How to Store Onions And Keep Them Fresh

Are you wondering how to store onions from the garden without them going bad?

Ever wonder if you can store onions next to potatoes or garlic? Do you want to know how to store onions long-term?

You’re in the right place!

This article will answer all your questions about how to store onions at home: What should you put them in? Where should they be placed? Should you refrigerate them?

Read on to see how to store candy onions, sweet onions, purple onions, and more.

The Best Way and the Best Place to Store Onions

Onions need good air circulation to stay fresh. Otherwise, they may rot quickly and be more susceptible to sprouting.

Most places like pantries and cupboards are not an ideal choice. Try finding an open area in which to store them instead.

How to Store Onions in a Refrigerator

Should you refrigerate onions?

No. You should not store onions in the refrigerator.

Refrigerators have no air flow and cause the onions to go bad quickly. 

Now, this isn’t true for green onions (also called scallions). It’s best to keep green onions in the fridge in order to keep them fresh.

But for the rest of the onion family, there is a way to store them in the fridge.

If you’re wondering how to store cut onions, and if you’re not planning on storing them for long, the best way would be to peel and slice them, place them in an airtight container in the fridge, and use them within 5-7 days.

You can also store cut onions in water to reduce their potent flavor and odor.

Onion Storage Ideas

Tips on how to store onions, showing the different options.

When deciding what to put onions in, look for containers with holes. If the containers have lids, be sure the lids also have holes.

Onions will appreciate the breather. Here are some onion storage ideas for you to consider. 

There are a lot of options when it comes to onion storage. You can use pantyhose and mesh bags. You can buy onion storage containers, which are essentially just mesh bags in bin form.

Or you can store them in the freezer with freezer bags.

Pantyhose and mesh bags are ideal because they can hold onions without hassle while providing enough ventilation. Onions often come in these types of bags when buying from the grocery store!

Other ideas include using paper bags or shoe boxes with holes in them. You can even try replacing the fruit in your fruit basket with onions!

What You’ll Need to Store Onions

What You Need

  • Storage bag or container such as pantyhose, mesh storage bin, etc.
  • Ventilated space in your home.
  • A freezer and freezer bags (optional for freezing)

5 Steps to Storing Onions

Here’s what you can do to store keep your onions fresh for longer:

Step #1. Dry Onions for Storage

If you are harvesting onions from your own garden, you will need to dry out the onions before you store them.

Note: Growing your own onions can be fun. You can even grow them in water. Check out this article on how to create a DIY aquaponic system and this article on the benefits of backyard aquaponics, if you want to give it a try!

If you are storing store-bought onions, you may skip this step.

It takes 2-3 weeks to dry out, or “cure” onions. And, they need direct sunlight for the whole duration.

Once the skin is papery and crisp, you can begin to store them.

If you want more in-depth instructions on when you should harvest and how to dry out onions, you can check out this article.

Or, you can view the video below to learn when onions are ready to be harvested and dried.

After 2-3 weeks of drying, cut the tops off and head over to the next step.

Step #2. Choose the Ideal Environment for Your Onions

Where not to store onions: Pantries, cupboards, airtight containers

Onions need ventilation. The ideal space for them would be on the counter – not behind the closed door of a pantry.

Choose an open space, or a place where you usually open a screened window (or use a fan).

Step #3. Place Onions in Containers and Be Mindful of Neighbors

After buying or harvesting your onions and deciding where to store them, place them in the container.

Then be mindful of what you store next to the onions.

People often get confused about what you can store next to onions and what you can’t. Some main concerns are potatoes and garlic.

How far apart to store onions and potatoes?

Onions vs potatoes

Potatoes and onions should never be stored next to each other.

Onions absorb moisture quickly but need to stay dry. Potatoes give off moisture and gas which is not healthy for the onions.

What if you have a small kitchen or pantry?

It seems that it’s fine to have them on opposite sides of the room. As long as they’re not in close proximity, you should be fine.

Can you store onions and garlic together?

Yes! In this article, Julia Collin Davison states that storing onions and garlic next to each other is fine. They both require ample ventilation, so they are good partners in crime if you’re short on space.

Step #4. Freeze Onions for Storage

If you decide to freeze your onions, you will need to do a little preparation. You should first peel and cut the onions and place them in a freezer bag.

Make sure all the air has escaped from the bag, and place it in the freezer. They will last 4-6 months once frozen.

This method lets you do all the prep work up front so you can save time later when cooking!

Step #5. How Long Can You Store Onions?

How long will onions stay fresh

Following the steps above will ensure your onions stay fresh as long as possible.

If you are storing onions in a ventilated place, they will be able to last 1-2 months in the hot summer months. They will last longer in the winter months when it’s less humid. 

After cutting them, they last up to 7 days in the fridge. And, they can last 4-6 months in the freezer.

Keep the Air Flowing

Storing onions is pretty easy if you give them what they want – air. This will let you store onions without them going bad.

Make sure you choose a container with plenty of holes and a proper location with good ventilation. Consider getting a container just for onions.

Peeling and cutting onions can make your life easier down the road at dinner time. Freezing them takes some prep work, but is convenient and makes onions last longer!

What did you think about this tutorial? Share on social media with your thoughts and your favorite type of onion. If this tutorial was helpful, let a friend know!


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