Learn the best way to store lemons so they stay fresh longer.
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A pile of lemons next to a lemon slice on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / studiodr / Lew Robertson

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade—or make recipes like Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette and Lemon-Rosemary Melting Potatoes (you really can't go wrong either way). Lemons add a boost of brightness and acidity to any recipe. However you plan to use the sunny citrus, learn how to store fresh lemons properly so they stay fresh and juicy.

How to Store Lemons

There are two ways to store lemons: on the countertop or in the fridge. Both methods are suitable but have drastically different time frames for freshness. Read on to find out how to store lemons.

Storing Lemons on the Countertop

  1. Place lemons on the countertop.

Yes, it's as simple as that! When lemons are stored on the countertop, you don't have to worry about light, temperature or placement, as is required for some produce. Lemons that are stored on the countertop can last up to 10 days. This method is perfect if you plan to use lemons immediately after purchase. But if you're looking to extend the life of your lemons, the second method is best.

Storing Lemons in the Fridge

  1. Store lemons in an airtight, zip-top bag and place in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

When lemons are stored on the countertop, they can last up to 10 days. Lemons stored in the fridge can last up to three weeks! The cold air of the fridge helps prevent the lemons from drying out and hardening, which happens at a quicker rate on the countertop. Storing the lemons in a sealed bag also prevents the loss of moisture due to evaporation.

How to Store Cut Lemons

  1. Wrap cut lemon halves or wedges in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator.

Cut lemons will start to dry out quickly, but they can still be stored with the proper precautions. Wrapping the lemon in plastic wrap helps prevent it from drying out, as does the airtight container or zip-top bag. When stored this way, cut lemons will keep for three to four days.

You could also try a dedicated citrus saver, like this one from OXO (buy it: OXO, $14 for a set of two). The OXO citrus saver holds the cut lemon half and uses a silicone border to prevent the citrus from drying out.

These methods for storing whole and cut lemons will help your citrus last up to a few weeks. But, if you're looking for a longer-term storage solution, learn how to freeze lemons here.