Putting the Orange Family to Work

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2017

We often keep clementines and tangerines around for snacking, and we wondered if they would work as a substitute for oranges in recipes.

We rounded up clementines, tangerines, and tangelos and used their segments, juice, and zest in our recipes for Crispy Orange Beef; Mango, Orange, and Jicama Salad; and Orange Crème Fraîche. We found that, while the flavor profile of these dishes changed slightly depending on the citrus used, all substitutions were acceptable except for the Tangelo Crème Fraîche, which was too runny. Tangelos release a lot of juice, so if consistency is critical to a recipe’s success, briefly strain excess juice from the segments before using them. Below are the amounts of zest, juice, and segments that an average fruit yields.

Zest Yield Juice Yield Segments Yield Flavor Notes Tips
Navel Orange 1 1/2 tbs 1/2 cup 3/4 cup Mildly acidic, sweet,
balanced citrusy
Remove tough
membrane from
Tangelo 1 tbs 3/4 cup 3/4 cup Tart, bright, intense,
some sweetness,
hint of bitterness
on the finish
Remove tough
membrane from
Tangerine 1 tsp 1/4 cup 3/4 cup Sweet, floral,
Very juicy; strain
excess juice
from segments
before using
Clementine 1 tsp 2 tbs 1/2 cup Sweet, somewhat