More so sweet onions, onions provide a versatile yet delicious addition to any meal. Their sweet taste spruces up and amplifies the taste of any dish. But what happens when you have a surplus of sweet onion in your kitchen?
Unlike other onions, sweet onions are high in sugar and water content and low in tear-inducing sulfur compounds. Unfortunately, these properties make them unsuitable for long-term storage.
To avoid waste and savor them for longer, you need to know how to store sweet onions. This will help you save money and ensure you always have them ready to use.
This article will take you through the different ways to store sweet onions and keep them fresh for months.
Tips for Storing Sweet Onions
Sweet onions are a key ingredient in many recipes. So, it makes sense to keep some in hand at all times. Here are simple sweet onion storage tips to extend their shelf life.
Store Them Whole
Whether you have Vidalia onions, red onions, or even potatoes, the best way to enjoy them longer is by storing them whole. Their papery covers serve as natural protection from outside elements.
Whole onions should be stored in a well-ventilated container such as a mesh basket, open paper bag, or perforated plastic sack.
Ensure Proper Air Circulation
Good air circulation is key to preserving Vidalias as any moisture trapped around the onions will promote rot. Place each bulb individually in a single layer, wrapped separately in paper towels. The paper towels help to absorb moisture.
You can also store your Vidalia onions in the legs of clean sheer pantyhose. Tie a knot between each bulb and hang them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Light and moisture lead to mold and sprouting of onions and potatoes. So ensure you store your bulbs of onion in a dry, well-ventilated basket or bin away from direct sunlight.
Store at Room Temperature
Place them in a dry, dark spot like inside a cabinet or the back of your pantry. Sunlight affects humidity and temperature, causing onions to go bad. Ideally, you should place them in a brown store at room temperature.
Refrigerate Sweet Onions
Alternatively, you can store the whole bulbs in the refrigerator’s veggie bin. First, wrap each bulb of onion individually in a paper towel to help absorb moisture.
Then, place them in the crisper with vents closed. Frozen Vidalias can keep for months.
Note, do not store your sweet onions with potatoes, which makes them go bad faster. When stored properly, whole sweet onions can last up to 2 months.
How to Store Peeled Sweet Onions?
Peeling sweet onions significantly reduces their shelf life. Once peeled, sweet onions should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Ensure the fridge is set to 40 degrees F. or below. These onions can last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator.
How to Store Sliced, Diced, or Chopped Onions?
Most of the time, you want your onions ready for whenever you want to prepare a meal. So here are a few ways to preserve sweet onions that have already been chopped or diced.
Refrigerate Sweet Onion
It is common practice for most people to slice a whole onion bulb in half to use part of it. sweet onions are too yummy and valuable to discard. To store, simply chop sweet onions. The freshly cut onions require a lack of air to stay fresh.
This is where plastic wrap comes in. Take the half onion leftover. First, make sure it is healthy and unspoiled. Then, wrap the onion well, ensuring every bit of it, and not just the cut part, is covered to prevent air from getting into the onion.
Store the wrapped onion in a darker fridge area to prevent sprouting. A plastic bag can substitute a plastic wrap but make sure it is airtight. Store them in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Note: always check refrigerated onion for discoloration and contamination before use to ensure optimum freshness.
Freeze Sweet Onions
For long-term use, store your sliced, shopped, or cut onions in freezer containers in the freezer. Frozen onions can last for 3 to 6 months and are best used in stews. Soups and casseroles.
Note, however, that freezing alters the onion’s texture and makes them less crisp than when fresh. But they stay just as nutritious and tasty as ever. To freeze sweet onions:
- Start by cutting them into pieces.
- Place them on a cookie sheet or a paper towel, and then place them in a freezer.
- Once completely frozen, remove and seal them in freezer-safe bags or containers.
- Get out as much air from the freezer bag, close it and label it with the date.
- Store the freezer bag in the darkest corner of the freezer
Can the Onions
Canning is a time-honored method of food storage, and it can be used to help you keep your onions fresher for months on end. Mason jars get the job done. You can get as fancy as you’d like with your pickling flavor. To pickle sweet onion:
- Cut sweet onions into small pieces and place them in the mason jar.
- Sprinkle canning salt over the onion and cover them for an hour before rinsing them.
- Boil a mixture of sugar and vinegar, and then add the onions.
- After about 10 minutes of simmering, turn off the heat.
- Pour the mixture into a mason jar and tighten the lids.
- Using a jar lifter, place the jars in a pressure canner.
- The processing time is about 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the processor and let them cool for a day.
- Store in a dry, cool place.