Onions are one of the most important vegetables in the kitchen. They can be used in so many dishes, from savory to sweet. Some household owners grow their own onions, while others purchase them in bulk.
But it doesn’t matter where you get it. The big deal here is you want to know how long do onions last. Of course, you don’t want to waste all your onions, and that’s why it’s important to know their original lifespan and some ways you can extend their shelf life.
Here is a guide to help you understand the nature of this edible bulb and determine how long do onions last.
Onions are a type of vegetable that is commonly used in cooking. They are part of the Allium family, which also includes the following.
Onions can be eaten raw or cooked and come in various colors, including white, yellow, red, and purple. When choosing an onion, look for one that is firm with no bruising or blemishes. Avoid onions that have started to sprout.
Now, if you’re planning to grow your onions, you might wonder if they’re easy to manage. Well, here’s the thing and a brief overview of growing onions.
Growing your own onions is easy and can be done with just a few simple steps.
- You must purchase onion bulbs from your local garden center or nursery.
- Once you have your bulbs, plant them in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Onions prefer full sun but can also survive in partial shade.
- Space the onion bulbs about four inches apart and cover them with two inches of soil. Water the area well after planting and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
Onions can be harvested when the tops have fallen over and begun to turn yellow. Pull the onions from the ground and brush off any dirt to harvest. Cut off the root end and stem, leaving about an inch of both attached to the onion.
Now, here’s the thing. After you harvest or purchase this edible bulb, you’ll wonder how long do onions last. And that’s our next stop!
The answer to this question varies, and it depends on how you store your onions. Here are further explanations as to how long do onions last.
- If you store your whole raw onions in a cool, dark, and dry place, with a temperature between 45 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, your onions will last for 2 to 3 months. You can store them in your pantry, cellar, garage, and other unheated places.
- If you can’t find any cold places, you can also store your onions in your refrigerator. Onions stored in the fridge can last for 2 to 3 months as well. But expect the texture to become softer since they can absorb moisture quickly.
- If you store them whole and raw just anywhere at room temperature, onions can only last for 2 to 4 weeks.
As you can see, an onion can last from 2 weeks to 3 months, given that it’s raw and whole. But you can only achieve it if you know how to store them properly. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when storing onions.
- Ensure that there is proper ventilation or air circulation where the onions are. For example, you can use mesh bags or open baskets to place your onions. Do not keep it in sealed plastic bags and airtight containers.
- If you plan to store it with other foods, don’t combine them with moisture-releasing vegetables like potatoes. In this case, you need to use separate bins when storing them. Onions hate moisture, and it causes them to sprout quickly.
This is another interesting question to answer. If you accidentally peeled and cut too many onions, you can just store them in the fridge.
The fridge is the safest way to keep them away from contamination. But before putting them in your fridge, make sure to place them in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. They can last for a week to 10 days when stored in the fridge.
Note: It’s only in the fridge that you can use sealed plastic bags and airtight containers when storing onions. The reason is to protect it from direct moisture.
You can put your onions in the freezer and extend their life for up to 8 to 12 months! But it takes extra effort. Here’s what you need to do before freezing it.
First Option: Just peel the onions and put them in a container or freezer bag, then use aluminum foil to wrap them. It can last up to 8 months.
Second Option: Cook your onions and store them in a freezer bag or container. It can last up to 12 months.
You can tell if your onions have spoiled by looking at their color, feeling their texture, and smelling them.
Color: If there are already dark spots on the onion, it’s a sign of upcoming mold, which means spoilage. You also need to look for sprouts on your onions.
Feel: Onions in good condition have a firm structure. If your onions are getting soft spots, that’s a sign that it has gone bad inside.
Smell: Fresh onions have a strong aroma. If your onions start to smell extraordinary, it means it’s spoiled.
Now, based on our discussion, onions last somewhere from a few days to a couple of months. The key to making onions last longer is to store them in a cool, dark place with plenty of ventilation. You also need to make sure they’re not exposed to sunlight. And if the fridge is your only choice, you need to put them in a container.
So, the next time you’re wondering how long do onions last, remember these tips, and you’ll be sure to have fresh onions for months to come. It’s up to you how you want your onions to last!