Keep onions edible for 6 months with clever storage solution

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Most households put everything in the fridge in a bid to ensure it lasts as long as possible before mould appears. But some groceries are not meant to be chilled, and onions are one of them. Here is the best way to store onions to ensure they remain perfectly edible for up to six months. 

Whole onions don’t need to be refrigerated it’s not a great place to store them. 

The fridge is a cold and humid environment, and the cool temperature causes the onion to convert starch to sugar, which results in soft or soggy onions. 

The best place to keep whole onions is somewhere dark, cool, dry, and well-ventilated. 

Many place onions in kitchen cupboards, but try to choose those away from the cooker and oven, as this will cause the temperature around the onions to fluctuate and potentially create a moist environment. 

Ideally, garages or cellars are the best locations for onions, and if stored correctly, they can last up to six months. 

Once the location is chosen, how they are stored is equally as important; first, remove the plastic packaging or bag they are in. If they are in plastic mesh, you should remove this too. 

Shop Food Waste explained: “Never keep these items in sealed plastic as it will quickly cause spoilage.” Plastic bags allow moisture to be trapped, which can lead to mould.  

High levels of moisture can also lead to onions sprouting. Instead, onions should be kept “in a basket or paper bag” so air can circulate. 

Onions need to breathe, so if you want to contain them, a net or mesh bag is preferred as it allows for better airflow and helps keep moisture levels down. A perforated basket or bin is also a great container for onions. 

In addition to finding an area that’s cool, dry, and well-ventilated, keep onions out of direct sunlight. The heat created by sunlight can encourage mould to grow. 

Not all onions can be stored this way, spring onions need to be kept in the fridge. Anything that comes bunched can be placed in an airtight container or bag and then into the crisper drawer in the fridge to elongate the shelf life. 

How to store a raw, cut onion 

Unlike whole onions, cut onions are best stored in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag or air-tight container. 

It’s important to note, fruits such as apples and pears, celery and eggs will absorb onion odours if stored near them, so ensure onions are properly sealed to prevent this from happening. In addition, onions can also absorb other odours. 

When stored this way, they will last seven to 10 days. 

How to store cooked onions 

Cooked onions should also be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge. Like most leftovers, cooked onions will last up to four days in the fridge. 

How long do onions last in the freezer? 

Freezing raw onions extends their shelf-life. Start by peeling the onions, chopping or slicing and placing them in a freezer-safe container or bag. 

Raw onions will last up to eight months in the freezer. Cooked onions can be frozen for up to 12 months when stored the same way, All Recipes claims. 

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