What Does Putting a Lemon in the Microwave Do?

Putting a lemon in the microwave makes it easier to squeeze out more juice and also enhances its flavor. This is because the heat from the microwave breaks down the cell walls of the lemon and releases the oils from the peel. In this article, we will explain how to microwave a lemon, why it works, and what are the benefits of doing so.

How to Microwave a Lemon

To microwave a lemon, you will need a microwave-safe plate, a knife, and a fork. Follow these simple steps:

  • Wash the lemon and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut the lemon in half and place it cut-side down on the plate.
  • Pierce the lemon halves with a fork a few times to prevent them from exploding in the microwave.
  • Microwave the lemon for 10 to 20 seconds, depending on the size and ripeness of the lemon. You can also rotate the plate halfway through for even heating.
  • Remove the lemon from the microwave and let it cool slightly before squeezing out the juice.

You can also microwave a whole lemon without cutting it, but you will need to pierce it all over with a fork and microwave it for longer, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Why Microwaving a Lemon Works

Microwaving a lemon works because it applies heat to the lemon, which causes several changes in its structure and composition. Here are some of the main effects of microwaving a lemon:

  • The heat breaks down the cell walls of the lemon, which are made of pectin, a type of fiber. This makes the lemon softer and more pliable, allowing more juice to be squeezed out.
  • The heat also releases the oils from the peel of the lemon, which contain the aromatic compounds that give the lemon its flavor and fragrance. These oils mix with the juice and enhance its taste and smell.
  • The heat also slightly changes the acidity of the lemon juice, making it less sour and more sweet. This is because the heat converts some of the citric acid, the main acid in lemons, into other organic acids, such as malic acid and lactic acid, which have a milder flavor.
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Benefits of Microwaving a Lemon

Microwaving a lemon has several benefits, both practical and nutritional. Here are some of the main advantages of microwaving a lemon:

  • You can get more juice out of a lemon, which is useful for recipes that require a lot of lemon juice, such as lemonade, lemon cake, or lemon chicken. You can also save money by using fewer lemons for the same amount of juice.
  • You can enhance the flavor and aroma of the lemon juice, which can make your dishes more delicious and refreshing. You can also enjoy the benefits of the lemon oils, which have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • You can reduce the sourness of the lemon juice, which can make it more palatable and easier on your teeth and stomach. You can also balance the acidity of the lemon juice with other ingredients, such as sugar, honey, or salt, to create different flavors and effects.


Microwaving a lemon is a simple and effective way to get more juice and flavor out of a lemon. It works by breaking down the cell walls and releasing the oils of the lemon, which also changes its acidity and sweetness. Microwaving a lemon has many benefits, such as saving money, enhancing taste, and reducing sourness. You can microwave a lemon in a few seconds by following the steps in this article. Try it out and see the difference for yourself!