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Just like any other food item, onions are also perishable goods. Onions have a shelf life and they do require proper storage in order to extend their shelf life. So, how long do onions last?
Onions are a staple in any kitchen and are used as a base for dishes or to add more rustic flavors or to simply add a bit of freshness in the form of garnishes. There are many ways onions are used in our day to day lives, how long do onions last depend on the type of onion and how you store it. You may have bought way too many onions in your visit to the store or haven’t used the previous batch of onions that you bought, either way, we will show you how to store onions and how long it lasts.
How long do onions last?
Onions that are fresh and have not been peeled or cut can last around four to six weeks on your counter depending on the temperature in the house. We recommend not peeling the onions if you simply want to store them as the outer layer is a protective covering that plays a role in extending the shelf life of the onion. Storing onions in the fridge can last you longer. In the case of raw fresh onions, you can easily store them for up to 2 months in your fridge and almost 6 months in your freezer.
There are different types of onions and every type of onion has a different shelf life. The ones discussed above are yellow onions. For red onions, you can store them in your cabinet for 6 weeks and up to 2 months while in the fridge.
Chopped onions would require you to remove the outer protective layer of the onion which can aid in bacteria production. Your chopped onions need to go in the fridge immediately. You can’t keep chopped onions in a cup outside on your kitchen counter. It’ll go bad in a couple of hours. Keeping chopped onions in the fridge will last you a week or so. The best way to store chopped onions is to freeze them since they are already prepared and can easily be used in dishes.
Scallions are known to rot quicker than onions. A fresh whole scallion will last you at least 2 days on your kitchen counter before going bad. Keeping the scallions in the fridge can extend its shelf life to at least 2 weeks.
These types of onions have a milder flavor and hence last not as long as yellow onions. You can store these on the shelf for at least three days but if you’re looking to extend their shelf life, then keeping them in a fridge can help them last for up to 2 weeks.
How long do onions last depend on more factors besides the way you store them. If you’ve bought soft onions then you should know that it won’t last you long no matter how you store them. So, how can you tell if an onion is good or bad before purchasing them?
How to determine if the onions are spoilt
We don’t expect you to be a food expert however certain tips and tricks are worth knowing. In this case, let’s look at how you can tell if an onion is good, bad, or spoilt. Onions are known to have that crunch due to their layers. If you touch an onion, it should be hard as a ball.
However, if the onion is soft in places then that would mean that the onions are on the verge of being bad. Soft spots in onions can easily attract bacteria leading to molds around the region. This can be bad for health if consumed and in worse cases lead to food poisoning. We recommend touching onions and applying a bit of finger pressure on the outer layer to determine whether it is soft or not.
How to store onions
Now that you’ve determined which onions are good and made your purchase, let’s look at how you can store your onions.
Start by prepping your onions. Cut them into little cubes or whichever shape you prefer and spread them out on a baking tray. Freeze the tray to ensure that all the onions are frozen. Now transfer the frozen onion pieces into a ziplock bag. Freezing onions individually on a baking tray helps pick out as many onions as you want later on rather than breaking chunks.
Alternatively, you can cut the onions and transfer them straight to a ziplock bag. Flatten the bag so that the onions are spread flat. Once frozen, you can snap the frozen onion and use it in your soups, stews, or any other dish for flavors.