You can use onions to add a bit of sweetness and spice to dishes, as a garnish, and to complete cooking bases. Onions also come in multiple forms, from bulbous sweet onions to rooted greens such as leeks and scallions. Properly storing your onions—no matter the kind—ensures you’ll get the most out of these versatile ingredients, reduce food waste, and maximize your money. To keep your onions in top shape for when you’re ready to use them, use these tips for properly storing different types of onions.
Refrigerators keep various items fresh, from leftovers to meats and leafy greens. However, fridges actually speed up the aging process and change the natural flavors and textures of some onions. Storage onions, which include yellow, white, and red onions as well as shallots, actually last longer out of the fridge. Putting storage onions in the fridge allows them to absorb moisture, soften, and lose their sharp flavor. Instead, they thrive in cool, dry places and away from direct sunlight and moisture. Keep these onions in a well-ventilated space or a bag that gives them plenty of breathing room.
In contrast to storage onions, sweet onions actually thrive with moisture, making the fridge the best spot to store them. More specifically, the crisper drawer with the ventilation closed is the best spot. Sweet onions remain preserved longer when wrapped individually in paper towels and stored in a breathable mesh bag.
Green Rooted Onions
Green rooted onions include leeks, spring onions, and scallions. Unlike bulbous storage onions and sweet onions, rooted onions come with long stems and visible roots.
There are numerous ways to preserve rooted onions. One method involves placing them in a glass of water and storing them in the fridge. This method works best if you plan to use the onions within a week. Another storage solution for rooted onions is to chop off the roots and store the onions in the fridge, wrapped in a cloth or paper towel and sealed in an airtight bag or container. The last method includes replanting them in a small pot so that you can harvest them when it’s time to cook.
Peeled and Sliced Onions
You should store peeled and sliced onions in the fridge in a sealed container or bag, no matter the type of onion. You can also freeze chopped or sliced onions. For peeled onions, wrapping them in a paper towel and placing them in the crisper works best.
Keeping a stack of mesh onion bags in bulk
ensures you have plenty of breathable storage solutions to preserve your bulbous onions both in and out of the fridge. For green rooted onions, replanting the roots lets you regrow and replenish your stock, saving you money and minimizing food waste.
Properly storing the various types of onions lets you reap the full benefits of these flavorful, recipe-enhancing ingredients. Whether you want to preserve your onions for the time being or for the long haul, these storage tips will keep your onions in their prime for when the time comes to cook them into something tasty.