How Long Does Lemon Last in the Fridge? Tips to Store Lemons

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If you’re a lemon lover, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how long does lemon last in the fridge?” You may have a bag of lemons in your kitchen right now and aren’t sure when they’ll go bad. Maybe you’re planning to make these Ina Garten lemon bars, but need more time.

Lemons, like other citrus fruits, have a significant shelf life, but it can be extended with the right storage conditions. We want to help you understand the best ways to store lemons long-term and how to spot rotten lemons.

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Understanding The Shelf Life of Lemons

Whole lemons can last for a couple of days at room temperature. However, their shelf life is extended to two to four weeks when stored in the fridge, particularly in the crisper drawer.

The exact answer depends on several factors, including the freshness of the lemons when you bought them from the grocery store and the specific storage conditions.

A bunch of fresh lemons in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator

How to Store Lemons for the Best Quality

The ideal way to store lemons is in a plastic bag in the fridge.

The bag helps maintain moisture, which keeps the lemons fresh for a long time.

It’s also a good idea to avoid storing lemons in direct sunlight or near other fruits. Fruits like bananas and apples release ethylene gas, which can speed up the natural ripening process of lemons, leading to soft spots and spoilage.

Fresh lemons stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator

What About Lemon Wedges and Zest?

Lemon wedges and lemon zest have a shorter shelf life than whole lemons. Lemon wedges can last up to a week in the fridge if stored in a zip-top bag or airtight container.

Zested lemons, however, should be used within a few days as the exposed end can dry out and the lemon can start to spoil.

Lemon wedges stored in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator

Storing Fresh Lemon Juice and Zest

Fresh lemon juice can be stored in the fridge for a few days. For longer storage, pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze! The frozen lemon juice will last for several months. Plus, how fun to have that on hand already for the future!

As for the zest, it can be stored in the freezer in a zip-top bag for a long time. This is a great way to have lemon zest on hand for recipes. Definitely freeze it if you won’t use the zest in a day or two!

Lemon juice frozen into cubes in an ice tray

How to Spot Bad Lemons

Recognizing bad lemons is straightforward. Look for soft spots, mold, or a dull, wrinkled skin.

A bad lemon may also have an off smell. Consuming spoiled lemons can lead to food poisoning, so it’s best to discard them.

Several spoiled lemons with mold and soft spots on a kitchen table

How Long Does Lemon Last in The Fridge? – Recap

So, how long does lemon last in the fridge? Whole lemons can last up to four weeks if stored properly, while lemon wedges and zest should be consumed within a week.

Fresh lemon juice can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for several months. Always be sure to check for signs of spoilage before consuming to avoid foodborne illness.

Final Tips for Storing Lemons

Knowing how long lemons last in the fridge is just the first step. Understanding proper storage methods to maximize their shelf life is also essential.

Remember to store lemons in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, away from sunlight and other fruits. Lemon wedges, zest, and juice should be stored in airtight containers or freezer bags.

Enjoy Your Lemons for Longer!

Now that you know how long lemon lasts in the fridge and the best ways to store them, you can enjoy your sunny citrus for longer!

So next time you return from the store with a bag of fresh lemons, you’ll know exactly how to keep them at their best quality. Happy cooking!

Tip: You may also love our lemon drop cookies recipe and our lemon bread pudding! We also love this lemon crinkle cookie recipe.

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