One of the most confusing things about cooking is trying to figure out how long certain foods will keep in the fridge. Onions are definitely no exception – it can be difficult to know exactly when an onion is past its prime. To help make your food shopping more efficient and reduce waste, we’re here to answer all of your questions about how long does an onion last in the fridge. In addition, we’ll also provide helpful tips for storing onions properly and extending their shelf life as much as possible. Read on for everything you need to know about keeping this staple vegetable fresh.
How Long Do Whole Onions Last?
Whole, raw onions can last two to three months when stored in a cool, dry place between 45 and 55 degrees F. At room temperature, whole, raw onions will last two to four weeks. Ensure proper ventilation by using an open basket, mesh bag, or loosely covered paper bag to prevent mold. Avoid storing onions in plastic bags as they require ventilation.
How Long Does An Onion Last In The Fridge?
Cooper states that peeled onions can last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator, while chopped onions can last for seven to 10 days. Though not ideal for whole onions, the refrigerator can generally keep them for approximately two months. However, if stored in a cool, well-ventilated, and dry area of your home, whole onions can last up to three to six months, given that they are dry, firm, with intact skins, and free from sprouting.
How Long Do Onions Last In The Freezer?
Onions can last in the freezer for different durations depending on their state. Raw onions, when properly stored in an airtight container, freezer bag, or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, can keep for up to eight months. On the other hand, cooked onions will last for approximately 12 months when stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Signs That An Onion Is Bad Or Spoiled
Here are some signs that an onion is no longer safe to consume:
- Discoloration: Look for dark spots on the onion, which may indicate spoilage or the growth of mold.
- Sprouting: Avoid onions that have started to sprout, as this indicates that they are beginning to go bad.
- Texture: Check the onion’s feel. If there are soft or mushy spots, it means they are starting to go bad.
- Smell: Onions will naturally change scent as they spoil. If your onions begin to emit a smell different from the usual onion scent, it’s probably time to replace them.
The Best Way To Store Onions
Proper storage of onions is crucial to maintain their freshness and quality. To prevent mold and sprouting, store your onions (including red, yellow, white, shallots, and pearl onions) in a dry, well-ventilated container such as a basket, bin, or large bowl. Ensure they are kept away from direct sunlight and in a cool environment with adequate air circulation. While storing them in a cabinet is suitable, for larger quantities, consider using crates and storing them in a garage or cellar. It is important to keep onions separate from potatoes to avoid any potential rotting.
How To Store Peeled Or Cut Onions?
To store peeled or cut onions, it is recommended to refrigerate them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. This will help prevent contamination and ensure their freshness. Raw onions, whether halved, sliced, or chopped, can also be stored in the fridge using this method and can last for seven to 10 days. Cooked onions should be refrigerated in an airtight container and can be kept for up to four days. Refrigerating onions not only helps maintain their freshness but also slows down the enzymes that cause onion tears.
How To Freeze Onions Effectively?
To freeze onions effectively, follow these steps:
- Start by selecting fully mature onions.
- Peel the onion and then scrub it with a clean vegetable brush under running water.
- Chop or dice the onion into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. There is no need to blanch the onions.
- Choose one of the following methods to freeze the onions:
- Dry Pack: Pour the chopped onions into freezer bags. Placing the packages flat in the freezer will help the onions freeze faster and make it easier to break off sections as needed. Express out the air from the bags and place them on cookie sheets or metal pans until the onions are frozen. Then, restack the bags to save space.
- Tray Pack: Freeze the onions in a single layer on a clean cookie sheet with sides for about an hour or longer until frozen. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. This will keep the onions separated for ease of use when measuring them out for recipes.
Bobby Kelly is a bartender at Molly Magees, an Irish pub in Mountain View. He’s been working there for two years and has developed a following among the regulars. Bobby is known for his friendly demeanor and great drink specials. He loves interacting with customers and making them feel welcome. When he’s not at work, Bobby enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
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