Lemons are an important ingredient in many dishes.
You can add it to almost anything—from salads and drinks to meats and baked treats.
This is why no one can really blame you if you impulsively bought a basketful and are now wondering how to keep them fresh.
Lucky for you, we’ve mastered the tricks and tips on how to store lemons.
How to store lemons? Lemons, like any other juicy citrus fruit, lose moisture and quality over time. Sure, keep your lemons on the counter because they look nice there, but don’t leave them there for more than a week. Transfer them to the fridge in zip locked bags to extend their shelf life for at least three more weeks. For much longer storage requirements, store them in the freezer.
How do you keep lemons fresh longer?
Like bananas and avocados, lemons can get overripe, and the usual culprit is too much ethylene gas.
If you’re storing your lemons on the kitchen counter, make sure you keep them away from other ripening fruit.
Doing this will keep them along their natural ripening process, away from all the ripening hormones that other fruits produce.
Notice how lemons shrink and dry out on their own at room temperature, whereas they spoil and accumulate molds when stored alongside other fruits.
To keep lemons fresh longer, learn how to store them properly using the tips and hacks presented below.
Ways on How to Store Lemons
Like any other fruit, lemons wither or spoil after some time.
The only way to keep them fresh longer is to understand how to store them in different ways.
Fresh lemons look great when you put them on your kitchen counter. We do that often, too!
Together with other fresh produce, they make the kitchen more homey and welcoming.
Is it really the best way to store lemons, though?
You can keep whole fresh lemons on the counter for about one week.
Leaving them there for longer than that will cause them to shrink, harden, and lose all of its juices.
Sadly, we all know a withered lemon is pretty useless.
Once you slice your lemons, use them immediately.
Do not leave sliced lemons on the table because leaving them there for hours will cause its citrus juices to evaporate.
Then, you’ll be left with useless, dried out lemon chips.
Instead, put sliced lemons in the fridge or put them in a pitcher to make lemon-infused water.
If you have freshly-squeezed lemon juice, do not leave them at room temperature.
Choose the fridge and freezer storage options because lemon juice can quickly go bad if left out in the open.
Lemons thrive within temperatures ranging from four to 10 degrees Celsius.
This means the crisper drawer is the best place to store them.
For storing whole lemons in the fridge, you can choose between two methods.
You can put them in the crisper drawer or door pockets as is. They won’t last as long, but they would surely last longer than one week.
For better results, follow these two storage techniques instead.
The first method requires you to use a zip lock bag.
Put the lemons inside and make sure to remove most of the air before sealing it.
If you do this with fresh lemons, they can last for at least one whole month in the fridge.
If you don’t have zip lock bags, another storage trick you can do is put your lemons in a bowl with some water and place the whole bowl in the fridge.
Lemons have pores that make them very porous, so they lose much of their moisture at room temperature. The water in the bowl can replace lost moisture in the lemons.
Used half a lemon and don’t know what to do with the other half?
Get some plastic wrap and cover the exposed end before keeping in the fridge. This trick ensures that the lemon juices won’t evaporate.
On the other hand, if you’ve sliced a whole lemon into circles or wedges and can’t use it all up, get a plastic container with a cover.
Put the lemon slices or wedges in the plastic container and store it in the fridge.
If you don’t plan to use those extra lemon slices, make some lemon-infused water instead.
Put the lemon in a pitcher, add water, and store in the fridge overnight for a citrusy quencher.
Lemons are particularly important for their citrus juice.
To make sure you always have lemon juice to use in your recipes, squeeze them out for storage in the fridge.
If you store lemon juice in the fridge, do so in opaque lidded glass jars or covered plastic containers.
Using clear and transparent containers exposes the lemon juice to light and breaks down its consistency.
A freezer can halt all biological processes and protect your lemon from spoiling and rotting.
Here are the different ways of storing lemons in the freezer.
When freezing the whole fruit, use the same zip locked bag procedure for storing lemons in the fridge.
Put them in a sealable bag, remove the air from the bag, and secure the seal before putting in the freezer.
You will have lemons that will last for several months if you do this, but be sure to thaw them completely before slicing or cutting.
On another note, frozen whole lemons are the easiest to zest.
For lemon slices or wedges, lay each piece on a baking sheet and flash freeze the batch.
After freezing, transfer the pieces into a zip lock bag, remove the air in the bag, and then put the bag back in the freezer after sealing.
Freezing them individually on a baking sheet will remove the problem of chipping off pieces from a whole lump of frozen slices stuck together.
If you can make ice cubes, who says you can’t make lemon juice cubes?
Squeeze out the juice from several lemons and distribute them evenly into ice cube trays before storing in the freezer.
Allow some time for thawing and use them as you would use regularly squeezed lemon juice.
Should you refrigerate lemons?
Yes. In fact, refrigerating lemons is the best way to store it!
Storing in the fridge multiplies the shelf life of whole lemons to at least three or four times.
How long can you keep lemons in the fridge?
Lemon juice or lemon slices can be kept in the fridge for about five to seven days as long as you use the right containers.
Whenever you buy lemons, you would want to keep them stored between four to 10 degrees Celsius to make them stay fresh for at least one whole month.
Do this by putting the lemons in a zip lock bag in the fridge.
Ensure that you remove most of the air from the sealable bag; this can be done for both whole and cut lemons.
For cut lemons, add an extra layer of protection by covering the exposed open end with a plastic wrap before putting it inside the sealable plastic bag.
You can save a lot of lemons for much longer use if you store them in the freezer.
The different freezer storage practices for lemons presented here allow various uses, so pick out the best option for your purpose.