How to Char Lemons and Other Citrus

January 09, 2019

Char lemons

Let us first say that lemons charring in the oven fill the house with fragrance, like the best, most natural citrus candle you’ve ever smelled — it’s fresh and energizing, a hint of all the flavors to come. Charring lemons gives them more depth and complexity: the sweets are sweeter, the acidity is less bitter and yet somehow brighter, and then there’s all that wonderful smoke.

Our tip: Use charred lemons, or their citrus cousins, when you really want the lemon to shine. Their juice is wonderful in salad dressings, squeezed over roasted veggies — or in a cocktail, like our charred lemonade with mezcal.


12 lemons or other citrus fruits, like oranges, limes, and grapefruit


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Slice the ends off the lemons, and then slice them in half.
  3. Place the lemons on a cast iron griddle or a baking sheet with the center of the lemon up.
  4. Broil on the very top rack of the oven, or as close as you can get, for 10 to 15 minutes or until charred.
  5. Allow the lemons to cool before using them.