How to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen

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My husband’s family lives in California and they sent us loads of lemons; fresh from their lemon tree. What to do with so many lemons?… Can them and give them to your friends and neighbors!

Canning lemons is a simple, thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea. Not, to mention, canned lemons are awesome with tea. We’ve been enjoying them for a couple of weeks. And what Russian/Ukrainian person doesn’t like tea? Each pint-sized can holds 2 to 2 1/2 lemons. They will stay wonderful at least a month in the fridge.

This isn’t a typical canning recipe, where you can set them on the shelf for months, so don’t try it. Keep those canned lemons refrigerated.

Ingredients for Canned/Preserved Lemons:

8 lemons (for 3 pint size jars)
2-3 cups sugar
3 pint size glass jars

Canning Lemons-3

How to Make Canned/Preserved Lemons:

1.Start by washing your jars with soap and water, then fill each jar 1/3 with boiling hot water and swirl it around, then drain and repeat. Or, you can boil the cans in a large pot for 5 minutes (if you’re a real germaphobe) or run them through your dish washer. Do the same with the lids.

Canning Lemons-4

2. Wash your lemons thoroughly using a sponge or dish brush, then slice them into rings or half circles.

Canning Lemons-6

3. Place sliced lemons  into jar  (about 1/2 lemon at a time). Cover lemon slices with at least 3 Tbsp sugar.

Canning Lemons-7

4. Repeat layers of lemon and sugar till you get to the top, pressing  down the lemons as you go.

Canning Lemons-8

5. Go on, add more sugar until you get to the top. Cover with the lid and refrigerate. You can also put a nice piece of fabric over the flat lid and screw the top over it for a nicer presentation. The sugar will turn into a syrup as it stands in the fridge. There you have it!

Canning Lemons-5A close up of a tea with a slice of lemon in the cup

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Canning Lemons

4.86 from 21 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
How to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen
My husband's family lives in California and they sent us loads of lemons; fresh from their lemon tree. What to do with so many lemons?... Can them and give them to your friends and neighbors! It's a simple, thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea. Not, to mention, canned lemons are awesome with tea. We've been enjoying them for a couple of weeks. And what Russian/Ukrainian person doesn't like tea? Each pint-sized can holds 2 to 2 1/2 lemons. They will stay wonderful at least a month in the fridge. This isn't a typical canning recipe, where you can set them on the shelf for months, so don't try it. Keep those canned lemons refrigerated.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 3 pint size jars
  • 8 lemons, for 3 pint size jars
  • 2-3 cups sugar
  • 3 pint size glass jars

Instructions

  • Start by washing your jars with soap and water, then fill each jar 1/3 with boiling hot water and swirl it around, then drain and repeat. Or, you can boil the cans in a large pot for 5 minutes (if you're a real germaphobe) or run them through your dish washer. Do the same with the lids.
  • Wash your lemons thoroughly using a sponge or dish brush, then slice them into rings or half circles.
  • Place sliced lemons  into jar  (about 1/2 lemon at a time). Cover lemon slices with at least 3 Tbsp sugar.
  • Repeat layers of lemon and sugar till you get to the top, pressing  down the lemons as you go.
  • Go on, add more sugar until you get to the top. Cover with the lid and refrigerate. You can also put a nice piece of fabric over the flat lid and screw the top over it for a nicer presentation. The sugar will turn into a syrup as it stands in the fridge. There you have it!
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canning Lemons
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag bannerHow to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen
♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥

Shown in this post: (nope, no one paid us to write this; just stuff we love):
*This lovely (and incredibly useful) Wusthof Classic Ikon Knife *My 2-cup liquid measuring cup gets the most use Anchor Hocking Measuring Cup *Wide-mouth jars are the easiest to fill and use Ball Mason Jars*We’ve had our Philips electric kettle for about 8 years, still going strong. It’s not available anymore, so hopefully it will never break ;).

Thank you for stopping by my blog, reading, commenting, and sharing my recipes with your friends and family. It’s the best feeling to see one of my recipes on your Instagram or Facebook feeds, or when you pin my recipes. Seriously, thank you!
-Natasha

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Wendi
    September 15, 2022

    Can these be frozen? I just made a couple jars and popped them in the fridge, however, I can’t see finishing them all in a couple months. Looking to have less food waste. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 15, 2022

      Hi Wendi, I haven’t tied that myself. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Leanna
    July 17, 2022

    Hi!! My Mother does this and uses a large pickle jar… layers lemons, combo with limes, or even pomegranate😋 with organic sugar… leaves the jar out for 3 months and the syrup that is squeezed from the fruits is placed in an sterilized apple cider vinegar jar!! Placed in fridge and used for so many things! Great for refreshing drinks with added water, sparkling water or added to recipes. I look forward to her jars all the time!!! 😋

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 17, 2022

      Love it! Thanks a lot for sharing that with us, we appreciate the added info!

      Reply

  • Kathy
    April 16, 2021

    Thank you for this lovely refrigerator lemon canning recipe. I learned to can the “old fashioned” wayfrom my grandmother. Born in 1800s. Water bath that is. 😊

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 16, 2021

      You’re welcome! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Yen
    April 3, 2021

    Hi Natasha!

    I have made this before but my syrup came out tasting bitter. I did exactly as written and also took out all the seeds. Any ideas? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 3, 2021

      Hi Yen, make sure to use enough sugar to submerge the lemons fully, otherwise the flavor of the white pith can come through more. The seeds don’t really affect the flavor. Also, make sure to store in the refrigerator.

      Reply

  • Natasha
    March 31, 2021

    Thanks, I love it. I also add cloves.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 31, 2021

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • yuhua golnick
    October 14, 2020

    hi, i was wondering does this process naturally seal the can or do i have to seal it somehow after the sugar has naturally melted? i made some using the water bath method but the sugar kind of clumped together and i was wondering if i can use water bath method to seal after sugar melts or should i use traditional method of melting down sugar with the fruit before jarring?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 15, 2020

      Hi, this recipe is intended for refrigerator storage and not shelf storage as it doesn’t seal.

      Reply

  • Julie Dufaj
    September 14, 2020

    Can this method be used with strawberries and raspberries?

    Reply

  • Jennie
    May 22, 2020

    How long should it take for the syrup to develop?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 22, 2020

      Hi Jennie, it usually takes a day or so, but you just want to make sure the lemons are covered in sugar so when the syrup forms, they will be submerged.

      Reply

  • Karen
    February 9, 2020

    If you really pack them with sugar, do you need to refrigerate?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 10, 2020

      Hi Karen, I haven’t tried it without refrigerating and this recipe is really intended to be a refrigerated recipe. Without testing it that way, I can’t really say if it would work to store them at room temp if boiled and vacuum sealed. The recipes I’ve seen that keep at room temp use loads of salt but I just haven’t tried it that way.

      Reply

  • Ragaa Ghaly
    November 23, 2019

    hi ,Natasha
    can we use canning lemon for making lemonade drink,

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 23, 2019

      I haven’t tested that but I think it could work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • dasha
    May 13, 2019

    hi, Natasha. i was wondering if you have a recipe for lemon water?

    Reply

  • Diane L. Burnham
    November 29, 2017

    Hi well I’m insulin resistance so putting all that sugar in the lemon wouldn’t be a very good idea for me..Although I love your idea for other folks. What I did was cut all the lemons up put them into a pan and simmer them for about 15 minutes… I had my jars all ready and then I divided up the liquid and lemons put them into five jars, put the lids on and sealed them tight. What I will use this for in the future is to heat up a jar and put honey in for tea or sore throat aid.. …

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 29, 2017

      That sounds like a great idea!! Thank you for sharing that with us 🙂

      Reply

  • Tracy
    October 25, 2017

    Do you think it would taste as nice if I use oranges instead of lemons?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 26, 2017

      Hi Tracy, I haven’t tried persevering oranges this way only because I’m not sure how I would use them. I put lemons in tea and if you can find some usefulness for canning oranges, I think it would be worth an experiment since it’s pretty easy to make. Let me know if you try that! 🙂

      Reply

  • Lillian Carter
    June 9, 2017

    Can this be done with Splenda?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 9, 2017

      Hi Lillian, I really don’t have any experience with splenda so I’m not sure if it would preserve the lemons the same way or if they would spoil faster. Maybe someone else has some insight into this? Thanks in advance! 🙂

      Reply

      • sue vanhyfte
        August 6, 2017

        Splenda does not pull fluid like sugar so no!

        Reply

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