It’s common to store vegetables in the refrigerator to extend their life. But can you store onions in the refrigerator?
Yes, you can store onions in the refrigerator. However, it’s not the best way to store onions. Refrigerating onions will extend their shelf life by at least a week, but the moist environment will change their texture. It’s better to store onions in a cool, dry, and dark place at room temperature.
Let’s understand this in a bit more detail.
How Long Do Onions Usually Stay Fresh?
Unlike other produce that spoil quickly, onions remain fine for a very long time.
This is one of the reasons why you can buy onions in bulk. It’s both cost-effective and practical.
When stored properly, onions will stay fresh for at least a month.
However, improper storage and exposure to moisture can spoil them. When onions rot, they smell terrible and stink up the whole place.
Onions hold up well in cool, dry, and dark storage spaces with good air circulation.
You can keep them in an open plastic bin or basket in a suitable location, and they will keep well.
At room temperature, onions remain fresh for several weeks.
Under ideal conditions where the storage temperature is between 45°F and 50°F (just above refrigeration temperature levels), they may even last for up to a year.
So you can safely put them in a dark and dry corner of your pantry or kitchen, and they will be fine.
However, any exposure to moisture or light can cause rotting or sprouting. Moisture can also spoil onions and emit foul, moldy odors.
How Long Do Onions Remain Fine In A Refrigerator?
The refrigerator is the best place to store most produce. However, it’s not ideal for storing onions.
They would do better when stored at room temperature. Nevertheless, you can put onions in the refrigerator.
By refrigerating onions, you can extend their shelf life by a week or more.
Nevertheless, the cold and moist environment of a refrigerator can alter their structure. Refrigerated onions tend to absorb moisture and become soggy.
How long onions keep in the refrigerator depends on the type of onion and how you store it. Most varieties last for up to two weeks when refrigerated properly.
However, whole, raw onions last for less time than peeled or sliced onions. Sliced onions stay good for a week to ten days.
Cooked onions will last only a few days, much lesser than raw onions.
If you must store onions in a refrigerator, it’s best to peel them and store them in an airtight bag or container.
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Can You Store Uncut Onions In The Refrigerator?
Although you can store whole unpeeled and uncut onions in the refrigerator, it’s not a good idea.
If you look closely, you will see that store-bought onions have thin, papery skin. This is because onions are cured after harvesting.
So when you expose these onions to moisture, the dehydrated skin absorbs moisture. Water makes the onions soggy, soft, and prone to spoilage.
When you store store-bought onions in the humid environment of a refrigerator, they absorb moisture and become mushy. It increases their chances of spoilage.
The better option is to store them outside the refrigerator at room temperature.
Alternately, you can also peel the onions before putting them in the refrigerator. Peeled onions will last for seven to ten days in the refrigerator.
Can You Store Peeled Onions In The Refrigerator?
If you have no other option but to store onions in the refrigerator, it’s best to peel them before placing them in the refrigerator.
The thin, papery skin of onions soaks moisture when exposed to humidity. This makes them moist and soggy, thus increasing the chances of spoilage.
To avoid this issue, peel the onions first. Remove the papery skin and transfer the onion into an airtight container or bag before putting them in the refrigerator.
Peeled onions will keep for up to two weeks when stored properly.
But if you slice or chop the onions, they will not keep for long. Use them within a week to ten days to avoid any risk of spoilage.
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Can You Store Cut Onions In The Refrigerator?
If you end up with half an onion that you don’t want to throw, you can store it in the refrigerator. However, you should use it up soon.
Cut onions stay fresh for a week to ten days in an airtight container. You can use plastic containers to store them.
However, we recommend glass containers as plastic can absorb odors.
Cut onions may lose their original texture when you store them in a refrigerator. It is better to use them as the base for a recipe than toppings or salads.
Can You Store Yellow Onions In The Refrigerator?
Yellow onions will keep in the refrigerator for one to two months. However, they can absorb moisture and become soft when refrigerated.
Yellow onions can lose their original crisp texture when refrigerated. Hence, it is better to store them at room temperature.
A dry place in your pantry or kitchen away from sunlight will be ideal.
Yellow onions will keep for four to six weeks at room temperature.
So, you can buy them in bulk and still enjoy their original texture and taste without having to refrigerate them.
If you must refrigerate yellow onions, use an airtight sealed bag for storage.
You can also peel them or chop them and refrigerate them in an airtight container for a week to ten days.
Can You Store Vidalia Onions In The Refrigerator?
Vidalia onions and other sweet onions will keep refrigerated for one to two months at 45°F to 55°F.
However, Vidalia onions will not last as long if you peel and slice them before refrigeration. In this case, you should use them in a week or ten days.
The better option is to store Vidalia onions in a dark and dry place at room temperature.
Place them in a loose mesh, paper bag, or basket that allows free air circulation.
Avoid using plastic bags that don’t allow air to pass through the produce.
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Can You Store White Onions In The Refrigerator?
White onions remain fresh for almost as long as yellow onions. So you can store them just like you would store yellow onions.
Although you can refrigerate white onions, it’s not the best way to store them.
White onions will stay fresh for one to two months in the fridge but lose their original texture and become soggy.
White onions keep well at room temperature for several weeks.
You can place them in a cool, dry, and dark place in the pantry or kitchen, and they will remain fresh for more than a month.
Can You Store Red Onions In The Refrigerator?
Red onions keep for thirty to sixty days in the refrigerator like yellow and white onions. However, these onions will soften and become moist.
It’s better to store red onions at room temperature to retain their original crunch and flavors. They will keep for several weeks when stored properly.
You can tie their stalks together and hang them up or place them in a basket or bin. Ensure that the storage container allows enough airflow.
Exposure to a humid environment or sunlight can cause red onions to sprout or rot.
You may like to occasionally check on them to check how the onions are holding up. Toss any that have begun spoiling.
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Can You Store Spring Onions, Scallions, And Shallots In The Refrigerator?
You can refrigerate shallots after removing the skin and separating the cloves. Use an airtight container for proper storage.
However, storing shallots in a mesh bag or open basket at room temperature is a better option.
They will hold up for thirty days when stored this way and retain their fresh and crispy texture.
Scallions and spring onions have a high moisture content. So they will not keep well at room temperature.
Wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in an airtight bag in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer.
How To Identify A Spoiled Onion?
Although onions keep for long, they can look and smell terrible when they rot.
These vegetables give off nasty odors and become slimy and gross when spoiled. So toss onions before they reach this stage.
Soft, mushy flesh or dark spots indicate the presence of mold. These onions will also smell bad. Remove them quickly as they can spoil the other onions too.
Also, avoid onions that have begun sprouting as this means that the onions have started going bad.