How to Preserve Lemons

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to preserve lemons using little more than lemons, salt and a jar.

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Why Preserve Lemons?

Preserving lemons in salt softens the rind (which you use, discarding the flesh) and intensifies the citrus flavor. The rind can be rinsed and cut to add brightness to soups, stews and braises.

Get Started

Wash your lemons well. Organic lemons are recommended, especially since you’ll be consuming the rind and not the flesh.


Cut a thin slice off the stem end of the lemon.


Slice the lemon pole-to-pole –– almost but not quite all the way to the opposite end. Turn the lemon 90 degrees and repeat. You should have four quarters connected by the flower end of the fruit.


Gently pull apart the quarters.


Pour a layer of kosher salt in the bottom of a clean quart-size Mason jar.


Rub the rinds of the lemons with kosher salt and pack more kosher salt into the gap between the four quarters.




Pack the lemons into the mason jar. Press down on each lemon firmly with a wooden spoon to release its juices.


Fill the jar completely with tightly packed lemons. The juice released by the lemons should completely cover the fruit. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for three to five days, then refrigerate for at least three weeks before using.