How To Store Onions


If you are like me, your kitchen is never without onions. It’s a staple that shows up in just about every meal preparation. It is not surprising though, because it adds so much flavour to whatever your are cooking. It is therefore important to know how to store your onions so that they will last you a long time.

Why is “how to store onions” important?

Well if you don’t store them properly, they are going to go bad quickly and you definitely don’t want that to happen.

They will start to sprout when you don’t want them to. Now sprouting does not render them inedible. Not at all. You can still eat your sprouting onions. The problem is that the sprouting onions soon start to spoil and get soft on the inside.

How distressing is it to be having a grand time in your kitchen cooking up a storm and when you cut through your onion, an important ingredient in your recipe, you find a dark, soggy mess. Worse when you grab a second onion, slice through and find the same thing. What could be worse than that?

Well you know what could be worse? …… Finding out that you have no more onions.

That will really put a damper on your cooking spirit.

Want your onions to last long?

Nobody wants to buy their onions and end up throwing out half of it.

For one, you have wasted your money, and two, you now have no onions to cook with.

So let’s find out what you might be doing wrong and see how you can correct it.

whole and sliced onions

What not to do

Do not store your onions and potatoes together.

Onions and potatoes taste great together. Have you ever tried onions in your mashed potatoes? Mmmm. However, when they are raw, they shouldn’t be in close proximity with each other.

The reason is that onions and potatoes can release moisture and gases that will cause the other to spoil faster.

Do not store you onions in the refrigerator.

How many of you are guilty of that? After all, don’t we put things in the fridge to prevent them from going bad quickly? Well it works for other things but it is certainly not the best for onions.

The cold and damp of the refrigerator is not good for onions and that along with the lack of air circulation causes the onions to spoil.

Do not store your onions in closed up plastic bags

You might find it convenient to wrap up all your onions together in one plastic bag but this will speed up sprouting and spoilage because of the lack of air circulation.

Double problem if you tie them up in a plastic bag and then place them in the refrigerator.

Try this instead

Store your whole onions in a dark, dry, cool place. Temperatures 40 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal.

Wondering which area of the house you can use? Try your pantry or your basement or cellar. The garage will work as well. Just ensure that the area is well ventilated.

Store them in a mesh bag or tie their stalks to a rope or string and hang them up.

Want to know the pantyhose trick?

Sure you do.

Well what you do is take a clean pantyhose and place the onions in the feet as follows

  • take one onion and place in the stocking (down to the toes)
  • Tie a knot above that onion and place another on top.
  • Tie a knot at the top of that onion and continue adding and knotting.

Hang up your stocking full of onions in your closet, pantry, basement etc. They will last for months

Let’s revisit the refrigerator

We did say “do not store you onions in the refrigerator”

Well here is a little leeway. If you want your onions to last long, you store them whole and unpeeled. However, if your onion is peeled, you will need to store it in the refrigerator. You can store them whole, sliced or chopped.

They certainly won’t last months but they will last for up to 10 days if they are sliced or chopped and up 2 weeks peeled. The key though is that they need to be stored in airtight containers. It’s the reverse of the unpeeled onions. One you want to be well ventilated, the other you want completely shut off from air.

Sealing in an airtight container serves two purposes;

  1. You don’t want the onion to dry out and it also prevent oxygen and additional moisture getting to it and causing it to spoil quickly.
  2. You don’t want the entire refrigerator and all its contents to smell of onions.

The freezer can be used as well

onion slice

You can store onions in your freezer as well.

  • Slice or chop up your onions as desired.
  • Place in a Ziploc bag or other airtight container
  • Place in the freezer.

That’s all there is to it. It will last for months in the freezer.

However, the frozen onion is best used in a cooked dish and not used raw as it will be rather soggy when thawed.

Choose your container carefully

A glass container is preferable to a plastic container as the plastic retains the smell of the onions. This is not too good if the next thing you eat out of the plastic dish is some porridge or ice cream.

Onion is delicious in your various recipes but onion ice cream….. yuck.

So there you have it.

No need to run out of onions. No more waste as you toss all those mushy, spoiled bulbs.

You can buy as many onions as you desire because as long as you store them correctly, they will last you for a very long time.

Did you find this article helpful?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment