Food

How to Store Onions: The Complete Guide

If you want to learn how to store onions correctly and still have them in perfect shape for what you want to use them for, then this guide is for you.

Onions are very indispensable in the kitchen and keeping them might be a little bit hard as this onions can get rotten pretty fast if left unused for too long, onions are versatile and it is understandable if you want it to be home always but when an onion is spoilt, the smell can be really offensive.

Storing onions should not be such a pain in the rear, there are ways to go around it and help you keep them fresh for a long while.

Do you know the benefit of storing your onions? It is not just to prevent it from getting spoilt but also to help retain some of its nutrients because if left unused for too long, it loses some of its nutrients.

Any type of onions can be stored and preserved for future usage, you should also know storing your onions properly will prevent them from sprouting, hence why we think you should know some of these things before buying your onions.

How To Store Onions Correctly

If you’re a fan of onions which you should due to its much health benefits, you know they are different stages to an onion, you have the whole onion, which is not peeled yet, the diced, cooked and peeled.

Each of these stages in onions comes with different ways of preserving them and below are precise ways of keeping every stage of your onion fresh and clean.

How do you keep onions from rotting?

Onions are beneficial but when you think of how they can easily become rotten, you might not find them as enticing as they sound anymore, onions easily absorb moisture hence why they can easily get rotten when exposed to the wet area and humid air. Here are some of the best ways to keep an onion from rotting.

  • Place them in a well ventilated cool area between 40-50f, onions will sprout if exposed to too much moisture and light.
  • Sliced and diced onion can be placed in the fridge for 10 days without rotting
  • Half sliced onion can be stored in the pantry or refrigerator for 6 to 10 days
  • You can also store them by tying their stalks to rope or string and hanging them.

Store Whole Onions In A Dry, Dark And Well Ventilated Room

how to store onions

Whole onions sound easier and familiar but the truth it rots and sprouts faster than when it is cooked or diced, whole onions should never be kept in the fridge though as the water might seep into it, soften it up and eventually lead it getting spoilt, you need a clean, cool room to store whole onion.

You can also use your kitchen store to preserve your onions as long as you do not put them among the potatoes as gases from the onions and potatoes can hasten the sprouting.

Ensure there is proper ventilation in the room where you store your onion as none ventilation will cause the onion to mold and rotten.

An open basket, bamboo steamer, mesh bag, netted bag or even pantyhose will do and avoid leaving them in plastic bags too.

Furthermore, keep them in the dark, it will help them last longer. The lack of sunlight reduces changes in temperature and humidity, These two factors can cause them to go bad faster.

Ready?

Avoid Storing Whole Onion In the Fridge

Whole onions have papery skin which means they have been cured after harvesting them to develop and keep the outer layer dry and that is also why they need a cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated place to keep them from getting damaged.

Storing whole onions in the fridge will expose them to cold and humid conditions, and since they absorb moisture easily, they may become mushy and eventually spoil faster.

This does not apply to onions that have been diced and peeled as you can store those in the fridge for 2 weeks but the ones that have been cooked can only last 7 to 10 days.

How To Store Onions At Processed Stage

Storing your onion at the processed stage is just as important as storing them as a whole, it’s very essential to store them properly as the gas they produced as this peeled stage is even more open to getting spoilt faster.

Store Onions When Peeled

halved onion

Once the onion is peeled, then you are free to store them in the fridge, or in an airtight container. This stage does not need them to be exposed to open air to avoid them dry up. According to reviews peeled onions can last up to 10-14 days in the fridge.

Store Onions When Cooked

Just like the peeled onion, the cooked onions are also very easy to store in the fridge and even lasts up to 3-5 days or you can store in an airtight container. Keeping cooked onion in the freezer will keep them for up to three months.

Store Onions When Sliced, Cut And Diced

Sliced and diced onion can last up to 10 days when kept in the fridge and they are the easiest to store. The split will enable it to get more ventilation, you can keep them in a resealable bag or a tight plastic wrap. It is best to get the whole onion from the supermarkets and you can get them sliced yourself to keep it fresher and make it last longer in the fridge.

Pickling Your Onions

Pickling is the low-cost way of storing your onions for a long period, pickling can also transform the color of your onions but there is no harm in that.

Pickling involves placing your peeled onions into a glass or ceramic jar filled with vinegar and a combination of salt, sugar, and spices that suit your taste preferences. You can keep them refrigerated after opening for a week.

Pickling is also a traditional way of making onions, foods in general, last longer and taste delicious.

Pickling also involves storing your onions in solutions that prevent the growth of bacterias that will spoil them, prepared this way, they can last up to six months.

Can I freeze onions?

For anyone who uses lots of onions then yes you can definitely freeze onions, they can be a whole easier to whip for making a meal when freeze, it also protects it from rotting and unpleasant odor.

Freezing onions can change the taste of the onions though, the crunchy taste would cease to exist but it works best if added to hot dishes like soup, stews and browned ground meat.

Freezing onions would also save you much time in the kitchen, make sure to wash very well and diced not too thin before saving to prevent it from becoming mushy.

How To Store Spring Onions And Leeks In The Fridge

Fresh leeks whole and sliced

Spring onion and leeks are not that different from your regular onion, most people prefer them though and when prepared well, they can be more delicious.

Spring onions, also known as scallions, are simply young onions. They are harvested before the bulb fully develops and have hollow green leaves. They’re good for diabetics.

Leeks are also similar plants but they do not have a bulb like spring onions and also they are a lager, have a crunchier texture, mild and tastier.

Since they are both similar, then they can be stored using the same method if you plan on using them soon, then you can leave them on your kitchen counter in a container, just make sure the area you are placing them is not too damp and humid.

If you plan on keeping them for days, it is best to wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and secure the stems with a rubber band and place them in the drawer of your fridge, it can last for up one or two weeks. You can also chop them and store in the fridge or tight container to make it last even longer.

How To Shop For Onions

how to store onions at home

Storing them well is just as important as buying the right ones if you purchase onions that are already getting spoilt, then storing them long term can be a little bit difficult, First you need to check for the firm dry ones with thin skins, necks should be tight and dry.

If they look too dry or discolored or have soft, wet spots, they aren’t fresh. Dry onions keep three to four weeks if stored in a dry, dark, cool location.

For spring onions choose the ones with bright white unblemished bulbs and completely avoid those ones that are wilting or there firm is slim and as for leeks, choose ones that have lots of white and green, their chalks should be crisp and free from discoloration.


Taking absolute caution where your onion is concerned is not a bad thing at all and as versatile as those onions are, they need proper care and attention and we think how you store you onion also determines how it makes your meals taste.  We hope you find this post enlightening and informative.

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