Warning: If you are storing your lemons out on the table or countertop, you are doing it wrong!
Lemons are a household staple because of their versatility — They can be used in anything from salad to desserts to cocktails! But we have learned that if you store your lemons on the countertop (like we always have), you are not getting the longest life out of your lemons. So were are sharing some different ways we have found that allow you to get the most out of your lemons!
- Store lemons in a mason jar full of water, and they can last up to 3 weeks. Who knew?!
- Store extra lemons sealed in the refrigerator. Place the lemons in zip-locked bags, squeezing out as much air as you can. In this state, the lemons may retain most of their juice and flavor for as long as four weeks. The ideal temperature for storing ripe (yellow) lemons is between 39–50ºF (between 4º and 10ºC).
- Freeze slices of lemon to add to drinks. Freeze the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spaced out so they don’t touch each other. Once frozen, toss them all in a sealed plastic bag and store in the freezer indefinitely.
- Refrigerate lemon juice. Despite its acidity, lemon juice can harbor bacteria if kept at room temperature. After about 2–4 days in the refrigerator, the juice will start to lose its taste. Throw it out once it looks dull and dark or loses most of its taste, usually about 7–10 days.
- Freeze leftover juice in ice cube trays. This is the easiest way to freeze excess juice. Once frozen, transfer to a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.
- Store zest in an airtight container. Once you’ve zested the lemon, move the zest to an airtight glass container. Store in a cool, dry location. Freshly grated zest loses flavor fast, and may become a bacterial risk after just 2–3 days so be careful!
- Freeze leftover zest. If you have a great deal of zest, space small, tightly packed spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze, then transfer to a freezer-safe container.