Go Back
+ servings
5 from 4 votes

Preserved Lemons

Preserving lemons is a lot easier than you think and they make dishes come alive with flavor.
Servings 8 preserved lemons
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins


  • 8 lemons
  • 1/2 to 1 cup unrefined sea salt
  • 32 ounce wide mouth mason jar
  • 1 quart zip lock bag or small 8 ounce mason jar with lid


  • Cut the top ¼ inch off 8 lemons
  • Quarter lemons length wise without actually slicing through the bottom
  • Put the lemons in a bowl and rub a ½ cup to 1 cup of unrefined sea salt on the outside and inside of the lemons. It’s okay if some of them break apart.
  • Pack the lemons into a 32-ounce wide mouth mason jar, using your fist to press the lemons down. I was able to squeeze and press down eight Meyer lemons and there was plenty of brine (the juices created from rubbing and pressing the lemons with salt) to cover them. If you don’t get enough brine though, squeeze some fresh lemon juice until the lemons are completely covered.
  • Top the lemons with 2 tablespoons of unrefined sea salt.
  • There are a couple of things you can use as weights to make sure the lemons stay submerged. I use smaller mason jars filled with water but you can also top it with a quart sized zip lock bag filled with water.
  • I set aside my ferment in a cooler out in the garage, where the temperature stays cool. The ideal temperature range is 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I place a paper towel over the top but you can use a clean dishcloth too (this lets air escape-which is crucial to the fermentation process-but keeps out bugs, dust, and other contaminants).
  • After 21 days the lemons will be ready, but check everyday to make sure the brine is covering the lemons completely and that no mold has formed.
  • The lemons will be a deep golden yellow color and the brine will be thicker and richer.
Course: Appetizers