Freezing Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice
Freezing Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice is one of my favorite freezer tricks, and this post has tips for how I do it! This freezing method helps me use every lemon or lime in those big bags you get at Costco!
Sometimes readers write to me with cooking questions which I sheepishly try to answer, reminding them that I’m a self-taught cook and might be breaking all kind of kitchen rules. One question that I’ve gotten more than once is “Can I use bottled lemon (or lime) juice in this recipe?” My answer is always an emphatic “NO!”
And that’s when I start telling them all the reasons they should be Freezing Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice! At first this seemed so obvious to me that I wondered if it was even worth making a post for the blog, but after I shared the idea with a few different women who told me it was brilliant, I decided others might also like hearing about it. Check out Cooking Tips for more tips I’ve shared on this blog
Why I love Freezing Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice:
- First and foremost, there is no substitute for the subtle, fresh, and slightly sour-citrus flavor of fresh lemon or lime juice.
- Keeping fresh lemons and limes around all the time can be problematic.
- If you live where fresh limes and lemons are expensive at certain times of the year, my tips for freezing the juice might be especially.
- By freezing lemon and lime juice I manage to have a supply of fresh-frozen lemon and lime juice on hand at all times.
- I buy those big bags at Costco, and this freezing trick helps me use them all, without any going bad.
Squeezing Fresh Lime Juice:
I cut the limes in half like the photo you see above. There are lots of different options for a lime or lemon squeezer (affiliate link) but I always use this citrus squeezer I got many years ago as a gift from my wonderful sister-in-law Lisa.
A funnel is your friend when you’re doing this job, because you don’t want to spill any of the flavorful juice. I recently bought a Cuisinart Citrus Juicer (affiliate link) and now I use that if I have a lot of limes to juice! Limes are never as juicy as lemons, so the lime juice is especially precious and the electric juicer gets out more of the juice.
Squeezing Fresh Lemon Juice:
Unless they’re quite small, I cut the lemons in quarters, not only so they fit in the citrus squeezer better, but also so I can squeeze out every drop of juice. I love the way this squeezer catches the seeds!
Once again, the funnel is your friend for this job. Even with a funnel, it looks like I spilled some of the precious lemon juice on my cutting board.
Freezing Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice:
And here’s the reward for about 10 minutes of squeezing, or maybe a bit longer if you have to squeeze by hand. I re-purpose almost any small bottle that fits into the freezer door and sometimes I have six or eight bottles of frozen juice on hand. Lime and lemon juice will keep in the freezer for several months.
Some readers have expressed concern about using glass jars, and you shouldn’t fill them too full, but I’ve never had one break in the freezer. You can also freeze the juice in an ice cube tray if you prefer, then pop out the cubes and store in a ZipLoc bag. Measure the amount of one cube and that makes them easy to use in recipes.
How to Thaw the Fresh-Frozen Lemon and Lime Juice:
- To use the juice, when possible let it thaw naturally by removing the bottle from the freezer an hour or so before it’s needed for a recipe and letting it sit on the counter.
- When you don’t have time for natural thawing, you can thaw in the microwave on a low temperature. Be careful not to let the juice get too warm when you’re thawing it or the flavor starts to break down.
- I don’t recommend putting the bottle with the frozen juice under hot water to thaw, or the glass may crack.
- If you have cubes that were frozen in an ice cube tray, just thaw them in a small dish, either on the counter or in the microwave.
Are you a fan of using lime juice or lemon juice in recipes? Let us know in the comments about how you use it!