Are you wondering how long does lemon last? They are a versatile fruit that can be used in many different recipes. They’re a great way to add flavoring to dishes, useful in keeping your home clean, and they also have some nutritional and health benefits. Have you ever wondered the shelf life of citrus fruits?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how both how to choose the perfect fruit and how long they will last using various storage methods.
How to Choose a Lemon
A lemon is a citrus fruit that is used for its juice, zest, and pulp. They are available year-round and are a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. When selecting a this citrus fruit at the store, look for ones that are firm and have a bright yellow color.
Avoid any that are soft or have brown spots.
Lemon Juice and Zest
Citrus fruit can be juiced by hand or with a juicer. The lemon juice can be used in marinades, salad dressings, or cocktails. The zest can be added to baked goods or used as a garnish. The lemon pulp can be used in jams or preserves.
Buying Lemons in Bulk
Our family loves to buy fruit in bulk because they are delicious and pretty. However, while setting them on the counter in a bowl is striking and beautiful, they only last a couple of days before they are dried out and not good for much.
We even have a local FFA chapter that sells bulk fruits in the winter. We love buying lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges this way, but until we started researching how to store them, half would spoil before we could get to them.
That defeats the purpose of buying them in bulk and sure is a waste of money. This is why we started to look into the best option for storing this fresh fruit and tips on how to store it too.
There are several methods. We prefer to store them in the refrigerator in a container, but there are tried and true methods that work.
How to Store Lemons so They Last Longer
Before you store your fresh fruit, always wash them first. Never dunk the them in water, instead use a gentle scrub brush or washcloth with mild soapy water to wipe down the rind.
Washing the rind helps remove grime from transportation, the groves, and any chemicals that may have been used during growing or moving. Dry the lemons thoroughly before storing them to prevent molding.
Proper storage will help them last up a month or longer if frozen.
How Long do Lemons Last?
How long they will last will depend on how you choose to store them. If left at room temperature, they will only last up to a week. Let’s explore several methods of storing this yellow citrus fruit.
Storing at Room Temperature
Whole, fresh lemons will last up to a week stored at room temperature, although they usually only last a few days stored this way.
The best place to store your citrus fruit is in the refrigerator. You can store whole lemons in the refrigerator for up to a month if you place them in an airtight container. They would also do best in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator if, you have one.
Storing in a Glass Jar
Some say the best way to store lemons and other citrus is to use a glass jar! After washing your citrus fruits, simply immerse them in a jar of cold water and put them in the refrigerator. The fruit should last at least a month stored in glass containers in water. This method works for limes too.
Whole Lemons in the Freezer
You can store whole fresh lemons in the freezer in heavy-duty freezer bags for up to four months. They may discolor a bit and get pulpy, but they still make great juice! Plus, frozen lemons are easier to zest than fresh, so as long as you avoid dark spots, you can have lemon zest in your favorite dishes any time of the year.
Storing Cut Lemons
Lemon wedges and slices can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator. Simply place them in an airtight container or plastic wrap or plastic bag and they will be ready for garnishing your next cocktail! You can even freeze lemon halves, wedges, and slices in a freezer plastic bag, and they will keep for three to four months.
Storing Lemon Juice
Lemon juice bought from a grocery store is a great way to always have lemon on hand for cooking and baking as it tends to last as long as six months. It’s usually a bottled lemon juice concentrate. If you purchase the store bought, an unopened bottle of lemon juice can last for up to a year.
However, nothing beats the flavor of real, fresh lemon, especially for making lemonade. Fresh squeezed juice will last about three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container at its freshest for making lemonade.
You can use it in baking and cooking a for a day or two after that. Making it into lemonade will also last around the 3- or 4-day shelf life.
Another method of storing fresh lemon juice is to pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. Then it can be thawed for normal use, or your lemon juice cubes can be added like ice cubes to your favorite beverages. Fresh juice lasts for about four months in the freezer.
Pro Tips for Storing Citrus Fruit
- Never store this fruit next to ethylene producing fruits such as apples and bananas as this may speed up the ripening of the lemons and other citrus
- Pick good lemons that are bright in color and are at the right stage of ripeness to suit your needs
- As a rule of thumb don’t purchase citrus fruits with dark spots or soft spots
- Always get rid of fruits that have signs of spoilage, so they don’t rot your other citrus fruits
- Use lemons up by making fresh lemon water
Lemons are a powerhouse of nutrition and have amazing health benefits. Drinking lemon juice every few days is a great way to start your day and get your metabolism going.
Adding fruit slices to your water can help flush toxins from your body and keep you hydrated.
Hopefully these methods of storing lemons will help keep them lasting a long time. And these rules apply to other citrus fruits too!
Plus, who doesn’t love reducing waste and saving money by storing food to maximize their shelf life.