicer can make large quantities effortlessly
- Makes the least amount of mess
- Depending on the model, the manual tabletop presses are very expensive
- Difficult to clean
- Manual tabletop option takes up a lot of space
5. Cutting With A Knife
Last, but not least, we end with another tool-free method. This is a technique that you can use alone, or in conjunction with other above-mentioned methods.
To use this technique, prepare the orange as you normally would. Then, make deep incisions into the flesh of the orange. Do not slice through the peel. It will help keep the orange together and make cleanup a lot easier.
By making deep incisions into the flesh of the orange, you are breaking the fibers. This helps more easily release the juice, without you having to use your full strength to get it out!
- Easy method that doesn’t need special tools
- Releases juice very effectively
- Can be used with other methods too
- Does require more work
- Can be very messy
- Still need some elbow grease to use this method
How To Choose The Best Juicing Method
Each of the juicing methods we have listed has its own set of pros and cons. So, it can become quite difficult to choose which option works the best for you.
The biggest factor to consider is how much juice you are making, or how frequently you want to make juice.
Naturally, a juicer will easily be able to produce large quantities of juice. But, not everyone has the space for one or even the money to buy these often expensive appliances!
So, if you want to make larger quantities of juice, or on a more frequent basis, then we would suggest getting a tool to help you get the job done. It will be far less brutal on your hands!
But, if you only want juice every once in a blue moon, rather invest in a smaller tool or even no tool at all!
Some of the methods we have listed below do need a special tool. But, others, like our hand-squeezing one, don’t necessarily require one.
Naturally, if you are making larger quantities of juice and don’t want to spend hours making it, investing in a tool will cost money, but it will make your life a lot easier!
Luckily, none of these are electrical appliances, so they are a lot more budget-friendly! You can even find cheaper options within each tool category. But, always still make sure you buy quality tools to get the job done right.