How to Save Your Onions from Going Bad (and what to do if they do)

It’s happened to everyone.  You buy that huge bag of onions from the store or your favorite farmer and see endless possibilities.  Caramelized onions.  French onion soup.  Grilled onions for burgers.  But then weeks pass and you’ve barely put a dent in the supply.  Some of the onions are starting to sprout, others are getting mushy and dark.  Was it a waste to buy in bulk?  Never!  Read on to see how you can save your onions and store them properly for countless meals.

The trick to keeping onions from sprouting and going bad is good storage practices as soon as you bring them home.  I’ve seen a lot of ideas out there, but the one that is pretty effective and also super cheap requires just a paper lunch bag with holes in it, which I found on The Yummy Life.

keeping onions fresh with a paper bag
Fold the bag in half so you don’t have to make as many punches! Very easy stuff.

This can supposedly last for 3+ months, but onions never make it that long with us since we love cooking with them!

Onions already looking bad?

When you have onions that are already getting bad, don’t throw them out!  You likely have a lot of totally good onion to use.

Cut away any soft, slimy, or darkened areas, as well as any green sprouts.  Now you can chop as desired and either use immediately or freeze in a freezer bag.  You’d be surprised how much good onion can be salvaged!

Bad Onions        goodonions

How to Properly Cut an Onion

If you’re going to be cutting up a lot of onions, you might as well do it in a reliable, effective manner.  Here is what I consider the proper way to dice an onion:

Remove the top of the onion first
Remove the top of the onion first
Dicing Onions Step 1 - Peeling
Make shallow incisions on opposite sides through the skin
Peel away the outer layers.
Peel away the outer layers.
Split in half.
Split in half.
Cut the onion into very thin wedges that fan out.  Essentially you have julienned this onion.  Don't cutting all the way to the onion's base to make the next step easier!
Cut the onion into very thin wedges that fan out. Essentially you have julienned this onion. Don’t cutting all the way to the onion’s base to make the next step easier!
Now cut the wedges into the desired dice size working from the open end to the base.
Now cut the wedges into the desired dice size working from the open end to the base.
How to Dice an Onion
Ready to be cooked or frozen!
If you have a lot of onion that you don't need immediately, you can throw it in the freezer.  The texture of the "fresh" onion will be softened a bit, but these will otherwise cook just as well as a fresh onion.
If you have a lot of onion that you don’t need immediately, you can throw it in the freezer. The texture of the “fresh” onion will be softened a bit, but these will otherwise cook just as well as a fresh onion.

I could write so much more about onions!  Someday I shall…stay tuned.

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