Skip to Content

Can you juice citrus in a cold press?

Cold-pressed juice has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people seek out raw, unprocessed foods and beverages. Unlike traditional juicing methods that use heat and oxidation, cold-press juicers extract juice by pressing or “masticating” fruits and vegetables at very low temperatures. This preserves more nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins compared to high-speed juicers or blenders.

But can you use a cold press juicer for citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit? Let’s take a closer look at how cold press juicers work, their advantages and disadvantages, and whether they’re suitable for juicing citrus.

How Cold Press Juicers Work

Cold press juicers, also known as slow or masticating juicers, use a single auger or gear to slowly crush and press produce to extract juice. The auger turns at speeds between 40-100 RPMs, much slower than centrifugal juicers that operate at speeds over 1,000 RPMs.

There are a few ways cold press juicers extract juice:

  • Pressing/masticating – A spiral auger crushes produce against a screen or wall to squeeze out juice.
  • Cold spinning – Produce is cut into small pieces and spun to separate juice from pulp via centrifugal force.
  • Hydraulic press – Produce is pressed between two solid plates or diaphragms to squeeze out juice.

In all cases, the produce is pressed or squeezed at cool temperatures to minimize heat buildup and oxidation. This preserves more nutrients and enzymes compared to centrifugal juicing methods.

Advantages of Cold Press Juicers

There are several advantages that cold press juicers offer over other types of juicers:

  • Preserves nutrients – The cold pressing method generates little heat, limiting nutrient degradation.
  • Oxidation – Exposing juice to air can cause oxidation. Cold press juicers limit oxidation by excluding air during juicing.
  • Enzyme retention – Heat sensitive enzymes remain intact with minimal heat production.
  • Versatility – Most cold press juicers can juice fruits, veggies, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
  • Yield – Cold press juicers typically have a higher juice yield compared to centrifugal juicers.
  • Pulp – The drier pulp can be used in recipes.
  • Easy to clean – Only a few parts need cleaning unlike centrifugal juicers.

These factors make cold pressed juice better-tasting, more nutritious, and more versatile than juice from centrifugal juicers.

Disadvantages of Cold Press Juicers

However, there are some downsides to cold press juicers:

  • Slow process – It takes more time to juice fruits and veggies with a cold press juicer.
  • Smaller batches – Each batch of juice is relatively small.
  • Pulp in juice – Some pulp makes it into the juice, which some find unappealing.
  • Price – Cold press juicers cost significantly more than centrifugal juicers.
  • Manual prep – Produce needs to be chopped into small pieces before juicing.
  • Difficulty juicing certain produce – Leafy greens, stringy veggies and fruits can jam some cold press models.

Depending on your needs, these limitations may make a cold press juicer impractical or less efficient.

Can You Juice Citrus Fruits in a Cold Press Juicer?

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes have very tough skins and dense flesh that is difficult to break down and press. Unfortunately, this makes citrus fruits poorly suited for most cold press juicers.

There are three main reasons citrus is challenging to juice in a cold press machine:

  1. Difficulty piercing the peel – The augers typically cannot fully penetrate and tear the tough outer rind.
  2. Low juice yield – Much of the juice remains trapped in the flesh after pressing.
  3. Clogging – Bits of peel can jam the auger and clog the juicer.

Some commercial grade cold press juicers are capable of juicing citrus fruits. But most affordable models for home use cannot effectively break through the peel and press out juice from citrus.

You’re likely to experience very low yields and the juicer quickly clogging up. At best, you may get small amounts of juice along with lots of clogged pulp. But the juicer is likely to become jammed and damaged if attempting to press any significant quantities of citrus fruits.

For these reasons, it’s not recommended to regularly juice citrus fruits in most cold press juicers. You’re better off using a specialized citrus juicer that’s designed specifically for oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes.

Best Juicers for Citrus Fruits

Instead of a cold press juicer, you’ll have better results using one of these types of juicers designed to handle citrus fruits:

Juicer Type How it Works Benefits
Citrus press Uses pressure to squeeze juice from halved citrus fruits Maximizes juice extraction; simple manual operation
Centrifugal juicer Shreds citrus with high-speed cutting disc Very fast; ideal for juicing large quantities
Motorized citrus juicer Electric version of manual press Convenient and efficient juicing

Manual citrus presses are inexpensive, don’t require electricity, and provide maximum juice extraction. Motorized electric juicers automate the pressing process for fast, easy juicing in larger batches.

Centrifugal juicers shred citrus fruits with their high-speed metal cutting disc. They work very quickly and are ideal for juicing large amounts of citrus with minimal prep. However, they tend to have lower yields compared to presses.

Tips for Juicing Citrus

Here are some tips to get the most out of juicing citrus fruits:

  • Roll citrus fruits on a hard surface before juicing to help break down pulp and increase yields.
  • Always peel the rind first for best results and to avoid clogging your juicer.
  • Cut fruits into smaller pieces that will fit into your citrus press or juicer.
  • Squeeze or press multiple times to get all the juice out – the first press usually gets 75% of the juice.
  • Drink the juice right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Consider adding citrus juices to smoothies rather than just drinking straight.

Can You Juice Other Fruits and Vegetables in a Citrus Juicer?

For the most part, citrus juicers are designed specifically for citrus fruits. However, some models can also juice softer types of produce like apples, pears, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

A manual citrus press can potentially juice soft fruits and veggies, though it won’t be very efficient. Don’t expect a quality juice like you’d get from a cold press juicer. An electric citrus juicer may provide decent results for soft produce provided they are peeled and cut small enough.

But in general, citrus juicers are meant for citrus only. You won’t get good results or yields trying to press leafy greens, carrots, beets, celery and other firm, tough produce. And attempting to juice anything very fibrous can damage the juicer.

For anything other than citrus, you’ll want to use a separate cold press or centrifugal juicer designed to handle all types of fruits and vegetables.

Should You Juice Citrus and Other Produce Together?

Citrus fruits add delightful flavor and tartness when combined with other juice ingredients. However, there are a few considerations when mixing citrus juice with produce juice from a cold press juicer:

  • For maximum nutrient retention, drink juices separately rather than combining and storing.
  • If mixing juices, consume immediately rather than storing long term.
  • Citric acid degrades some nutrients, especially folate in green vegetables.
  • Some people experience digestive upset when citrus is mixed with fruits and veggies.
  • Adjust citrus quantities based on your taste preferences – start with 10-25% of juice volume.

Many people enjoy the complementary flavors of citrus juice blended with green veggie juices like kale, spinach, parsley or celery. Carrot, beet, ginger and apple juices also pair well with orange or grapefruit juice.

Experiment to find your favorite juice blends. Just keep in mind that for maximum nutrition, it’s best to drink citrus juice and other juices separately rather than mixing and storing for long periods.


While cold press juicers provide major benefits for leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, most models are not well-suited for juicing citrus fruits. The tough peels and dense pulp quickly clog up the augers.

For citrus, you’ll have better luck using a specialized citrus juicer. Both manual presses and electric juicers are designed specifically to extract juice from oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes.

When making mixed juices, citrus adds nice flavor and tartness. But for nutritional reasons, it’s best to avoid storing citrus and produce juices together. Overall, citrus juicers let you easily enjoy fresh, nutritious juice from oranges and other citrus fruits.