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How Much Juice Is In An Orange?

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Squeezing orange juice into a bowl and fresh oranges

Do you enjoy cooking dishes that use fruity fresh flavor? It’s likely you may have stumbled onto a recipe that calls for the juice of an orange. If you’re in a rush and all you have is a bottle of juice in the fridge then you may be confused about how much to use. It’s a fair question – how much juice is in an orange? We’re about to take a close look at oranges to get a better idea of how much juice each fruit contains. Let’s dive in.

How much juice is in one orange?

An average-sized orange contains 4-5 tablespoons of juice. That equates to between one quarter and one third cups of juice. You will need three to four medium oranges to squeeze one cup of fresh juice.

If you are in the store how many oranges will you need to buy? Well, the average orange weighs 4.7 ounces which means there are just over three oranges in one pound.

As you may have guessed, juice quantities will vary depending on the type of orange chosen, such as naval, blood orange, or Valencia. We did our test measurements on the navel orange, which is considered one of the better varieties for producing juice.

To produce one glass of fresh orange juice you need between one and two pounds of oranges. Glasses can vary greatly in size, so we based our measurements on a standard cup which is 250ml.

How much zest comes from one orange?

An average orange will produce between 1 and 1 1/2 tablespoons of zest when using a box grater or micro plane. Zest is the aromatic outer coating of skin that you get from an orange. It does not include the layer of white pith which surrounds the flesh.

Summary Table

Quantity of orangesJuice output
1 orange¼ cup
2 oranges½ cup
3 oranges¾ cup
4 oranges1 cup
1-2 pounds1 cup
1 orange4 tablespoons

How to extract more juice from your oranges

  • To help break down the membranes, pop your fruit in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before juicing.
  • Use an electric appliance or a hand juicer; either option is better than squeezing with your hands.
  • Before slicing in half, roll the oranges on a chopping board while pushing firmly down on the citrus fruit to help release the juice.

Related reading:
What is a good orange juice substitute?
What does a Sumo Citrus taste like?
How much juice is in an apple?
What are the best tomatoes for juicing?

What factors affect juice yield?

Size of the fruit

Oranges from your typical supermarket tend to be uniform in size so you won’t see a lot of variation. However, if you prefer to shop for fruit at independent fruit stores or farmers’ markets then their size can vary significantly. Keep in mind that the average oranges we were measuring we’re 4.7 ounces. If you’ve got something much bigger or smaller than this, it will affect the amount of juice you get.

Variety

Some types of orange contain more juice than others. If you’re spoilt for choice in the store, then your best option is to choose the Valencia orange. This variety sets the benchmark for orange juice – they are juicy, large, and in-season most of the year (April to December). You can expect to squeeze 1/3 of a cup of juice or more from a single Valencia orange.

Method of extraction

There is a wide range of juicing machines on the market these days. From the simplest manual juicer through to expensive, high-tech masticating (cold press) appliances. The more expensive models do a great job of extracting every drop off juice out of your fruit.

If you only squeeze the occasional orange, then a cheap option will do the job fine. Do you squeeze a lot of oranges, carrots, lemons, and other produce to make your morning juice? We recommend you check out what appliances out there because a good machine will reduce waste and can save you a lot of time.

Freshness

Like any fruit, the longer it spends sitting on the supermarket shelf or the bench at home, the more time it will have to dry out. This will naturally result in less juice. Look for locally grown sources of fresh fruit for the juiciest option.

Fresh oranges next to a glass of juice
Fresh Valencia and Navel oranges are great for juicing.

Frequently asked questions

How much sugar is a standard glass of orange juice?

An average 8-ounce glass of pure orange juice contains approximately 21 grams of sugar.

Can I juice a whole orange?

The skin of an orange is edible, and it is packed with fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium so it is okay to juice the whole orange. However, most people don’t enjoy the flavor of skin as it can be bitter and unpleasant. Store-bought oranges can also carry unwanted chemicals such as pesticides in the fruit’s peel. They can irritate the stomach so you may want to only use the flesh.

Is a fresh orange better than drinking the juice?

Some dieticians advise that eating a fresh orange is better as there is additional fiber which helps keep you feeling full for longer. If you prefer to consume the juice, you will still get plenty of vitamin C; however, pay close attention to the nutrition label as some brands have very high levels of sugar.

Final words

If you’re working hard on a recipe and you suddenly realize you need the juice from an orange, then don’t panic if you have no idea how much that is. An orange will typically produce 1/4 cup of juice so if you’ve got a bottle of juice in the fridge then use this amount. Many recipes won’t be ruined if you’re a little out on the juice quantity. Orange snack bars, Duck à l’orange, and marmalade will all still taste delicious with a smidgen too much or little orange juice.

What is your favorite recipe that uses orange juice? Please let us know in the comments below.