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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Lemon Oil

Ever been in the middle of whipping up your signature dish and realized you’re fresh out of lemon oil?

That’s exactly where we found ourselves last Thursday. And it got us thinking, we can’t be the only ones.

Lemon oil, with its zesty kick, truly brings dishes to life. But, guess what?

There are some pretty amazing stand-ins that can save your dish without a dash to the store.

We dove into our kitchens, tried and tested, to bring you the top five swaps.

You’ll be thanking us next time you’re in a pinch.

Because who said a missing ingredient should hold back your culinary genius?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is a concentrated form of lemon flavor that is commonly used in cooking, baking, and aromatherapy.

However, if you find yourself without lemon oil or prefer alternative options, there are several substitutes that can provide similar characteristics.

In this guide, we will explore the top 5 substitutes for lemon oil, comparing their key characteristics and providing suggestions on proper ratios to ensure the best results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Freshly Squeezed Lemon JuiceTangy and citrusy with a fresh flavorUse 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil
Lemon ExtractStrong and concentrated lemon flavorUse 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil
Other Citrus JuiceTangy and citrusy, with a different flavor profileUse an equal amount of other citrus juice as a substitute for lemon oil
Lemon ZestIntense lemon flavor and aromatic propertiesUse 1 teaspoon of lemon zest for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil
LimoncelloA sweet and tangy Italian liqueur with a lemony essenceUse 1 teaspoon of limoncello for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

freshly squeezed lemon juice

Lemon oil is pretty similar to freshly squeezed lemon juice, and it’s what most people think of when they think about using lemon in their cooking.

It adds fresh, acidic flavor to any dish and is often used in baking.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice will keep for a few days in the refrigerator but will get sourer the longer you wait.

In terms of taste, fresh lemon juice has a sharper, more acidic flavor that will brighten the flavors in any dish.

To use fresh lemon juice as a substitute for lemon oil, try adding it to your salad dressing or making a sauce with it.

  • Key Characteristics: Freshly squeezed lemon juice provides a tangy and citrusy flavor with a fresh taste. It can be a suitable substitute for lemon oil in various recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences and recipe requirements.

2 – Lemon Extract

lemon extract

Lemon zest is the coarse peel of a lemon, which has been removed from its fruit with the help of a grater.

It is made up of two parts – oil and lemon particles.

The latter contributes essential oils, vitamins, and minerals to your food.

Lemon Extract tastes like a real bite of lemon.

You can use it as an easy substitute for fresh lemon juice or zest in baked goods, salads dressings, sauces, marinades, and more.

It’s crucial to note that you should only use this extract to substitute for lemon zest or juice because it will make your food taste too lemony if you try using it anywhere else.

To use the extract as a substitute for lemon oil, add one teaspoon of the extract to whatever dish you’re making.

  • Key Characteristics: Lemon extract is a strongly concentrated form of lemon flavor. It provides a potent and intense lemon taste, making it an excellent substitute for lemon oil in recipes that require a strong lemon essence.
  • Proper Ratio: Use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences and recipe requirements.

3 – Other Citrus Juice

other citrus juice

There are several different types of citrus fruit, and each one can be used as a substitute for lemon oil.

Lime Oil is made from the rinds of limes and tastes like freshly squeezed limes.

It has an earthy flavor that works best in Mexican dishes.

Orange Oil is made from the rind of oranges, has a sweeter flavor, and is most commonly used in desserts.

Grapefruit oil can be made from grapefruit rinds, but you’ll usually find it in the form of grapefruit juice instead.

This provides a new edge to most dishes, making them taste slightly bitter since grapefruits are less acidic than lemons.

Similarly, any citrus fruit has the potential to be used as a substitute for lemon oil because it will add that sour, fresh citric flavor your dish needs.

  • Key Characteristics: When you don’t have lemon oil, you can use other citrus juices such as lime juice or orange juice as substitutes. While they have different flavor profiles, they can still provide a tangy and citrusy element to your dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of other citrus juice as a substitute for lemon oil. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences and recipe requirements.

4 – Lemon Zest

lemon zest

You can substitute lemon oil with lemon zest.

Lemon oil tastes so much like real fruit because it’s made of citric acid, limonene, and pinenes.

Since the zest is just the yellow part of the lemon rind and not any white or bitter parts, it will give you a more subtle flavor that isn’t too strong or sweet.

As with lemon extract, you’ll only want to use the zest in baking or cooking dishes because it will make your food taste bitter if it’s exposed to heat.

Depending on the dish, you can either add it in its raw form or cooked into the food.

  • Key Characteristics: Lemon zest refers to the outermost layer of the lemon peel, which contains aromatic oils and intense lemon flavor. It can add a bright and zesty essence to your recipes, making it an ideal substitute for lemon oil.
  • Proper Ratio: Use 1 teaspoon of lemon zest for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences and recipe requirements.

5 – Lemoncello

lemoncello

Lemoncello is not a common substitute for lemon oil, but it does come from lemons and has a unique flavor.

It’s made by infusing vodka with lemon and sugar and can be enjoyed on its own or added to other cocktails.

The taste of limoncello is crisp and sour, so it can be used in lots of dishes to add a punch of flavor.

Make sure to use it in either cold dishes or ones that will be refrigerated after cooking because heating it will make it lose its flavor.

  • Key Characteristics: Limoncello is a sweet and tangy Italian liqueur made from lemon zest. It has a distinct lemony essence and can be used as a flavorful substitute for lemon oil in certain recipes, particularly desserts and cocktails.
  • Proper Ratio: Use 1 teaspoon of limoncello for every 1 teaspoon of lemon oil. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences and recipe requirements.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemon Oil

Looking to substitute lemon oil in your recipes? Your search ends here! Explore our curated list of the 5 best alternatives that will seamlessly replace lemon oil, ensuring your dishes maintain that citrusy zest without compromise.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Extract
  • Other Citrus Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemoncello

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for lemon oil
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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