Have some leftover onions? Curious to know how long they’ll last? We’re here to help!
In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, we’ll cover:
- How long onions last
- The best way to store then
- And much more!
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How Long Do Onions Last?
Throughout history, onions have been a winter staple in the colder climates, after all, this is one of the vegetables that doesn’t need much to stay good. But how long do onions last?
When stored properly on a cool and dry counter with their skins still intact, onions are easily good for 2-3 months. But in the best conditions, after curing, onions can last for an entire year.
Want to learn how you can make your onions last as long as possible? Read on to learn all about onions and how you can make yours last even longer.
How Long Do Onions Last on the Counter?
Keeping onions on the counter is a popular place to store onions, and for a good reason. Not only do onions do well on the counter, but in most places, this is where it is recommended to store them.
On the counter, your onions will last for 2-3 months as long as they are kept dry and in a cool spot. It is not a good idea to keep your onions on a countertop that gets a lot of sun or one that is near your stove or another heat-producing device.
Because onions last so long on the counter, it is rare to store them anywhere else. Unless, of course, they have been cut or sliced, then they should no longer be kept on your counter.
Do They Last Longer in the Fridge?
When onions are still in their skins, there is no real need to put them in the fridge because they will last for 2-3 months when just left on the counter. Once you have peeled an onion, however, this is when it needs to be placed in the fridge.
Some people choose to store their onions with peels in the fridge, and you can do this if you have some onions you don’t think you will use in 2-3 months (or if you live in a humid climate, then the fridge is a better option for your onions).
Additionally, if you have halved or sliced onion, then it absolutely needs to be stored in the fridge. After cutting, an onion will last for one week in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.
Editor’s Note: This article is about yellow, white, or red bulbous onions. If you purchase spring onions, chives, or another variety of onion-like veggies, these should absolutely be stored in the fridge as these are not counter-stable.
How Long Do Onions Last in the Freezer?
Once an onion has been sliced, you may be wondering if you can store it in your freezer rather than in your fridge. While this is possible, note that the consistency of the onion may change after being frozen.
In the freezer, raw onion that has been sliced can last anywhere from 6 to 8 months. You’ll want to store your onions in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag before you put them in the freezer.
What About Cooked Onions?
Once an onion has been cooked, it loses many of its properties that make it shelf stable. After cooking or grilling onions, place them in a glass or plastic airtight container and place them in the fridge.
These onions will last in the fridge for about 3-5 days, so you’ll want to eat them quickly or find a way to incorporate them into another recipe.
What is the Best Way to Store Onions?
Onions are an amazing shelf-stable vegetable, but in order to prevent mold, onions need to be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. Most people choose to have a basket or bin on their counter for storing onions.
If you have a basement or cellar, this can work as well, just be sure that critters can’t get to your onions. You can also store onions in the fridge as is if you live in a moist climate with a lot of bugs.
It’s best to restrict the amount of sunlight your onions get because otherwise, they might sprout. While sprouting isn’t necessarily the end of your onions, it does lower their usefulness.
Once an onion has been cut, whether you intend to put it in the fridge or the freezer, you must place them in an air-tight container.
Fridge vs Counter
Putting whole onions in the fridge versus on the counter is a hot debate in most households, and the truth is, it depends on where you live.
If you live in a dry climate, there is no difference between keeping your onions in the fridge versus on the counter because they will last for months in either location.
If you live somewhere more humid, however, with lots of fruit flies, then keeping your onions in the fridge will keep them from molding as well as keep your home from a fruit fly infestation.
If you do decide to store your onions in the fridge, then it is best to put them in the crisper or the vegetable drawer to keep them fresh.
Is It Possible To Store Onions Longer Than 3 Months?
You may have heard stories of farmers storing onions for far longer than 6 months. This is most definitely possible.
Depending on the harvest time, type of onion, and how you store them, it is possible to keep a regular old onion from the store for much longer than 3 months. But if you are truly trying to keep onions for the long term, then it is a good idea to cure them.
Curing onions can be done by leaving them out in a single layer in the sun for up to 6 weeks. This is a difficult process if you are an amateur, as onions must be moved inside as soon as they are cured, and it can be difficult to tell. We recommend leaving the curing to the professionals and just buying onions from the store every 2-3 months as you run out.