How to Store Onions – Extend Their Shelf Life

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how to store onions

Without onions, food would lose a lot of flavor. Find out how to store onions so that their shelf life is extended to the maximum.

How to Store Onions? An onion is a versatile food item but it is also intricate. There are many ways to store onions and they all depend on the current state of the onion. For example, a whole onion that hasn’t been peeled needs to be stored in a very different manner than a sliced onion. Whole onions need to be stored in cool, dark places so that they don’t rot. Sliced onions should be stored either in the fridge or the freezer, while a half an onion needs its own storage area in the fridge.

Different Ways on How to Store Onion

ways on how to store onions



You might be tempted to put a whole, non-peeled onion in the freezer, but this will ruin the onion. Once a whole onion is defrosted, the cell structure will break down and the result is a very mushy onion.

Half an onion

Similar to a whole onion, it’s not recommended to freeze half an onion. The result will be a mushy mess that won’t be very appetizing.

Sliced onions

Freezing sliced onions is a great time saver for meal prep. If you have either leftover onions, or are trying to get ahead of future recipes, you can easily freeze sliced onions.

Simply place the onions in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container. Label and date your container and pop them inside the freezer.

If you have a lot of onions to freeze, you can make it even easier for the future. Lay all your onion slices on baking sheets in thin layers. Place the sheets in the freezer so that the pieces almost freeze individually.

Once frozen, transfer the frozen onion slices into containers. When you go to use the onions, you can simply remove what you need without having to thaw the entire container.

Storage Time

Sliced or chopped onions will last 6 to 8 months in the freezer. Just check for freezer burn before using them.



Do not store your whole, non-peeled onions in the fridge. There is far too much moisture and your onions will quickly rot.

Half an onion

If you have cut half an onion, it is best to store it in the fridge. It doesn’t matter if the onion has been peeled or not.

To store half an onion with the skin on, be sure to cover the cut side with plastic wrap. If the entire onion has been peeled, then the whole bulb needs to go in an airtight container.

This storage method will allow the onion to not dry out, while still maintaining a barrier against rot.

One important thing to note is that unless you plan on using the half onion within a day, it is best not to use it raw. Instead, it can be used in cooked dishes. This is to prevent any risk of food poisoning, due to exposure to bacteria.

Sliced onions

Slice onions can be stored in the fridge. They should be placed in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.

Again, it is recommended that sliced onions be used in cooked dishes, just to be on the safe side.

Storage time

If properly stored, your sliced or half onion should last 7 to 10 days. Always give them a good inspection before you use them, however, and check for both smell and discoloration.

Room Temperature

Non-peeled onions

If you have a whole, non-peeled onion, it should be stored in a cool, dark place at room temperature. There should be adequate air flow and a target temperature of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If there is too much light or moisture, your onions will start sprouting and then rot, greatly diminishing their shelf life.

Do not put whole onions in a plastic bag for storage. The plastic bag will trap moisture, leading to rot.

Instead, use a mesh bag or a wicker basket to allow proper air flow while keeping your onions dry.

If you have a lot of onions, you can get a bit fancy and hang them up from the ceiling or a hook. If your onions still have their stems attached, you can braid the bulbs together. Just make sure they are stable enough so they won’t fall.

Alternately, you can tie the onions together with string and hang them this way.

Half and sliced onions

Do not store cut or sliced onions at room temperature. They will be exposed to too much air and will quickly rot.

Instead, store any cut or sliced onions in either the fridge or the freezer.

Storage time

Onions will last for about 2 to 3 months when stored whole at room temperature.
In summer months, this will be less as the air temperature will naturally increase. In winter, you can expect your onions to last longer because of the lower air temperature.

What is the best way to store onions?

what is the best way to store onions

Different types of onions require different methods of storage.

If you have whole un-peeled onions, the best way to store them is in a cool, dark place like a pantry. If you have a half onion, the best way to store it is in the fridge.

Finally, if you have sliced onions, you can either store them in the fridge or the freezer.

How long will onions last?

Whole onions will last 2 to 3 months in the pantry while onions in the fridge will last 7 to 10 days. Frozen onions will last 6 to 8 months.

however, these are guidelines so you will want to inspect your onions before you use them. If they are coming from the freezer, check for freezer burn.

If you are using onions from the fridge, inspect them for signs of mold. Furthermore, if your onions have been stored in the pantry, check for signs of rot.


Onions are a food staple all over the world. To make the most out of this food, and to prevent food waste, store your onions properly.

Depending on whether they have been cut or are whoo, you can place them in the pantry, the fridge, or the freezer so you will always have them available.

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