DIY Essentials: Lemon/Pepper Seasoning

Andy Anderson !


One of my favorite seasonings is lemon/pepper. It works so well, on so many things. It is great on fish or seafood, sprinkled on a steak, or to season up your favorite burger, and let us not forget the humble chicken… So yummy.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen


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6 Hr
No-Cook or Other



  • ·
    lemons, just the zest
  • ·
    black pepper, coarsely ground
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety

  • ·
    onion powder
  • ·
    dehydrated onions, finely ground

How to Make DIY Essentials: Lemon/Pepper Seasoning


  2. You will need a zester, and a spice grinder to make this recipe.

    FYI: You can buy a dedicated spice grinder; however, my suggestion would be to pop out to a thrift store, or, and pick up a coffee grinder. You can find them for about 10 bucks, and if you do a lot of your own spice/seasoning mixes, they are invaluable.
  3. You have three ways to dry out the lemon zest:
    1. Lay the zest out on some paper towels, and let it dry naturally. Depending upon the relative humidity, this could take from 12 to 24 hours.

    2. Stick them in a dehydrator (assuming you have one) for a couple of hours.

    3. Set you oven to its lowest setting, let it heat up, then turn it off. Let them sit for about 2 hours, then check. If they are not fully dry, repeat the process.
  4. Why not just bake them at a much higher temperature?
    Well, if you do that you will wind up drying up the natural oils and killing off the enzymes. What you will be left with is dry tasteless bits. Patience is a virtue.
  5. How much of each ingredient do I need?
    Here is how this works… the amount of zest that you produce will determine how much pepper (and salt) you will need.

    This is the ratio I use: 4:1:1/4

    So, if we have 4 tablespoons of dried lemon zest, we will need 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and 1/4 tablespoon of salt.

    Most store-bought bottles of lemon/pepper salt have over 4 – 5 the amount of salt that I am using. The amount I use gives the seasoning a nice taste, and if I want to use more sodium later, I can.

    Remember, you can add salt to a seasoning; however, it is pretty difficult to take it out.
  6. For the ground pepper, I like to use a blend of black and red peppercorns, but the mix is up to you.

    In addition, my favorite sodium to use is pink Himalayan salt.
  7. I do mention two additional ingredients… Onion powder and ground dehydrated onions. They can add flavor and depth to your seasoning; however, it is up to you, if you want to add them.
  8. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  9. Zest the lemons and reserve the lemon juice for another recipe.

    FYI: Lemon juice freezes quite nicely.
  10. Choose a method for drying out the zest.
  11. Based on how much zest you have, add the proper quantity of crushed peppercorns.
  12. Give the mixture a few spins in your spice grinder, until you achieve the desired consistency.
  13. Add the salt, and place in a good container with a lid. Then store in a cool/dry place. Shelf life, depending on how it is stored will be from 4 – 6 months.
  15. Use in any recipe that you choose, like this recipe for chicken and rice in a creamy lemon/pepper sauce. Enjoy.
  16. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About DIY Essentials: Lemon/Pepper Seasoning

Course/Dish: Seasoning Mixes
Main Ingredient: Spice/Herb/Seasoning
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Healthy

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