Onions are a great way to add texture and flavor to almost any meal. Whether fried, sauteed, or cooked in a delicious marinara sauce, you want to enjoy these yummy veggies for as long as possible. Knowing how to keep onions fresh longer allows you to make the most of your favorite grocery store additive without using ingredients that are well past their prime.
The critical piece of information to keep in mind when ensuring onions stay hardy and ready to eat is understanding the many methods for how to store fresh onions. If you want short-term or long-term storage, those are other factors to take into consideration.
Throughout this article, you will discover how to store chopped, peeled, and whole onions, whether in the refrigerator, the freezer, or the pantry. You’ll also learn how to keep green onions fresh, as well as the best method for storing other types of onions like shallots.
How to Store Fresh Onions
Onions are magnificent specimens for storage, especially since they hold up so well on their own. Their acidic quality even makes it easier to store other food products like avocados.
However, knowing how to store onions under different circumstances will go a long way. It also helps to know the different types of onions and how they differ in terms of storage. When you know about your storage options, you can choose one or more ways to preserve this yummy veggie to use in a future recipe.
Throughout this article, we will discuss how to preserve numerous types of onions. All onions require a different strategy for preservation.
If they are chopped or whole, you’ll want to maintain them differently. Likewise, if you are dealing with red onions, sweet onions, or scallions, you will also want to treat their storage in a way that is unique to the onion itself.
1. Selecting the Right Onions to Store
The first step to take in making sure you use fresh onions is ensuring they are fresh before they leave the grocery store in the first place. When selecting regular onions, such as red or yellow onions, look for an outer layer that is free of moisture and has a paper-like texture.
Select an onion that’s firm and free from bruising or discoloration. The firmness of the onion proves it an adequate level of water content.If there is any sprouting taking place on the onion, don’t buy it.
As soon as onions start sprouting, this means a shorter shelf life for the onion and less time for you to enjoy it. If your onion gives off a bad odor, before even cutting it, then that is another indication you shouldn’t buy it.
For leeks, spring onions, and scallions choose ones with bright green and white coloring. Ensure the stalks are firm and crisp, with no visible bruising. If any part of the onion feels slimy, toss it.
2. How to Keep Onions Fresh in the Pantry
When storing whole onions, maintain a healthy level of air circulation, similar to how you store potatoes. Because of this, don’t store onions in a plastic bag which restricts the flow of air. A paper bag works fine on occasion, but it is better to use a mesh bag or even a clean pair of pantyhose.
For proper storage with pantyhose, start by cutting off both legs. Afterward, slip the whole onions into the legs until they are adequately filled, then tie off the ends. The pantyhose and onions are then ready to be hung up in a cool, dry place.
The ideal temperature for storing your onions is around 40°F, not at room temperature. Find a nice dark place to store onions, such as a cellar, basement, or pantry.
3. How to Keep Green Onions Fresh
When it comes to storing green onions, there are numerous options available. The first step is to add a couple of inches of water to a small jar. Place the bulbs of the green onions down into the water.
Placing the onions on a ledge where they can continue to receive sunlight not only keeps your onions fresh but allows them to grow. If you don’t have a sunny windowsill to perch them on, then you can also place them in your refrigerator with a plastic bag covering the jar.
The final option you have for storing green onions is to wrap them up in a damp paper towel, then store them in a sealable container. In each choice, add water intermittently to keep the onion moist and fresh.
4. Keep Cut Onions Fresh in the Fridge
Another great way to keep onions fresh is by placing them in the fridge. This method is especially helpful with sliced or chopped onions. To preserve them, cover them with plastic wrap and seal them up in a plastic bag.
Cooked onions last about five days in the fridge, where those that are still fresh last around ten days in the refrigerator. If you plan on storing whole or chopped leeks or spring onions in the fridge, the best way to do this is by wrapping them up in a damp paper towel.
Store whole sweet onions in the fridge to increase their shelf life. Sweet onions have mo than most onions, which results in an even shorter life span in the pantry and increases the propensity toward developing mold.
To store them this way, wrap each onion individually in a paper towel to absorb any moisture.
5. Keep Chopped Onions Fresh in the Freezer
Storing onions in the freezer is a great way to increase their shelf life. While cut onions stay fresh for up to ten days in the fridge, they can last up to six months in the freezer. If you want to store onions this way, flash freeze them first.
Place them on a cooking sheet and leave them uncovered in the freezer for several hours. Next, remove them from the tray and store them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. This method does not work well on whole or cooked onions.
Instead, slice your onions for whatever way you plan on cooking them in the future and discard any root ends still attached to the vegetable. This way, you’ll be able to toss them into the frying pan or pot you’re using to cook your tasty meal.
Can you freeze green onions, too? Sure. Wash them, dry them, and bag them just like you do with yellow or other onions and put them in the freezer until they’re needed for your favorite green onion recipe.
Unlike onions, blanching green beans to freeze is the best way to preserve these delicious veggies. Many vegetables require blanching to ensure that they are crisp and fresh after thawing and that they retain their full flavor.
6. How to Store Fresh Onions Long-Term
If you are interested in long-term storage for onions, using a pressure canner to can them is the best way. This method allows you to keep onions fresh for up to five years.
In addition to canning, you can also learn how to pickle onions to keep them on hand for several years. Onion pickles offer a unique and tasty flavor that are a great accompaniment to burgers and many other meals.
When canning onions, start by washing and peeling the onions, then cut them up into smaller slices, much like you do jalapeno rings for canning or pickling. Next, soak the onions in boiling water, and allow them to cook for approximately five minutes. Place them into their pint jars with half of a teaspoon of salt.
Allow at least one inch of headspace from the top of the container, including the onions and the water combined. Place the jars in a pressure canner and follow the manufacturer instructions for the best times and heating strategies. Usually, it takes about 40 minutes to process the onions.
When you store onions and pick out one or two to use in a recipe, do you know how to tell if an onion is bad? In almost every circumstance, you will know. Spoiled onions smell and have mushy or discolored spots. Toss these if you come across them.
You should now have a reasonably good idea about how to store and keep onions fresh longer. It doesn’t require a lot of time and only asks for minimal effort for a huge payout. All you need to do is choose the storage method that works best for you, and keep your onions safe, fresh, and ready to eat.
We hope you have loved reading our article on how to keep green onions fresh as well as all other types of onions. If you enjoyed learning about storing fresh onions, don’t forget to share how to keep onions fresh with all your friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest.