Have you ever needed a bit of lemon juice, but not enough to warrant dragging out the juicer? If so, you’re in luck: A fork can do the job just as well. Simply cut the fruit in half, stick the fork in the citrus, and twist.
If your citrus fruits are really soft or if your grater is dull, removing the zest can be difficult. However, if you put the whole fruit in the freezer until it’s partially hardened and then try to grate it, you’ll have much better luck.
Once you’ve zested the lemon, per the tip above, you sometimes only need so much. A great use of the extra is to use it to make a citrus salt. Simply mix two teaspoons of zest with ½ cup of kosher salt, et voila: You’ve got your own fancy salt that lasts indefinitely.
The thick strand of white pith along the center ridge of a lemon wedge can cause the juice to squirt out in all directions when you squeeze it, say, to add brightness to your tea or to a dish. For juice that lands where you aim (and not your eyes), use a paring knife to remove the tough pith from wedges, then squirt away.
Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.