Home Articles How Long Do Onions Last? (Storage Secrets Revealed)

How Long Do Onions Last? (Storage Secrets Revealed)

When stored properly, onions can last for an extended period. Whole, uncut onions typically last for several weeks to a few months. Keep them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.

Chopped or sliced onions, however, have a shorter shelf life. They last in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.

Different Types of Onions in a Basket

To maximize their longevity, it’s essential to keep them dry and prevent exposure to moisture. Proper storage techniques are key to enjoying fresh and flavorful onions. With a few tips and tricks, you can keep them fresh for longer than ever before. 

Grab a tissue and put on your onion goggles. Let’s uncover the secrets of how to store onions!

How Long Do Onions Last?

Onions have an impressively long shelf life compared to most other vegetables.

However, proper storage is key to keeping them fresh. Adequate airflow is a must, or they’ll get moldy.

The storage lifespan is influenced by several factors. These include the onions’ quality at purchase and storage conditions. 

Here’s a general estimate of how long onions last in the fridge or at room temperature.

Cut Onions

Chopped onions will stay good for about 5-7 days. They must be kept in an air-tight container or resealable bag in the refrigerator. If stored correctly and used within 24 hours, they’ll stay fresh for up to 10 days. 

However, the longer you keep them, the more their flavor will diminish. Also, their texture will become slimy.

Red Onions

Red onions are one of the most popular vegetables in the kitchen. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. But how long do red onions last? They typically keep for 3 to 4 weeks when stored properly.

If you want them to last longer, put them in a plastic bag or container and store them in the refrigerator. This will help extend their shelf life up to 3 months.

Sweet Onions

Sweet onions are incredibly versatile when cooking. Unfortunately, they have a shorter life span than other onions.

If stored correctly, they will last about a week at room temperature. In the fridge, they’ll last one month.

Select firm and fresh onions and store them at cooler temperatures. Avoid putting them in drawers or other warm places.

Old Yellow Onions Covered With Molds

How to Tell If Onions Are Bad

Onions are a pantry staple for many. But like anything else, they don’t stay fresh forever. Keep an eye out for five telltale signs your onions have gone bad:

  • Soft spots or mold: The outer layers of your onion should not feel soft. Also, be wary if they’re covered with small white spots. With either scenario, it’s time to toss them out! Mold can spread quickly through stored onions. So it’s important to check each one carefully before using them. 
  • Wrinkles: An onion beginning to dry out will wrinkle up on its surface. If you notice this happening, it’s a sign your onion is past its prime. 
  • Unpleasant odor: If an onion smells strong and pungent, it’s time to say goodbye. An onion should smell fresh and crisp. If there’s any hint of sourness or mustiness, it’s gone bad. 
  • Discoloration: Onions come in many colors, from white to yellow to red and even purple! If your onion turns grey or brown, this means it’s no longer safe for consumption. 
  • Sprouts: If you see small green shoots poking out from the top of your onion bulb, it’s past its prime. The onion has begun to germinate, making it unsafe to eat.
Yellow Onions in a Mesh Bag

Onion Storage Tips

  • Store onions in a cool and well-ventilated area: Onions are an ideal vegetable for cold storage. But your kitchen should be free from humidity. For best results, store them in a dark pantry or cupboard. It should get adequate air circulation to prevent them from getting soft or sprouting prematurely. 
  • Keep them away from other produce: To avoid cross-contamination, onions should be kept separate from other produce at all times. The strong smell of onions can easily overpower other foods stored nearby. So it’s best to keep them far away! 
  • Use mesh bags or paper bags: As long as you have good air circulation, mesh bags or paper bags are the perfect way to store onions. They’re breathable, but they also help keep the onions in the dark and away from light. Light causes them to spoil quickly.
  • Don’t wash before storing: Washing your onions before you store them could lead to premature spoilage. This is due to moisture build-up. Wait until you’re ready to use them before giving them a good rinse. 
  • Discard any damaged or soft ones: If your onion sprouts or shows signs of damage, it should be discarded right away. It won’t last long without proper care and storage. Keeping an eye out for these signs will ensure your onions remain fresh for longer!
Peeled and Bowl of Sliced Red Onions on a Wooden Table

How to Store Peeled or Cut Onions

Store peeled onions in the fridge to avoid contamination. Cut onions should also be refrigerated. Store them in an air-tight container for 7-10 days.

Leftover cooked onions should be stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated, just like any other leftovers.

Another perk of refrigerating onions is the cold slows down the tear-inducing enzymes. You can chop them up without the fear of crying your eyes out. Just don’t forget to store them properly!

How to Freeze Onions

Can you freeze onions? You can’t freeze whole onions. But diced or sliced onions freeze just fine. For best results, put them in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.

Remember, freezing alters the texture. Defrost the onions before adding them to cooked dishes. As for salads and sandwiches, stick to fresh onions for the best taste.

How Long Do Onions Last?

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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