How to Make Homemade/ Home-canned Lemon Juice or Orange Juice

Making and canning your own lemon or orange juice is easy.  Here's how to make your own home canned citrus juice, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The lemon juice will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store, and by selecting the right lemons, it will be so naturally-sweet that you won't need to add any sugar at all.

Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years, and require no special attention.

 

Directions for Making Lemon Juice or Orange Juice

Ingredients

Equipment

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Selecting the lemons

The most important step!   You should choose the best lemons you can get and make far better lemon juice.  Don't get me wrong, it is fine to use small lemons and less attractive varieties, as long as they are firm and unspoiled!

Step 2 - How many lemons and where to get them

You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store.  But for large quantities, you'll find that real* farmer's markets, like the Farmer's Market in Forest Park, Georgia have them at the best prices.  In 2004, they were available from late September at $11 to $16 per bushel. 2005 prices have been in the $14 to $20 range at the real farmer's markets, like the Atlanta-Forest park Georgia State Farmer's Market and orchards in the southeast of the U.S.

You'll get about 12 to 20 quarts of lemon juice per bushel of lemons.  Count on 15 or 16  quarts per bushel.

* - not the cutesy, fake farmer's markets that are just warehouse grocery stores that call themselves farmer's markets.

Step 3 - Wash the jars and lids

Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot lemon juice.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.

Step 4 -Wash and peel the lemons or oranges!

I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in plain cold water. If you have a juicer or squeezer, it obviously makes it much easier.  If you don't have a juicer, don't fret, just peel the fruit (as shown in the photo), then chop or crush the fruit with a potato masher and continue to the next step.

Step 5 - Briefly, quickly cook the lemons / oranges

Pretty simple put about 2 inches of water (I used filtered tap water) on the bottom of a huge, thick-bottomed pot. Put the lid on, and the heat on high.  When it gets really going, turn it off - you only want to release the juice from the pulp.. Obviously, if you used a juicer, you can skip this step and step 6.

Hardware stores sell a fruit steamer.  I haven't used one yet, but I hear they work well.

Step 6 - Sieve the cooked lemons

Now you want to separate the liquid from the pulp, skins, seeds, stems, etc.  There are quite a variety of ways to filter the lemons. 

Unfiltered juice:

Filtered juice:

Note: One of the easiest ways to extract juice is by using a steam juicer available at many hardware and variety stores. If you plan on making a lot of juice or doing this every year, it may be worth buying one. This unique piece of equipment allows you to conveniently extract juice by steaming the fruit which is held in a retaining basket. The juice drops into a reservoir which has a tube outlet for removal. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for using steam juicer.

If your goal is to make lemon juice, you will still have a lot of lemon pulp left, so I'd recommend you make lemon curd from it (see this page)

Step 7 - Heat the lemon juice

Put the lemon juice into a large pot.

The lemon juice does not need any further cooking; just get it heated to a low simmering boil and keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size)

Step 8 - Fill the jars and process them in the water bath

Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled lemon juice of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.  Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 or 2 inches of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint  or quart jars for 5 minutes and half gallon jars for 10 min. This assumes you kept the juice hit until you filled the jars. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart below

Recommended process time for Lemon Juice in a boiling-water canner.

  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 5 min 10 15
Half-Gallons 10 min 15 20

Step 9 - Remove and cool the jars - Done

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)  You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

 

 

 


Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter - to remove lids from the pot of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid - disposable - you may only use them once
  4. Ring - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel - to fill the jars

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.


Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from lemon juice to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!

Victorio V250 Food Strainer (the same as the comparable Villaware and Roma models)

With this Food and Vegetable Strainer, you'll be able to prepare more healthy foods, make natural sauces, soups and jams - even your own baby food! The tedious job of peeling and coring is eliminated as the strainer continuously separates the seeds and skins from the juices and pulp with just a turn of the handle. The highly polished body contains no paint or coatings that can chip or peel off, is easy to clean, and stands 19-in. high with the attached hopper. Click at left for more information, images accessories or to order.

Features:

  • Stainless-steel construction
  • Manual crank system
  • Replaces peeling and coring
  • Assembly required
  • Wash all parts in hot, soapy water
  • Optional additional screens for berries, pumpkin, salsa, tomato/apple juice
 

Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker

See this page for more information, reviews, descriptions of other strainers and supplies or to order!

With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy apple sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.

The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Lemon Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note

 

 

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

 

 

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids! To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!For more information and current pricing:

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

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