Lemon Tips

Find out how to choose a lemon, what to do with lemon zest and how to juice a lemon—plus get great lemon recipes.

Lemon Tips

Lemon Tips

Lemon Picking

  • Look for lemons that are firm, feel heavy for their size and have a bright yellow color. Avoid any with bruises or wrinkles.
    —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Store at room temperature for about 3 days. For longer storage, place in your refrigerator's crisper drawer for 2 to 3 weeks. Juice or grated peel can be frozen for up to 1 year. One medium lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice and 2 teaspoons grated peel.
    —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Whenever lemons and limes are on sale, I throw a bag of each in the freezer. Later, when I need fresh lemon or lime juice, I just defrost a single lemon or lime in the microwave.
    —Joan F., Turah, Montana

Lemon Peel

  • I often use lemon zest in recipes, so I came up with this shortcut. I pat a wet sponge down the inside of my grater before zesting the lemon. The grated peel comes off easily, and cleaning the grater is simpler, too.
    —Anna Victoria R., Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • I grate lemon peel and freeze it in plastic containers. When needed, I can easily measure it. I also squeeze the lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze, so I always have it available.
    —Annethea Ann Novacek, Greenbush, Minnesota
  • To make lemon wheels, use a citrus stripper, large zester or sharp paring knife to make evenly spaced vertical matches around a lemon. Cut the lemon into 1/8-inch slices. Make one cut from the center of each slice through the peel to place over the rim of glass.
    —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • The quickest way to make grated lemon peel for recipes is to slice off big pieces of peel and grind them for just a few seconds in a food processor.
    LaRue H., Safford, Arizona

Lemon Juice

  • When I cut a fresh lemon in half on an angle instead of straight up and down, it seems easier to squeeze and the juice flows out faster.
    Helen R., Tampa, Florida
  • To get more juice from a lemon, I soak the fruit in hot water for 15 minutes, then roll it on my kitchen counter. When I halve the lemon and squeeze it, the juice comes out more easily.
    —Anna Victoria Reich, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Next time you fill ice cube trays, add 4 to 5 drops of lemon juice to each cube. The cubes add great flavor to a glass of iced tea or water.
    —Bobby Taylor, La Porte, Indiana
  • Try stirring pureed fresh raspberries (strain the seeds) into fresh lemonade. It's a refreshing variation.
    —Dorothy Morris, Shelley, Idaho
  • Don't cut open a whole lemon for just a little juice. Simply insert the tines of a fork through the skin and squeeze out the amount you need. Wrap the lemon in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you need it again. It should last about a week.
    —Edna H., Hebron, Indiana

Lemon Flavor

  • I use lemon in place of salt to bring out the flavor of meats and vegetables.
    —Gladys H., Denver, Colorado
  • Lemon and lime juice or zest can be used interchangeably in equal amounts in most recipes. Add a little of both for a refreshing lemon/lime flavor.
    —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Top 10 Lemon Desserts >

Lemonade Recipes >