So, you love making lemonade or lemon pie, but this time you have bought way too many lemons? Are you wondering whether you should store them in the fridge or leave them as a pretty accent in a fruit ball on the table?
In this article, you will find out what the shelf life of lemons is, what the best ways to store the citruses are, as well as how to tell whether they have gone bad.
What is the Best Way to Store Lemons?
If you want your lemons to last as long as possible, always buy the finest varieties while purchasing. This includes choosing firm, bright lemons as opposed to browning ones that are soft.
Once you reach home, you should make a decision on whether you want to utilize the lemons right away, within the following few days, or if you just want to store up for the future.
You may store the lemons at room temperature as long as you use them within a few days or up to a week. Simply pick a place that is cool and dry and is not near an oven or other heat sources.
If you are not going to utilize the lemons right away, storing them in the refrigerator is preferable.
When you’re ready to use them, put them in the crisper drawer and store them there.
If you want to maximize the shelf-life of your lemons, then store them in a resealable bag in the fridge. This will help slow down dehydration and spoilage.
Lemons that have already been cut or sliced should be stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure that you wrap them tightly or cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or store them in a sealed freezer bag.
If you want to store the lemons for a longer period, then you can freeze them too.
When frozen whole, lemons tend to become mushy once thawed. So, cut the lemons in quarters and place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once they are frozen, place them in a well-sealed freezer bag, write down the date and store them there. They should last for months in the freezer.
What Is The Shelf-Life of Lemons?
Just like with any other fruit, lemons will go bad over time. But thanks to their thick rinds, it takes more time for lemons to spoil than many of the other fruits.
An uncut lemon will last for about a week at room temperature in the kitchen and maybe a bit longer if you keep it in the dark and cool pantry.
If you keep the lemons in the refrigerator, then you can be pretty sure that they will last for 3-4 weeks. If you keep them refrigerated in a sealed bag with as much air removed as possible, then they can last for 5 or more weeks.
The cut and sliced lemons will last for about 3-4 days, wrapped in the fridge. After that, they won’t spoil immediately but will shrivel up.
How to Determine Whether the Lemons Have Gone Bad?
If you have kept the lemons for longer than recommended, then it is a good idea to check whether it is still good to use for preparing a drink, a meal, or other.
First, look at the lemon’s appearance. Fresh lemons are bright yellow, firm to the touch, and have a zesty aroma and citrusy tart flavor.
If the lemon is no longer so bright yellow and is a tad squishy, it is probably still good to use but is not at its peak quality. So, use it for cooked food rather than serving it fresh.
Look for any signs of mold on the rind or inside the lemon. If the rind has signs of decay, but when you cut the lemon, there is no mold on the flesh, then you can still use it after peeling the rind off.
If the lemon looks and feels spoiled and has an off smell and taste, you should throw it away.
For more sustainable living, make sure to buy as many lemons as you plan to eat or use in the near future.
Also, if the lemon is soft and has lost its vibrant color and aroma, you may still use it to prepare different dishes. Or at least you can use it for cleaning, stain removal, odor removal, or for other needs before throwing it away.