Out of all the different types of onions, yellow onions have the most “bite”. The flavour is often described as pungent and astringent, and that’s because it’s high in sulphur. (You can also thank the sulphur for making you cry!) Yellow onions are great for sautées and stews.
When stored properly, whole yellow onions have a shelf life of about four to six weeks in the pantry and one to two months in the refrigerator. How do you store yellow onions? According to Healthline, the ideal conditions include a cool, dry, and dark place. High temperatures could cause onions to sprout, and dampness could lead to mould.
White onions have thick, papery skin and a milder, subtler flavour compared to yellow onions. They’re mild enough to be eaten raw and are often found in salads, salsas, and light soups.
White onions last as long as yellow onions. They’re also stored pretty much the same way.
Red onions are somewhere in between yellow and white onions in terms of astringency. They’re sweet and mild which makes them a favourite topping in burgers, salads, and tacos.
Like white and yellow onions, red onions last 30 to 60 days if stored in the fridge. Avoid storing red onions (and yellow and white onions) in plastic bags because the moisture could cause it to sprout or rot faster. Outside of the fridge, onions last for about four to six weeks.
There are multiple ways to store red onions — one way is to tie their stalks together with string and hang them. Another way is to place the onion in tights or any mesh tube with both ends tied so that the onion receive optimal airflow.
Spring onions – also called scallions, long green onions, or salad onions – are young onions that give off a subtler flavour than other types. They’re actually onions that were harvested before they could develop into the big bulbs most of us are familiar with.
You can keep spring onions on the kitchen counter for up to three days, but any day after that and they could show signs of wilting. Spring onions contain more moisture than other onions too, so the best way to store them would be in a sealed plastic zipper bag in the vegetable section of your fridge. Once stored properly, they will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
A classic addition to sandwiches and salads and good enough to be eaten on its own, pickled onions have an impressive lifespan of six-months. These thinly sliced onions are soaked in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and water and kept in a sealed container like a pyrex or a mason jar.
Don’t be alarmed when, after a few days, the onions start losing their colour — it’s natural and simply caused by the liquid mixture.
Looking for a recipe to use your pickled onions for? Check out a recipe for the classic fish and chips here.
Frequently asked questions about onions
How to store cut onions? Can you store cut onions in the fridge?
Yes, and you should. How long do onions last in the fridge? Half an onion can last for as long as seven days if stored in a tightly-wrapped cling film, plastic wrap, or an airtight plastic container or zipper bag. Once brought out of the fridge, remember that it has to be cooked and not consumed raw.
How do you store chopped onions?
Like the ‘half an onion’ storage guide, chopped onions should only be placed in the fridge; but unlike half onions, it would be difficult to store these in a plastic wrap. The best way would be to place them in an air-tight plastic container. Cook and consume chopped onions within seven days.
How to spot a bad onion?
To find out if you have a bad onion, check for any of these signs:
- Black or brown spots
- A strong and unappealing odour
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