Whether you’re using them for cooking, baking, or a refreshing drink, proper storage is key. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best techniques for extending the life of your lemons, ensuring they’re always at their flavorful best.
How to store lemons
Lemons come in different forms, and each requires a different method of storage. Let’s break it down:
The easiest way to store whole lemons is in the fridge. Just put them in a plastic bag, remove as much air as you can, and then seal it.
The bag will keep your lemons hydrated and the cool temperature of the fridge will slow down their aging process. You can keep them like this for about a month.
If you have some leftover lemon zest, don’t throw it away! It still has lots of flavor. You can store it in an airtight container in your fridge. It will stay fresh for about a week.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice can also be stored in the fridge. Keep it in a tightly sealed jar, and it should stay good for about 2-3 days.
For cut lemons, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or store them in a sealed container in the fridge. This way, they’ll keep for about a week.
Learn more about how to properly store all citrus fruits in y next post.
When it comes to storing kumquats, a petite and tangy citrus fruit, you can employ the same storage techniques as those mentioned in my post about how to store lemons, which offers valuable insights and tips.
What should you look for when choosing lemons?
Before storing lemons, you need to know how to pick the best ones. Here are some tips:
- Color: Choose lemons that have a bright, consistent yellow color without any green spots. The color indicates their ripeness. Check out our lemon ripeness guide.
- Feel: When you gently squeeze the lemon, it should feel firm but not hard. If it’s too soft, it may be overripe.
- Size: Larger lemons tend to have thinner skin and more juice.
- Weight: Lemons that feel heavier for their size will generally have more juice.
How long do lemons last
The shelf life of lemons depends on how you store them. If you leave a lemon on the kitchen counter at room temperature, it will usually last for a week.
But if you store them properly in the fridge, they can last for up to a month. Cut lemons or lemon juice will last in the fridge for about a week or 2-3 days respectively.
But remember, it’s always best to use lemons when they’re fresh to enjoy their best flavor.
How to freeze lemons
Did you know that you can freeze lemons? This is a great way to store them if you have a surplus. Here’s how:
- Whole Lemons: Just put the whole lemons in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and pop them into the freezer. When you’re ready to use one, let it thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
- Lemon Slices or Zest: Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag. This will prevent them from sticking together.
- Lemon Juice: Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. Each cube will be about 1-2 tablespoons of juice – easy to measure for your recipes!
How to tell if lemons are bad
We’ve talked about how to choose the best lemons and how to store them properly. But what happens when lemons go bad, and how can you tell? Here are some tips:
- Check the Color: Lemons that are going bad will often develop a dull color, and they might start to get brown or green spots.
- Feel the Texture: Fresh lemons should be firm to the touch. If they are soft, squishy, or you can see visible mold, it’s time to toss them.
- Smell: Fresh lemons have a bright, citrusy smell. If the lemon smells sour, rotten, or just “off”, it’s likely spoiled.
- Taste: If you’ve checked the other signs and are still unsure, a tiny taste can confirm. Spoiled lemons will taste sour and unpleasant. However, don’t taste if you see mold or other clear signs of spoilage, as it can be harmful.
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. It’s not worth risking your health to save a few lemons. But with proper storage, you should be able to keep your lemons fresh for a long time and avoid them going bad.
Frequently asked questions about how to store lemons
So there you have it, everything you need to know about choosing, storing, and checking the freshness of your lemons. With these tips, you can make sure that you’re always ready to add a zesty kick to your meals!