The best way to store citrus without freezing is to:
- wash the outside
- immerse them in water (I use mason jars)
- put the entire container in the refrigerator.
This will keep your lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fresh for up to four weeks.
Keep reading for some more important details, as well as alternative ways to store (without refrigeration, in the freezer, or after being cut).
If you’re like me, then you love to keep lemons around the house at all times for things like cooking, cleaning, and making
refreshing drinks like lemon water.
You know there’s nothing worse than grabbing one of your lemons, say for some lemon garlic chicken, and discovering that it’s hard and dry when you cut it open.
Talk about a major letdown!
Other citrus like oranges, limes, and grapefruits often come in those big mesh bags and go bad before you get the chance to use them, too.
This happened to me frequently until I figured out a few years ago the secret to keeping citruses such as lemons and limes fresh and juicy for up to a month!
Yes, that’s right!
Using this method, I’ve been able to keep citrus fresh for up to four weeks!
The Best Method for Storing Citrus
The secret is to keep the lemons refrigerated.
But here’s the kicker:
They need to be immersed in water as well.
First, wash the outside really well.
This is a necessary step because the outside of citrus fruits can get really icky with all kinds of bacteria.
Trust me; you don’t want to ever slice and consume lemons or limes without washing the outside rind thoroughly, the same goes for storing them.
After cleaning the rind, just pop them into a large container, I prefer using mason jars or a few larger containers for an entire bag.
Next, fill it with water, making sure that you cover the lemons completely and seal the top.
Keep your jar in the refrigerator.
That’s it, you’re done!
The coolness of your fridge and lack of exposure to air will keep your lemons perfectly juicy and ready to go when you need them.
How to Store Citrus Without Refrigeration
You can store your citrus water jars outside of the fridge, the lemons just won’t last quite as long.
Keep them in a cool, dark place where they won’t be exposed to sunlight. If you’re not going to submerse them in water, still do this.
Also if you’re not going to submerse them in water, keep them separate from other fruit – just being near peaches, bananas, plums, pears, apples, mangos, etc. will shorten a citrus’ lifespan.
If you want to bag ’em, make sure it’s paper or mesh rather than plastic, which would suffocate your little guys.
Still, know that the outside world will never compete with the freezer. They will go bad faster.
How to Store Citrus in Freezer
There’s no particular elegance to storing lemons, limes, oranges, or other citrus in the freezer – just pop them into individual baggies (so they don’t get stuck together) and into the freezer. Voila!
How to Store Cut Citrus
Like you’d do with any leftovers, you can wrap them in plastic wrap or stick them in a tupperware and into the fridge. Just make sure to use them within a few days.
On the other hand, you can make your cut lemons last longer by freezing them. Just don’t get them stuck together – keep them in individual baggies or plastic wrap.
Another fun use of frozen cut citrus is to put them in drinks! As a replacement for ice, it will cool your drink without watering it down.
Let us know what you think about this excellent preservation tip, or share some of your own tips in the comment section below.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lemon meringue pie to bake! YUM!