Everyday Meals

‘They’ll rot in the fridge!’ Keep onions edible for 6 months with clever storage hack

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Onions are a common vegetable used daily by many households across the UK. Most people keep them in the fridge, alongside every other vegetable and fruit, but did you know they shouldn’t be stored at a cold temperature? Onions should also be kept far away from potatoes. Here is the best way to store onions. 

If your onions sprout, go soft or mouldy, then you’re storing them in the wrong place. 

YouTuber Jerry James Stone shared his top tips for storing onions. 

He said: “I’m going to talk to you about how you properly store onions – if you do it correctly, you can actually store them for up to six months. 

“Onions hate being in the fridge, that’s the first thing – never put them in the fridge. 

“If you do, they actually rot and go mushy,” Jerry commented. 

Storing whole onions in the fridge exposes them to cold, humid conditions – the opposite of what onions need. 

Since onions absorb moisture easily, they may become mushy and spoil faster if kept in the fridge. 

However, this does not apply to peeled sliced or diced onions. 

“The other thing about onions, is they prefer to be in a dry place, that’s cool, and has a good ventilation,” Jerry explained. 

“So you don’t want to put them in a drawer, you can put them in a pantry if there’s a lot of air circulation there. 

“That’s [ventilation] really important, you do want air movement because they put out a lot of moisture. 

“One thing you definitely don’t want to do is store onions anywhere next to potatoes. 

“Because of the moisture and ethylene gas onions puts out, they cause potatoes to sprout.

“The food you can store onions next to is garlic – they prefer the same environment.” 

If you buy onions from a supermarket in a plastic bag you should remove them from the bag before putting them away. 

Plastic bags allow moisture to be trapped, which can lead to mould. 

Onions need to breathe, so a net or mesh bag is preferred – if you want to keep them together in some sort of bag – as it allows for better air flow and helps keep moisture levels down. 

For short term storage – when you plan to use onions in a day or two – placing them in a bowl on the kitchen counter, or in a cupboard is fine. 

For long term storage, onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place, away from light – a cellar or garage. 

For anyone looking to store cut or chopped onions, since lots of recipes call for just half an onion, put the unused half in a plastic bag, seal and refrigerate for up to a week, or an air tight plastic container or jar. 

You can also freeze raw chopped or sliced onions – but not whole onions. 

Frozen onions are best used for cooking, not for defrosting and service raw. 

Jerry James Stone is a content creator on YouTube with over 41 million views. 

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