Learn how to make Lemon Pepper seasoning from scratch using only four ingredients! By making your own seasoning, you can add a fresh burst of citrus and the earthy taste of black pepper to your vegetable, poultry, or seafood dishes.
Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning
While some seasonings are worth purchasing, making your own seasoning blends using main spices can be just as simple and cost-effective. For this lemon pepper seasoning, all you'll need is a grinder to grind dehydrated lemon zest, whole peppercorns and coarse salt.
Once you learn how to make your own seasonings from scratch, you won't want to go back to store-bought versions. With no preservatives, anti-caking agents, or other additives, using fresh ingredients in your homemade seasoning is a great way to add flavor to all of your favorite recipes.
Where to Use Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Poultry: Use lemon pepper seasoning as a dry rub for chicken, turkey, or other poultry dishes.
- Seafood: Sprinkle on top of fish, shrimp, or other seafood before grilling, baking, or sautéing.
- Vegetables: Toss roasted or steamed vegetables with lemon pepper seasoning for a zesty, flavorful twist.
- Salad Dressings: Add a pinch of this seasoning to your homemade salad dressings for a tangy kick.
- Snacks: Use to season popcorn, roasted nuts, or homemade potato chips for a tasty and healthy snack.
- Marinades: Mix lemon pepper seasoning into marinades for an added citrusy kick to your meats or vegetables.
- Lemon zest: You will need approximately the zest of 4 lemons, which you can get using a microplane zester. Then, you should dehydrate the lemon zest in a low-temperature oven for about an hour.
- Black peppercorns: We recommend to use whole peppercorns as they offer a better taste.
- White peppercorns: We like the combination of black and white pepper. This gives this seasoning a more complex flavor profile.
- Salt: Opt for coarse salt to avoid it turning into a fine dust while grinding.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 170°F (77°C).
- Using a microplane grater, zest 4 lemons. Be careful to only remove the yellow outer layer and not the bitter white pith underneath.
- Spread the lemon zest in a single layer on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and allow the lemon zest to dry out completely, about 40-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Using a grinder, pulse the dried lemon zest, black peppercorns, white peppercorns (if using any) and coarse salt until it is well-combined, but be careful not to over-process it. You want it to have a slightly coarse texture for added depth and complexity.
- Transfer the Lemon Pepper seasoning to an airtight container, and store it in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Here are some tips to help you make the best seasoning:
- Use fresh, high-quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients will impact the flavor of your seasoning. Use fresh lemons, whole peppercorns, and coarse salt for the best results.
- Avoid the bitter white pith: Be sure to only zest the yellow outer layer of the lemon, and avoid grating the bitter white pith underneath.
- Don't over-process the mixture: Pulse the mixture a few times until it is well-combined but still has some coarse texture. Over-processing can result in a too-fine powder that lacks depth and texture.
- Use a combination of black and white pepper: Adding white pepper to your Lemon Pepper seasoning can bring a subtle flavor and a smoother texture.
- Store in an airtight container: Transfer the seasoning to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. This will help keep it fresh and flavorful for up to 6 months.
How to Store Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Transfer the seasoning to an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or a plastic container with a snap-on lid.
- Store the container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
- Avoid storing the seasoning near strong-smelling items, as the seasoning can absorb those odors and affect its flavor.
- Label the container with the name and date of the seasoning, so you can keep track of when it was made.
- Use the seasoning within 6 months for the best flavor and quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
While you can use pre-ground black pepper, whole peppercorns will give you a more intense and fresher pepper flavor. When you grind the peppercorns yourself, you release more of the essential oils and flavors, resulting in a more flavorful seasoning.
When stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, homemade Lemon Pepper seasoning can last up to six months. However, for the best flavor and quality, it's recommended to use it within three months.
Yes, you can adjust the amount of lemon zest or pepper in the seasoning to suit your tastes. Start with the recipe's recommended amounts and add more or less based on your preference.
If you don't have a grinder, you can still make it by using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin and a plastic bag to crush the peppercorns and dehydrated lemon zest. It may take more time and effort, but the result will still be a flavorful seasoning.
Recipes You Can Make Using Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Other Homemade Seasoning Recipes
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