Answering Your Questions: Storing Onions

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After reading this post, reader Sheri had this question:

Q. I need to get the onions out. Hey, a question about onions. If the onions collect the bacteria, where should you store onions that you want to use for cooking? Also, once onions are cut, should you just toss the leftover piece? I’ve heard it goes bad once cut.

staying well 8

A.  If you won’t be using your onions up in the next week or so, they should be stored in a cool, dry place (pantry, garage, basement, cellar, etc.), ideally not above 45F. If you don’t have a cold place to store them you could consider keeping them in the fridge or chop them up as soon as you get home and freeze them in small zipper bags so they’ll be ready for recipes.

If I only need part of an onion, I place the remaining piece in a zipper bag and store in the fridge. Use it within 7-10 days. Should remain just fine as long as it’s in the refrigerator. If I don’t think I’ll be using it up, I’ll chop it up and freeze it.

Here’s a fun little idea for storing onions I recently came across:

To keep your whole, uncut onions fresher, longer, hang them in a cool dry place.  To do this, cut off the entire leg of a pair of clean pantyhose (you know, one that already has runs or a snag).  Drop in an onion and then tie a knot close to the onion.  Drop in another, tie a knot.  Repeat with all your onions. Then hang in your cellar, pantry or garage.  They’ll keep fresher much longer!  When you want an onion, just cut it off!
Storing herbs, garlic and onions


  1. Melinda - January 25, 2013

    I wrap cut onions in a paper towel and put in a zip-top baggie and put the baggie in an old cool-whip bowl and keep it in the ‘fridge. It will last a long time that way and the ‘fridge doesn’t smell of onion, unless it is a particularly strong one.

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