Dried lemon peels are versatile. Add them to recipes and bath and body mixtures or create an inviting scent by spreading the peels around the house. The best way to dry lemon peel is with a dehydrator or in the oven. Preparing the lemon peel is easy — remove the lemon and break the peel into small pieces before drying them. If you need the peel in smaller pieces, break up the pieces again after they dry.
Remove the inner white portion of the peel — called the pith — before drying the lemon pieces. Pith has a bitter taste that lingers even on dried lemon peel and can negatively affect the taste of recipes.
Place the pieces of lemon peel on the dehydrator trays. Dry the lemon peel for about eight hours before removing and storing them. Not all dehydrators have temperature settings, but if yours does, use the low setting.
Using an oven to dry citrus peel is faster than a dehydrator but a more hands-on process. Spread the lemon peel out on a baking sheet and set the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take about 45 minutes for the lemon peel to fully dry, though it can take up to an hour for higher elevations. Once the peels are done drying, let them cool before storing them.
Dried lemon peels can be frozen for two years or kept in a cool and dry cupboard for nine to 12 months. Keep the container tightly sealed to retain as much lemony flavor as possible.
Store dried lemon peels in small containers so that you use only as much as you need at a time — or have minimal leftovers — and therefore keep your dried lemon peel fresh for every use.
Like other dried citrus peels, dried lemon peel can be used in dressings, infused oils or infused spirits to add flavor. They also add a burst of energizing citrus scent to bath scrub and bath salt mixtures. Dried lemon peel is also delicious in marinades or sauces for roasted meat and vegetables. Mix the dried peel with tea leaves or use it to make potpourri to give your home a lovely aroma.