Lemon pepper is a seasoning or table condiment that combines granulated lemon zest and crushed black pepper. By mashing and/or mixing lemon zest with black pepper, the seasoning carries a flavor that combines the spicy flavor of black pepper and the citrus flavor of lemon. It can be ground until it has the consistency of very fine powder. This is best if lemon pepper is used as a table condiment. Lemon pepper is best in the form of a more coarse mixture, only if it will be used as a rub for meat that will be grilled or roasted.
Lemon Pepper Trivia
- No one knows who first thought of the idea of combining pepper and lemons.
- No one knows when the first lemon pepper mix was made, but lemons have been around since 1st century A.D. Black peppercorn has been used for cooking for 4,000 years already.
- Sprinkle lemon juice on other fruits to prevent them from turning brown.
- Before black peppercorns become fully-dried, they are actually green in color.
- Peppercorns were so valuable during the Middle Ages that it is worth more than silver in weight.
Lemon Pepper Buying Guide
If this is your first time using lemon pepper and you have no idea what it tastes like, try to buy a small bottle. If, over time, you find this a favorite seasoning or rub that you often use, buy lemon pepper sold in a pack and buy in large quantities (this is cheaper) and store it in a spice container. This way, you avoid buying another plastic container if you just refill the container that you already have.
Make sure to also read the label when buying. Lemon pepper sold in the market sometimes varies in terms of what is added to the basic lemon and black pepper ingredients. For example, you may find a lemon pepper garlic seasoning, even a lemon pepper jalapeño.
Lemon Pepper Production & Farming in Texas
Texas is known for its red meat. When grilling, roasting, or frying red meat, it is best to use spice rub, and lemon pepper is one of the commonly used seasonings on meat in the state. Because of that, there are currently several Texas-based companies producing lemon pepper seasoning. Examples include TexJoy Lemon Pepper, which is manufactured by Texas Coffee Company from Beaumont, Texas, Suckle Busters’ Lemon Pepper Garlic, and Texas Spice Company’s Lemon Pepper. Lemon is available in Texas considering the state’s citrus production. There is also an ample annual supply of black peppercorn in the state as part of the US’ annual importation of black peppercorn from Southeast Asia and other regions that produce and export this particular spice.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
The disadvantage of buying commercial lemon pepper seasoning is the presence of additives in the product. Some of the commonly-used additives for lemon pepper include:
- Modified food starch
- Maltodextrin (a starch made from corn or potatoes)
- Yellow #5 (artificial food dye)
- Silicone dioxide (anti-caking agent)
- Calcium stearate (anti-caking agent)
- Calcium silicate (anti-caking agent)
Lemon pepper seasoning is sold in a glass or plastic bottle. You can also buy lemon pepper sold in a pack. This is usually bought to refill containers, especially those that use a large amount of lemon pepper, like catering services, restaurants, and other food businesses.
Enjoying Lemon Pepper
Lemon pepper can be used as a rub, as a seasoning used when marinating meat, or as a table condiment. It is great for red meat and seafood. This is also used in poultry and pasta.
Make sure your home-made lemon pepper seasoning is kept in a container with a lid and always close the lid. Homemade lemon pepper seasoning will last up to 6 months. Lemon pepper in a bottle bought from the store should be kept in the spice cabinet or somewhere cool and dry, away from direct sunlight.
Make your own lemon pepper seasoning
Having a home-made lemon pepper at home is good especially if you like cooking meat, chicken, or seafood. The advantages of making your own home-made lemon pepper are (1) it is cheaper compared to store-bought lemon pepper seasoning, and (2) you are sure that you are using a seasoning that is chemical-free and additives-free. It is good to have lemon pepper seasoning at home just in case you feel like cooking something that will taste better with it as a rub or part of a marinade. It is also nice to have that on the table as a condiment because it adds flavor to food and your guests might find the meal more enjoyable because of it.
This recipe serves 10.
- Lemon zest from 3 lemons
- Black pepper, 3 tablespoons
- Salt, 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Grate the lemons using a Microplane. Or produce the lemon zests using your method of choice.
Step 2. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
Step 3. Combine the lemon zest with black pepper.
Step 4. Place the mixture in the toaster’s metal pan. Spread it evenly and cover it with foil.
Step 5. Bake for 30 minutes or until lemon zest is dry.
Step 6. Use a spice grinder to grind the mixture to the texture you want.
Step 7. Mix in the salt.
Step 8. Store the seasoning in an air-tight container.