Enhance the flavor of many dishes by using lemon oil in the kitchen. Rather than purchase diluted lemon oil at the store, make your own fresh supply. Lemon oil is extracted from lemon rinds using special machinery that cold presses the lemon pieces and collects the oil. It is not practical to make pure lemon oil at home, as you would need to process hundreds of lemons to get 1 ounce of pure oil. But you can make a powerfully flavored lemon cooking oil using the rinds and zest of a lemon. The secret is to combine the lemon oil with another compatible oil and let the flavors steep in the warm sun.

Things You'll Need

Wash the lemon thoroughly under hot running water to get rid of any dirt and pesticide residue on the peel. Dry it with a paper towel or dish cloth.

Remove the yellow part of the peel with a citrus zester. Set it aside.

Peel the remaining white rind from the flesh of the lemon. Place the pieces in a small jar with a lid.

Add 1 cup of olive oil to the jar and swirl it around to coat the lemon rind pieces. Pour the lemon zest into the jar and put the lid on. Set it out of the way in a sunny windowsill.

Leave the jar in the window for about two weeks. Shake the contents around every other day to keep the ingredients active.

Hold a metal strainer over a clean jar. Pour the lemon-infused oil through a metal strainer to catch bits of peel and rind. Screw a lid on the new jar and store the oil in a cool dark place.


  • Alter the flavor of the oil by using almond oil or vegetable oil instead of olive oil. You could also add chopped garlic to the lemon oil mixture.