Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning | Chicken Wings Blog
Learn how to make the most incredible homemade lemon pepper seasoning out there!
Keywords: Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Recipe Yield: 1 Serving
Preparation Time: PT0H10M
Cooking Time: PT0H45M
Total Time: PT0H55M
- 6-8 Lemons
- 2.5 Tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tbsp Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
- 2 Tsp Granulated White Sugar (Optional)
- Grab your zester and begin zesting each of your lemons fully, collecting the zest on parchment paper or a non-stick dehydrating tray. Make sure you don't zest too deeply, if you start getting white flakes then you've gone too deep! Only zest the yellow parts of your lemon. Ensure you have at least 1/2 cup of lemon zest before continuing.
- If you have a dehydrator, set it to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and place your lemon zest inside for at least 45 minutes, or until the oil has evaporated from the zest. Note that you need to spread out the zest with a fork beforehand, or your results with be uneven and clumped. Remove your zest before it has browned too much, this affects the flavors.
- If you don't have a dehydrator, then set your oven to its lowest setting (Probably 170 degrees Fahrenheit). Place your zest in the oven on parchment paper in a baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until the oils have evaporated. Pull it out before it gets too browned.
- In a mixing bowl, add all of your freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, turmeric and kosher salt. If you want to, add the optional cayenne and sugar for some balanced heat.
- Add in to your mixing bowl the dehydrated lemon zest and mix together with a whisk until homogeneous. Taste and adjust the flavors as you desire. Store in an airtight container until needed. Enjoy!
There’s something gratifying about creating you own homemade lemon pepper seasoning from scratch.
Making your own seasonings builds confidence in the kitchen and a sense of fulfillment.
Not to mention that you have complete creative license to do whatever you want to with your seasonings, something you don’t get when buying premade seasonings at the grocery store.
In this post, I want to talk about the intricacies and variations for homemade lemon pepper seasonings!
In order to make incredible homemade lemon pepper seasoning, I recommend you have ready the following tools
- Mixing Bowl
- Spice Grinder
- Measuring Cups
While each of these has their own inherent value and multiple uses, the tools you’ll absolutely need for this are a zester and some measuring cups.
You can do the job of a dehydrator with your oven, which you can set to it’s lowest setting (typically 170 degrees Fahrenheit).
You can also just use a mortar and pestle or a classic black pepper crusher to freshly grind your black pepper.
As a last resort, you can buy pre-ground black pepper, but it’s not as good as the fresh stuff!
Moving on, you can use any old bowl to mix this stuff and you’ll want to have a sealable jar handy to store your seasoning once made for added longevity and freshness.
Also, if you want improvable results, you have to measure your ingredients out and remember what you used.
If you didn’t like how much pepper you put into your seasoning, but didn’t measure, then there’s hardly any conceivable way you’ll be able to reliably improve your results!
When picking lemons for this recipe, you may think that any old lemon will do.
You shouldn’t, however, do the following if you want your homemade lemon pepper seasoning to turn out bunk.
First, don’t buy dried out lemons.
The reason homemade lemon pepper seasoning is so zesty is because you zest all of the oils as well as the yellow skin of the lemon.
So if your lemons look dry and aged, you won’t get a lot of the essential oil out of the lemon skin as you zest.
Don’t waste your time here! pick out oily, fresh looking lemons so you can get the most out of your time.
Second, don’t forget that fresh cracked black pepper is always more potent than the store bought stuff.
I highly recommend you use your spice grinder, since using a regular hand grinder is a pain (trust me, my forearms cramped up while trying to use it).
Plus, you can get bigger chunks of pepper, which adds some needed texture to the seasoning.
That’s also why kosher salt is my salt of choice for this recipe, it is chunkier and adds some texture to the softer zest.
If you’re like me and want to kick your seasoning up a notch, I recommend you add the following two ingredients to your seasoning:
- Granulated White Sugar
- Cayenne Pepper
These serve to contrast each other nicely.
For starters, I would use 1/2 a Tsp of cayenne and work your way up. Remember, you can always add more, but can’t take any out.
This saying rings especially true when you have so much time invested in the outcome!
You really can’t go wrong with sugar, but I recommend 2 Tsp to start, and kick it up to your desired level of sweet.
When dehydrating your lemon zest, make sure that you do the following for the best results:
- Check on it every few minutes, especially when nearing completion.
- Spread it thinly and evenly with a fork in order to get consistent results.
- Watch the color.
If you take the dehydration too far, you’ll lose out on some flavor. That’s why once the lemon zest is just starting to turn brown, don’t go any further.
You’ll want to make sure it’s as yellow as possible, but has lost it’s characteristic oiliness, this means its ready!
Second, if you have clumps of zest, then not all of your zest will dehydrate at the same rate and you’ll have a wide variation in your results.
Make sure you spread it all out and break up clumps so everything comes out even!
If you want to experiment a little, you can grind your peppercorns and mix them in with your lemon zest before putting them in the dehydrator for even more intense flavors!
While I didn’t do this in my attempt, I read a blog post where the person did this, and I imagine it will only help enhance the ending pepper flavors.
Alternatively, you can also toast you peppercorns on a skillet for a finished, smoky layer of flavor.
In conclusion, this recipe has everything you need in order to make the best lemon pepper seasoning at home that I could muster.
If you’re feeling creative, try some of my optional recommendations!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe, because I have to admit this turned out so much better than I could have hoped.
If you have anything to add to this, or any questions, then leave a comment below and I’ll respond promptly!
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Last of all, have an excellent day!