Does Bottled Lemon Juice Last Longer In The Pantry Or Fridge?

One of the main perks of buying bottled lemon juice is that it lasts longer than fresh, but that's not the only reason. Bottled lemon juice also brings a consistent acidity level to your dish, tends to be cheaper than buying bags of lemons, and is simply quicker and easier to squirt into your food. And considering each American wastes roughly $500 of fruit a year, buying this fruit already juiced may keep you from tossing out food.

But in order to reap the long-lasting effects of bottled lemon juice, it's crucial to store it properly. It may be tempting to keep it on the counter or in the pantry, just like you might with actual lemons, but it ultimately lasts longer in the fridge. If you leave your bottle in the pantry after opening, it will go bad within a week, while storing it in the fridge can keep it fresh for a whopping nine months.

Bottled lemon juice can last up to nine months in the fridge

If you don't open your bottle of lemon juice, it can last up to 18 months in your cupboard. Unlike with freshly squeezed juice, the preservatives in the grocery store version keep it shelf-stable — so much so, in fact, that an unopened bottle may be safe to use past its best-by date. Store-bought bottles are also typically pasteurized at 185 degrees Fahrenheit to get rid of bacteria, so they can stay fresh for longer.

But eventually, you're going to want to crack open that bottle of juice — there's no point in having it if you don't use it, after all. Plus, you can make it last a long time in the fridge, although it's important to put it back right after use, keep it in an airtight container, and re-seal the cap or spout each time. Despite the added preservatives, and the lemons' own naturally-occurring preservatives, the water content will ultimately cause it to spoil.

And if you want to make your lemon juice last up to a year, try freezing it. Simply pour your juice into an ice cube tray, throw it in the freezer, and pop out individual cubes as needed — as it turns out, frozen citrus juice is the perfect flavor hack for soups and other foods.