Knowing how to properly store your lemons for freshness and flavor will extend the shelf life of lemons. Want to know the best way to store lemons? This post has all the ideal storage methods and storage conditions so your lemons will last a long time.
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Why is it important to store lemons properly?
There's nothing worse than buying fresh produce only to have it go bad by the time you want to use it. Knowing how to properly store fresh fruit like lemons will allow you to keep them fresh for a longer time.
And, having good lemons rather than bad lemons available for cooking and baking will yield the best results, obviously!
There are so many different ways to use lemons, so it's always a good idea to ensure the proper storage.
You'll want the best quality lemons to make delicious lemon dessert recipes such as Italian Lemon Pound Cake, Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Olive Oil Cake and Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting.
How To Store Lemons
Looking for the best option for storing lemons? The exact answer to how long lemons last depends on when you will be using your lemons.
If you will be using fresh lemons immediately
The best place to store whole, uncut lemons is at room temperature on the kitchen countertop. The whole fruit will last up to one week stored this way.
Store lemons by themselves, away from other types of fruit. Fruit such as apples and bananas release ethylene gas as they ripen, which can speed up the natural ripening process of lemons. This can lead to brown spots, soft spots and thin skin on your lemons.
Storing lemons in the Fridge
Whole lemons can last for a month in the refrigerator if you store them in an airtight container or a food-safe plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
To extend lemons shelf life even more, place the lemons in heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to not allow too much air to be trapped in the sealed bag.
Squeeze out as much excess air as possible before sealing the bag. This may seem like an unnecessary extra step, however, lemons will keep fresh for up to six weeks when stored this way.
Lemon halves and lemon slices can also be stored in the fridge. Store in an airtight container or a zip-top bag for up to five to seven days.
You can also wrap the lemon wedges or lemon slices in plastic wrap, food wrap or aluminum foil to keep them from drying out and losing too much juice while being stored in the fridge.
How long does lemon juice last in the fridge
You can juice fresh lemons and store the lemon juice in an airtight container or jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge. The lemon juice can last up to four days in the fridge if stored properly although the juice may lose its flavor and sour taste over time.
Can you freeze lemons
Whole lemons can be easily frozen. To freeze, place the lemons in a freezer bag, and when you need them, simply remove from the freezer and defrost the lemons at room temperature until the lemons have a soft texture.
The pulp may be mushy, however, you will still be able to use the juice. Frozen lemons will keep for three to four months.
Another ideal way to freeze lemons is to slice them. Slice lemons and remove the seeds. Spread the slices in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze until they’re solid, at least one hour.
Transfer the lemon slices to a freezer bag and seal. Frozen lemon slices will keep for three to four months.
You can use frozen lemons in cooking, baking, or as a garnish. Lemon slices can also be used to make lemon water! Bonus: they'll act like lemon ice cubes to keep your water cold.
You can also freeze lemon juice. Juice the lemons, strain the pulp and seeds and pour the juice into individual ice cube trays.
When frozen, transfer the juice ice cubes into a freezer bag. You can then use the lemon juice for any recipe that calls for fresh lemon juice. Frozen lemon juice will last for three to four months.
How to store zested lemons
If you are looking to use lemon zest in a recipe, the lemon rind is best zested then used right away for best results. The zested lemon peel will lose moisture quickly after being zested and will also lose flavor over time.
Store zested lemons in the fridge in an airtight bag for up to one week.
- Store lemons by themselves. Store lemons away from other fruits. Fruits such as apples and bananas release ethylene gas as they ripen, which can speed up the natural ripening process of lemons
- Keep lemons in a cool dry place to extend their life when stored at room temperature
- These storage tips applies to other citrus fruits such as limes and oranges, too
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Looking for the best option for storing lemons? The exact answer to how long lemons last depends on when you will be using your lemons. Fresh, whole lemons can be stored at room temperature for up to one week. Lemons can also be stored in the fridge for 4-6 weeks or frozen for 3-4 months.
The lemon juice can last up to four days in the fridge if stored properly. The juice may lose its flavor and sour taste over time, so it is best used shortly after it is squeezed from fresh lemons. Lemon juice can be frozen in ice cube trays for 3-4 months.
Store freshly squeeze lemon juice in an airtight container or jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge for up to four days.
No, lemons will last longer if stored properly in the fridge. Whole lemons can last for a month in the refrigerator if you store them in an airtight container or a food-safe plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
To extend lemons shelf life even more, place the lemons in heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to not allow too much air to be trapped in the sealed bag. Squeeze out as much excess air as possible before sealing the bag.
Lemons that have gone bad will feel soft and squishy. They may have a slimy outer skin instead of a bright yellow rind. Lemons that have gone bad may also appear shriveled and wrinkled or have a powdered and dusty surface that's gray, blue, or green in color.
If lemons have gone bad and/or contain bacteria they can make you sick. If in doubt, throw them out and buy fresh ones.
Throw out moldy or rotten lemons. If the fruit is shriveled, squishy, appears to have a powdered or dusty surface, dark spots or mold, throw them away.
Yes! Whole lemons or lemon slices can be frozen and will last 3-4 months in the freezer.
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Lemon dessert recipes
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- lemons whole, fresh
- Store fresh lemons at room temperature for up to one week
- Place whole lemons in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the fridge in the crisper drawer for 4-6 weeks or in the freezer for 3-4 months*
- Cut lemons into wedges or slices. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out, place in a resealable plastic bag and store in the fridge for 5-7 days
- Juice lemons by cutting in half and squeezing out the juice with a juicer or by hand. Strain out the pulp and seeds then pour the juice into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the fridge up to 4 days**