How to Preserve Lemons (Fermented Lemons)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 quart
  • 5-6 Lemons (organic is best because of pesticides), reserve ½ of one lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons of Real Salt
  • 1 quart Mason Jar (we use these)
  • Water (chlorine and fluoride free, preferably)
  • Fermentools (OPTIONAL but well worth it! I started with the 6 pack)
  1. Gather those gorgeous lemons and a sharp knife.
  2. Cut the end off of each lemon.
  3. Cut each lemon in half. Set aside ½ of a lemon- uncut. You will be reserving this ½ for juicing.
  4. Quarter each lemon.
  5. Take each quarter and slice them into ½ inch (or so) slices.
  6. Pack sliced lemons into mason jar.
  7. Make your brine. Add 3 Tablespoons of salt to 1 quart of warm (not hot) water. (Note: you will not use all of this brine, but I would rather have too much than not enough. I store the extra brine in the fridge until I can use it again. You can use it for pasta water, fermenting other foods, etc.).
  8. Pour brine into jar packed with those gorgeous lemons, baby! Squeeze the juice from the ½ of a lemon that is set aside into the jar.
  9. Add your Fermentools weight. Fermentools are optional, but I highly recommend a kit! The weight keeps the lemons weighed down. You can always use a plastic sandwich bag filled with water, but something about the plastic bag fermenting with my food freaks me out- although I have used it in a pinch!
  10. Assemble all your Fermentools onto the jar! If you don't have Fermentools you can cover with a regular lid and band. You will just have to remember to "burp" the jar every day. Note: Fermentools only fit wide-mouth mason jars at this time. 
  11. Place the lemons in a cool/dark place for 2-4 weeks. After that, transfer to the top shelf of your fridge or a root cellar.
* Lemons will keep for 6-12 months in the fridge/root cellar- although they probably won't last that long!
* Use the lemons as you would a normal lemon. You can also use the lemon juice brine.
* Taste them before using. If they seem salty just use less salt in what you are cooking!
Recipe by The Easy Homestead at