I've seen a lime hack a few times online, so I decided to do an experiment.
I took two limes that weighed exactly 80 grams each. Instead of cutting each lime in two and squeezing the juice from each half, I cut one of the limes into five pieces, which are squeezed and twisted. This Allrecipes video quickly demonstrates the method:
I realize that just because the limes were the same weight doesn't mean there will be the same amount of juice inside, but it was the closest I could get using the tools I had in my kitchen: a cutting board, a knife, a kitchen scale, bowls, a fork and a strainer.
The traditional method
I placed a small bowl on top of my kitchen scale and hit the "tare" function to subtract the weight of the bowl and bring the scale back to zero. Then I cut a lime in two and squeezed both halves as hard as I could, yielding 19 grams of juice. Then I took a fork and twisted it inside each half, extracting a little more juice plus some chunks of pulp. This yielded an additional 9 grams. I ran it all through a strainer into a clean bowl on the kitchen scale, ending up with 24 grams of lime juice.
I took another clean bowl, placed it on the kitchen scale and hit tare. I cut the second lime into five pieces, as demonstrated in the video above. I then squeezed each piece of lime and gave them a twist after squeezing. This method yielded 32 grams of juice. I ran the juice through the strainer and ended up with 30 grams of lime juice.
Keeping in mind that this was just one experiment (and done only with two limes), my results show the benefit of cutting a lime into five pieces. In this instance, it yielded 25 percent more juice. The results are enough to make me change my habits.
In addition to yielding more juice, the amount of pulp in the hacked method was minimal, and I wouldn't feel the need to strain it if I was adding it to a cocktail.
The hacked method was also faster and has the added benefit of fewer items needing to be washed. Even without the additional juice, the hacked method wins.
There are gadgets and machines that will help you juice limes and other citrus. If you're juicing a large number at one time, it's still worth pulling out a gadget and getting dirty. But, if you're just doing a few limes and want to keep it simple, changing up the way you cut the lime is a smart way to get more juice and make less mess.
So, now I have 54 grams of lime juice in my refrigerator and there's some basil growing in my backyard. Maybe tonight's dinner will be Healthy Chickpea Salad with Roasted Cumin and Lime.