No matter what you may have heard.
Advertisement

There's no denying that lemons are gorgeous. The brightly-colored citrus looks as good in a bowl on your counter as does decorating the top of a lemon poke cake. However, lemons don't have the longest shelf life. You load up on lemons at the grocery store and just a week later you go to make a nice lemon-basil spritzer only to discover that the lemons are hard and dry, difficult to zest and harder to juice. So how do you make lemons last longer? Turns out, it's actually pretty easy to make your lemons last a month.

The kitchen scientists over at Cooks Illustrated did a little research and found that water wasn't necessary, but a zipper-lock bag was key. The magazine's scientifically proven method for ensuring long lasting, juicy lemons is to store them in a sealed zip-top bag and stick them in the refrigerator.

Over the course of their experiment, they found that the lemons stored at room temperature like on a countertop only lasted a week before getting hard and drying out. The ones they put loose in the crisper drawer of their refrigerator fared better, losing only a small amount of moisture and weight (a.k.a. juice) over the following weeks. The real winners, though, were the lemons stored in zip-top, sealed plastic bags in the fridge, which lasted four whole weeks without losing any moisture.

If you have seen that lemon-saving TikTok video shared by user @meowmeix making the rounds, you may be tempted to put your lemons in water before placing them in the refrigerator. The video claims that will keep lemons fresh for up to three months. However, when Cooks Illustrated tested that theory, they found that the water "wasn't offering any preservation benefits." They found that the zip-top plastic bag in the fridge was the real secret to lemon longevity, keeping that delightful citrus fresh for weeks.