How to Store Lemons: Keeping Them Fresh

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Pixabay

If you want to store lemons, there are a few things you have to pay attention to. With the right storage conditions, lemons can keep fresh for several weeks — we’ll show you what to keep in mind.

To store lemons properly, you should know their properties. They require a uniformly warm and humid climate and are sensitive to dryness and cold. Due to the cold winters, lemon trees don’t thrive in most of the country. However, if you are lucky enough to live in California, Arizona, or southern Florida, you may be able to get fresh lemons all year round! 

Typically, lemons are treated with preservatives and wax so that they can be kept as long as possible. For this reason, we recommend using organic lemons – they are only superficially cleaned and the natural wax layer of the fruit is preserved. Plus, if you buy organic lemons, you can also use the lemon peel!

Storing Lemons to Keep Them Fresh

how to store lemons -- storing lemons
Once you’ve sliced into the lemon, you can keep it on the top shelf of your fridge. Otherwise, lemons should never be stored in the fridge! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Teemu Matias)

The following tips will help you store lemons properly:

  • Lemons should be stored in a cool and dark place, like a windowless storeroom or a dark cellar.
  • The best temperature to store lemons is between 50˚F – 60˚F.
  • Avoid storing lemons in the fridge! The temperature is often too low.
  • Spread the lemons apart to avoid mold. If you want to store them for a longer period of time, remove the netted bag. This will prevent mold from spreading.
  • Place the lemons on an old newspaper – it will absorb excess moisture and reduce mold growth.
  • Keep them away from apples and tomatoes! The ethylene they release quickens the ripening process of the lemons.

To keep sliced lemons fresh, there are a few other tricks. Say you only need half a lemon when you’re cooking or baking, what should you do with the other half? You can store it in the fridge for a day or two:

  • Put your lemon (cut side up) on a plate or in a bowl
  • Store the plate with the lemon half on the top shelf or in the door of the refrigerator. Hot air rises, so this is where the temperatures are the warmest.
  • For best results, use it up within a day or two
  • You can also store lemon halves at room temperature but then you need to use them up quickly.
  • Tip: You can freeze lemon slices and use them as flavored ice cubes at a later date!

Storing Lemon Juice

how to keep lemons fresh
You can freeze lemon juice in ice cube form, or you can simply freeze lemon slices to add to water or other beverages at a later date! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Pixabay )

Fresh lemon juice should be stored in a closed container in the fridge. When stored this way, fresh lemon juice can be kept for one to two days.

If you want to extend the shelf life of lemon juice, you can always freeze it. This is an ideal solution if you don’t often use lemon juice and only need small quantities when you do. Use small glass jars when freezing lemon juice or freeze it in an ice cube tray to ensure you have even quantities on hand. Lemon ice cubes are a great way to throw together a cool refreshing drink in the summer!

Keep in mind that you should use up your frozen lemon juice within approximately 4-6 months. 

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can read the original here: Zitronen aufbewahren: So lagerst du sie richtig

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