How To Store Onions So They Last Longer

You’ve put the work in and grown yourself a bumper crop of lovely fat onions! But how do you stop them from spoiling? Can You make your Onions last through winter? In this post I will map out the many ways you can preserve your onion crop to keep you nourished throughout the colder months….

how to store onions

The useful vegetable

Its always good to have Onions to hand, they are a very adaptable vegetable! Throw them in soups and stews, toss them in salads, add them to sandwiches…. and my favourite, make an Onion Heart Cheesy Garlic Bread! They are one of the most useful vegetables, which is why their often bought in bulk bags at the supermarket, we cant get enough of them!

However, like any food stock they do spoil and it seems a shame to put all that effort into growing them only to lose half your crop too early due to improper storage, so lets remedy that….

how to store onions

How To Store Whole Onions

1. Whole onions will keep for 2-3 months if stored in a Dark, cool, dry place. An ideal spot would be in a cellar, a pantry, a basement or even a garage.

2. Alternatively you can store them in the fridge, onions will last between 2-3 months when stored in the fridge, just be mindful that Onions have a tendency to absorb moisture which can lead to onions with a softer texture

3. If you lack fridge space or a cool environment and storing Onions at room temperature is your only option, expect them to last 2-4 weeks

* 2 Top Tips For Storing whole Onions

1. When storing onions at room temperature or cooler, provide them with proper ventilation to prevent the growth of mold. A mesh bag, open basket or even hanging them up with twine will do the trick. Avoid Plastic bags and any container that would prevent air circulation

2. Store them away from any moisture releasing foods such as Potatoes , they do not make good neighbours! Both your onions and potatoes will begin sprouting earlier than you expect.

How Long Do Onions Last in the Freezer?

There are 2 methods for freezing Onions….

1. Raw Onions

Peel the Raw onions, chop or slice as desired, pop in a freezer bag and freeze for upto 8 months

2. Cooked Onions

Peel and slice onions, Saute or boil, allow them to cool. Finally pop them in freezer bags and freeze for upto 12 months

How long will Raw, peeled or Cut Onions last in the Fridge?

Once an onion has been peeled, chopped or sliced it is best stored in the fridge in an airtight container or food bag. They should keep for upto 10 days

How long will Cooked, peeled or Cut Onions Last in The Fridge?

Cooked onions will keep for upto 4 days in the fridge if kept in an airtight food container

How To Pickle Onions?

Easy Pickled Onion Recipe:

  1. Place 750g peeled shallots or sliced onions in a bowl, sprinkle them with table salt and leave covered for 24 hours. This process helps the onions to maintain their crunch
  2. In a saucepan, place 600ml of malt vinegar (or enough to cover your onions) 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp of pickling spices, bring to the boil to make your pickling liquid.
  3. Rinse your onions, dab them dry with kitchen paper and spoon them into sterilised jars.
  4. Pour the hot pickling liquid into the jars, making sure your onions are completely submerged.
  5. Once cooled, screw on the lid tightly (use a wax disc to ensure an airtight fit) place in the fridge and wait at least 2 weeks before eating.

how to Tell if an Onion has gone off?

There are three ways to tell if your onions have spoiled or gone bad…


Onions that have soft spots or feel mushy to the touch are sadly ready for the bin


Trust the sniff test! If they begin to smell musty and un-onion-like, they gotta go!

Colour and Appearance

If your Onions begin to develop dark spots and start to sprout they are beyond their best!

Some interesting Onion facts…

Why do onions make you cry?

Onions are equiped with what you might call a defence mechanism! Onions have many predators, namely squirrels, rabbits, dogs, cats, raccoons, moles, birds, deers, snails, slugs, groundhogs, and rats, each one would just love to munch on young tender onions.

To stop this from happening, Onions spew enzymes and sulfenic acid when their skin is broken. These compounds combine to produce propanethial S-oxide, an irritating gas. When the gas makes contact with the water layer of our eyes it activates our own defence mechanism, which then generates the production of tears which serves to flush out the gas produced by the onion.

How To stop onions from making you cry

How To stop Onions From Making You Cry?

The gas from onions is not dangerous…just annoying! Here are 5 ways to reduce the likeliness of Onion tears

1. The longer an onion is stored the more likely you will experience tears when cutting, fresher is best for tearless prep!

2. Avoid cutting your onion near the root end. This part contains the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds

3. Slice the onion away from you so that the vapor from the onion doesn’t rise directly into your eyes.

4. Use a sharp knife! The sharper the knife, the less damage is done to the onion, This in turn leads to less onion gas being released into the air.

5. Chill your onion in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes before cutting. This helps to diminish the sulfuric acid compounds in the onion and lessens the amount of vapors released when cut.

Want To Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden ?

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