How To: Preserve Lemons

Have you ever found yourself eating a delicious Moroccan tagine and you just can’t quite put your finger on what it is about it that makes it so good? It’s probably the preserved lemons. This is just a basic recipe for preserved lemons. Feel free to add cinnamon sticks, whole cloves or coriander seeds to the brine to customize the flavor. Just remember, the lemons need to be in the brine for 2 weeks before they are ready to use, so do not wait until the night you are cooking your Moroccan recipe to make the lemons! This recipe calls for 4 small lemons, if your lemons are large then you'll probably only be able to fit two into the jar. That's ok, just use the same amount of salt and brine.

Makes: 4 preserved lemons (1 pint)

Preparation time: 10m
Cooking time: 10m
Total time: 10m




  1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt into the warm water and let the water cool. This is the brine.
  2. Sanitize the mason jar with boiling water.
  3. Wash the lemons, then trim off the tops and tails and quarter them lengthwise.
  4. Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of salt into a small bowl and take turns dipping the lemon wedges into it. Make sure they get well coated on all sides, then tightly pack them into the mason jar until you can’t fit any more lemons in. (All 4 lemons should fill up a pint jar perfectly. If you are using a larger glass jar you need to use enough lemons to fill the jar).
  5. Pour any remaining salt on top of the lemons then pour the cooled brine into the jar. Pour as much in as you can then seal the jar and refrigerate. The lemons are ready to use in 2 weeks, and should be used within 6 months.