Onions are perfect for adding flavor to any dish. But if you buy too many, they can rot before you have a chance to use them. Storing onions for any substantial period of time usually results in mold or sprouting. So here are some tips on how to store your fresh onions to ensure they last as long as possible.
But first, check out the different types of onions and find out how their storage conditions are different.
Types of Onions
There are different types of onions, and each has a different taste and storage conditions. It is essential to understand these differences when you’re thinking about storing onions on the long them, whether they are fresh or dried.
- Yellow or brown onions have a strong flavor and are best used for cooking dishes that require a long time to prepare. You can store them in a cool, dry place for several months.
- White onions have a milder taste than yellow or brown ones. You can also store them in cool, dry places. A root cellar is usually the best place to store white onions, as they can last for up to 9 months.
- Red onions are not good for storing because they have a short shelf life; you should eat them within 2 weeks. Plus, red onions lose their flavor quickly when cooked, so it’s best to use them raw in salads and other dishes.
- Green onions (also known as scallions) last for up to 3 weeks when you store them in a refrigerator. Besides, unlike other types of onions, they do not require any preparation before storing.
- Shallots are small, brown onions similar to garlic. They have a mild flavor that is good for cooking or using raw in salads. Shallots also store well for several months, but you should never keep them near potatoes since they will spoil quicker.
- Sweet onions are mild-tasting, and you can eat them raw or use them in salads. Because of their smoothness, it’s best to use this onion type in recipes that don’t require too much cooking time. You can store them at room temperature for several months if you place them out of direct sunlight.
How to Store Onions
Check out the following tips and tricks to help you safely store onions in the long run:
- Onions have a natural hormone that makes them sprout. As such, they can absorb their flavor from fruits or other vegetables like potatoes. So, when it comes to potato and onion storage, it’s best to keep onions away from other items; they will spoil faster otherwise. Also, be sure to wash your hands after touching them or any utensils. This will keep your kitchen clean and prevent any unwanted flavors in your food.
- Cut the root off when storing onions because it contains enzymes that can cause them to spoil quickly.
- Onions are made up of 95% water, so they’re susceptible to spoiling in warm temperatures.
- If you store unpeeled onions in a refrigerator, they will stay fresh for up to 4 weeks. You can also freeze them and keep them safe for as long as 6 months. However, it’s better to use white onions because yellow ones turn soft after being frozen.
- One of the best ways to store onions is by slicing and keeping them in a freezer bag. This is a great way to preserve them for up to 6 months without any changes in flavor or texture.
- It’s also possible for onions to absorb their flavor from plastic bags, so it’s best to use glass jars or metal containers for storage instead.
- You can even dry onions and store them as powder in an airtight container. However, make sure to use this method only if you’re planning to make your own onion soup for emergency purposes; dried onions aren’t appropriate for regular cooking.
- Onions can be stored at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Please remember that both of these methods are only suitable for green onions; you have to keep all other types of onions in cool, dry places.
- When you store raw white onions at room temperature, try to put them in a basement or a root cellar. If you have neither, just place them in the coolest area of your house.
- It’s better to use glass containers or metal tins for storing raw white onions because they are good at absorbing their flavors from other nearby items.
- You can make an airtight container out of a plastic bag and use it to store raw white onions for about 4 months. Make sure to put a paper towel inside before sealing the bag to absorb excess moisture.
- You can freeze raw white onions for later use. But be sure to chop them first because the onion flavor will still be strong even after defrosting.
- Another good idea is to let the onions sprout by leaving them in a dark place with good ventilation for about 1 week before storing them again. This method takes time but preserves the onions perfectly.
- During the winter season, it may be difficult to find fresh green onions necessary for cooking. In this case, you can keep them stored in a glass jar and fill it with water until the stems are covered. Then, put these jars in the refrigerator for 1 week. Dispose of any onions which have begun to rot before storing them again for another week.
Learn more information about onions and storage conditions:
How long do onions last?
Onions can usually be kept fresh for 2 or 3 months in a pantry or at room temperature. If you store raw white onions in a basement or root cellar, you can keep them fresh for up to 8 months. On the other hand, you can safely store yellow and red onions at room temperature for 1 or 2 months.
How to store green onions?
When it comes to storing green onions, there are multiple ways to keep them fresh for longer periods of time. For instance, you can place the stems in a glass filled with water and cover the leaves loosely (but securely) with aluminum foil. Green onions like this can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Another idea is to sprout green onions by allowing them to grow green shoots. You can do this by leaving them in a bright area (but not the sun) for about 1 week before storing them again.
Does freezing change onion flavor?
Onions are made up of 95% water, which means they are susceptible to spoiling at warm temperatures. Therefore, onions frozen before their prime might lose some of their flavors.
What causes onion odor on fingers?
The compounds that cause the onion’s pungent aroma are concentrated in the root, so that’s where most of the odor is found. If you touch your eyes after cutting onions, it can burn and sting for hours. So try to wear gloves while preparing onions.
Can you freeze onions?
Yes, you can freeze onions to preserve them for later use. However, make sure to chop the onions first because it will be hard to take out small pieces after they’ve been frozen.
How to tell if an onion is bad?
If your onions have gone bad, you can tell by their color. Yellow- or brown-colored onions are moldy, so throw them out immediately. Furthermore, black spots on green onions indicate spoilage.
What are onions good for?
Onions are used to flavor many types of dishes, and they’re also rich in nutrients. So, if you’re wondering if onions are good for you, keep in mind that one large raw onion contains vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
How long do onions last in the fridge?
You can keep onions in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 weeks. Putting them in the vegetable drawer will also preserve their taste and texture, but this tends to cause faster spoilage.
How to store cut onions?
If you’ve chopped the onion, put it in a container and cover it with water. The next time you need to use the onion, remove it from the water and drain it before using.
Can dogs eat onions?
Onions are not poisonous to dogs, but they can cause diarrhea. The onion flavor will also be strong even after defrosting or cooking, which is why you should not give onions to dogs.
How to dice an onion?
Before dicing or chopping onions, put them in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. This will numb your eyes and prevent you from tearing up during preparation.
What is onion powder?
Onions can be dried and ground into a fine powder. Onion powder is often used as a seasoning since it adds the vegetable’s flavor. Some people keep onion powder for convenience and use it in recipes such as spaghetti.
Are scallions green onions?
Scallions and green onions are often interchanged as names for this type of onion. However, scallions often have a white part that’s longer than green onions.
What causes bad breath after eating onion?
Since garlic and onions contain sulfenic acid that becomes hydrogen sulfide upon digestion, people tend to experience bad breath (halitosis) after eating onions.
How to store potatoes and onions?
Do not store potatoes and onions together, as this will cause the onions to sprout. You should also know that keeping them in a humid environment promotes mold growth.
Do onions go bad?
Yes, onions go bad. They will start to rot when they mature. If you can’t use the onion before then, consider storing them in a place with low humidity and temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). You should also avoid exposing them to light because it promotes sprouting.
How to keep green onions fresh?
To keep green onions fresh, soak them in cold water for 5 minutes. Then, drain the water and put the onions in a sealable bag. Refrigerate them to preserve their flavor and texture before using them in your recipe.
Should onions be refrigerated?
Yes, it’s a good idea to refrigerate onions to prevent them from sprouting. If you’ve cut the onion, put it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. Furthermore, do not chop onions on porous or unfinished surfaces because this can cause onion juice to remain on the surface.
How to store scallions?
Separate the white ends and roots of the scallions because they will spoil faster. Then, wash them under cold water to remove dirt and debris before storing them in the fridge.
Where to store onions?
You should store onions at room temperature to prevent them from going bad too quickly. It’s also a good idea to keep onions in a cool, dry cabinet or pantry until you use them. Or you can keep them in the fridge.
What are strawberry onions?
Strawberry onions are sweet and crunchy. They’re often used in salads, tempura, and stir-fries because they add color to the dish.
What’s the best onion storage container?
It’s best to store onions in mesh containers or bags because they allow aeration. However, you can also use paper bags or boxes, depending on the amount of storage space you have.
How to cure onions?
Onions can’t be cured. You should store them in a cool, dark place to prevent them from sprouting and rotting. Some people also like to wrap the onions’ stems with aluminum foil.
How long do onions last in the pantry?
Onions will last for as long as 6 months in a pantry with normal temperature and humidity. However, they can go bad quickly if stored near potatoes or tomatoes because these veggies release gases that cause the onions to rot.
What causes onion leaves to wilt?
Onion leaves will start wilting and turning yellow when the onions are maturing. However, you can bring the green color back to the plant by immersing them in cold water or baking soda water for about 15 minutes.
Can you freeze chopped onions?
It’s a good idea to freeze chopped onions, as needed. In fact, if you plan to make a dish with onions, it’s best to freeze them before you chop them.
How to dry onions?
To dry onions, slice them into rings. Then, turn your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) and bake for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can dry onions in the microwave.
Final Thoughts on Onion Storage
As you can see, onions go bad quickly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to store them in a cool and dark place at room temperature. If you don’t plan to use them within six months, consider freezing them.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for storing onions? Let us know in the comment section below.