How To Preserve Onions So They Last Longer

Onion is an essential ingredient in our kitchens since it is the base of many traditional recipes. Available at any time of the year and at a very affordable price, onions are also a food whose life we ​​can extend. How long do onions last? With proper conservation measures, onions last between 2 and 3 months in good condition.

How to make onions last longer

To be able to use the onions weeks after making the purchase, we will have to follow some simple tricks that, in addition to keeping them in perfect condition for longer, will make the task of storing the rest of the ingredients correctly much easier.

Do not place them near potatoes to avoid ethylene gas.

Both onions and potatoes release ethylene, a gas that causes nearby foods to deteriorate faster, so it is best to store both foods separately from the rest, and of course, separated from each other, since if we store the onions with the potatoes, the chances of them spoiling in less time are doubled.

Do not use closed plastic bags to allow air to circulate.

Although it may seem obvious, preserving onions in bags is one of the most common mistakes when storing them. And by leaving them in a closed bag, what we are causing is that the humidity acts on the product, causing it to become moldy and unable to be consumed. Instead of using a closed plastic bag, it would be best to opt for a mesh or net that allows air circulation.

Find a dark, well-ventilated, and dry place to avoid light and humidity

As for most pantry ingredients, the best storage conditions for certain foods require a space without light, with good ventilation, and that also lacks humidity. The best space, without a doubt, would be a dark and airy pantry. If you don’t have a pantry, an isolated drawer or part of the closet could help.

Keep them between 4 ºC and 10 ºC to delay their deterioration

This is essential for the conservation of onions, since if we expose them to extreme temperatures or sudden changes in temperature , they will begin to deteriorate much faster. If the temperatures drop below 4 ºC and we have the onions outside the house, we will need to protect them from the cold with several layers of newspaper or vegetable paper; On the contrary, if temperatures rise, it is best to store them immediately to prevent them from softening and starting to spoil.

Keep them whole with skin to better protect the interior

As with fruits, something similar happens with onions and other vegetables, they will always remain in better condition if we keep them whole and with the skin, since this protects the inside of the fruit, keeping it intact for several weeks.

Where are onions stored, in the refrigerator or outside?

The refrigerator is the last place we should think about when preserving onions, and rather than preserving them, what we would be doing would be wasting them. In addition to that, the aromas given off by the onions would immediately pass to the rest of the foods, causing them to acquire that peculiar aroma and flavor. These are the reasons why we should always store onions outside the refrigerator:

Cold turns starch into sugar

Like potatoes, onions contain starch, which with the moisture provided by the cold of the refrigerator, is transformed into glucose, causing the onions to begin to acquire a much softer texture and consequently begin to rot.

Onion absorbs moisture

In addition to what was mentioned above, it should be noted that onions absorb moisture from the place, which inevitably, being in a humid area such as the refrigerator, will cause the texture of the product to soften again, becoming unusable in a few days.

Storing onions in the refrigerator: follow these tips

If there is no other choice because perhaps we already have the onion started and we are going to use it shortly, we can store it in the refrigerator following these simple recommendations to keep it in the best possible conditions so that neither the onion nor the rest of the ingredients are affected. we have stored in the refrigerator. This is what we must keep in mind to keep the onions in the refrigerator in optimal conditions:

Cover the refrigerator drawer with absorbent paper

By doing this simple gesture, we will be enabling a specific area of ​​the refrigerator to be able to preserve the onions in case we cannot store them anywhere else. Additionally, by covering the drawer with absorbent paper, we will be isolating the onions from the cold and humidity of the refrigerator.

Wrap the onions with absorbent paper

To prevent cold and humidity from entering the interior of the onions, nothing is better than good insulation. That’s why if, in addition to wrapping the drawer with absorbent paper, we isolate the onions one by one, we will be creating a second layer of protection to prevent the product from rotting.

Do not pile them up and prevent them from coming into contact.

Another simple trick that also costs nothing is not to pile up the onions to avoid contact with them. In this way we ensure that the air circulates between them and they do not get into bad condition.

How to freeze onions

Many people wonder if they can freeze onions to save time in the kitchen. And the answer is yes, onions can be frozen. This way we will have it ready for when we need it and it will not even be necessary to defrost it beforehand. This is how we can freeze onions in the most practical way.

Chop the onion and place it on a flat plastic tray in a single layer.

In addition to making the most of the freezer space, if we store the peeled and chopped onion on a plastic tray, the only thing we will have to do is take the tray out of the freezer, separate the necessary amount of onion, and put it back immediately.

Wrap with plastic wrap

In the event that we use half an onion and we do not have time to chop the other half, a good option would be to simply wrap that peeled half onion with transparent film. Of course, this way we will have to defrost the onion before using it for cooking.

Once frozen, store in individual bags.

This is without a doubt the best way to freeze onion, and in addition to having it peeled and chopped, we will have it perfectly preserved in individual bags for any preparation that we may think of. It should be noted that in this way it would not be necessary to defrost it first, since since it is finely chopped, we can also add it to any of our recipes, as long as it is cooked, of course.

How to know if an onion is bad

To know if an onion is in good condition or not, the first thing you should look at is its appearance. If it is wrinkled or has soft or discolored parts, let alone rotten, with mold or sprouts, it will almost certainly be in poor condition. Firmness and texture are also important: good onions are hard and firm. If when you touch them you notice that your finger sinks, it is another sign that it is bad. If the outer layers are missing or they come off easily, you will also have before you a symptom that the onion is beginning to deteriorate.

Another sign that points to the poor condition of an onion is its smell: if it has some unpleasant component and we simultaneously observe other symptoms of those indicated above, possibly the onion is in poor condition. Pay attention when buying onions to avoid bringing home the worst ones, and if you notice any of these signs on an onion, it is best to throw it away.

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