How to Store Onions


Onions are a staple ingredient in a variety of recipes; from salads to hamburgers and soups to sauces, the onion is the ideal vegetable in the kitchen. Onions are divided into two types---Spring/Summer fresh onion and Fall/Winter storage onions. Onions come in a large variety of colors and sizes ranging from 1-inch white onions to 4 ½-inch red onions. Ensure onions are properly stored to get the most use from the hearty vegetable.

Step 1

Always check all onions for signs of rotting or mold. Look for soft spots or dark patches on the onions; mold may be clearly visible. Sprouting onions should also be removed. When purchasing a large bag of onions, inspect the onions in the bag prior to purchase. A mild odor should be noticeable; however, a stronger scent may mean onion rot is present.

Step 2

Store fresh onions on top of a paper towel in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Onions will keep fresh for about 4 weeks. Keep the onions unwrapped to promote circulation, and do not store in a plastic bag.

Step 3

Keep storage onions in a cool dry space. Promote adequate circulation; do not wrap onions in a plastic bag. Instead lay onions in single layers, not piled on top of each other. Avoid storing with potatoes---potatoes release ethylene gas which contributes to the onions spoiling at a faster rate, suggests Recipe Tips, a website devoted to food preparation. Storage onions can be stored for nearly 6 months, depending on the storage conditions.

Step 4

Wrap an onion that has been cut open in plastic, and store it in the refrigerator; the onion can be stored for 5 days. Place chopped onion in a glass or plastic food container. Recipe Tips recommends avoiding metal containers, as the containers will stain and discolor the vegetable.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Plastic wrap
  • Airtight glass or plastic container


  • Recipe Tips
  • Nutrition Data
  • National Onion Association

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University
Keywords: onion, store, preserve

About this Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.