How Long Do Onions Last?

Onions are essential when cooking. I’ve still yet to come across a single person or cook that doesn’t make use of onions in one way or another.

How long do onions last? Whole onions that are unpeeled are ideal to keep on the kitchen counter. Fresh whole, peeled and unpeeled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Onions are available in three distinct shades: white, yellow, and red. There are many different varieties of onions, in terms of dimensions, flavor, and appearance. Common varieties include shallots, spring onions, leeks, as well as bulb onions.

They provide health benefits since they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

In order to get the most advantages from an onion, it is crucial to understand its shelf-life. This will allow for efficient storage conditions to avoid spoilage.

Read on to find out further information on how long onions last and how best to store them to keep them fresh longer.

What is an onions shelf life?

Whole onions that have not been peeled are ideal to keep on top of your kitchen counter or in the pantry cupboard. Fresh whole and peeled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.

For cut, peeled, or diced onions, keep them refrigerated in bags that seal. They should last up to 10 days or more. It is also possible to freeze cut, peeled, or sliced onions for longer-term use.

If correctly frozen, onions can last up to eight months.

How to Store Onions

Onions generally do very well when they are dry and well ventilated, and at cool temperatures. Onions don’t do well in humid, moist conditions because they grow and then rot rapidly.

The best places to store onions include the counter, pantry, and root cellar. Or, they can be placed in meshed bags, then put outside in basements, garages, or even the garage.

Every now and then you may want to Aerate them by spreading them out on the tray to dry in the sunlight for a few hours.

For storage that lasts for a long time you can significantly extend your onions’ shelf-life by keeping them in the following methods:


“pickling” is an old method for preserving foods by extending the shelf life of food items. It involves soaking food items in vinegar or brine.

Pickling onions requires several common ingredients that comprise vinegar, water (white), sweeteners such as sugar or honey, and salt.

All the ingredients in liquid form are heated to a boil first, before pouring them on the onions. You can customize your recipe by adding spices such as chili flakes.

Pickled red onions in a mason jar.

The most suitable onions to pickle are the red ones because of their pungent, strong taste. There’s nothing wrong with picking other varieties.

Before you pickle onions, remove the peel and clean thoroughly. Pickling onions can be done whole, sliced, cut in half and diced, or cut into wedges.

Use sterilized containers to avoid contamination. Let the onions pickle at room temperature for several hours, so that all flavors can have a party…

Pickled onions are best kept in the refrigerator, even if they are they are not being used.


Dehydrating food items can be beneficial to extend their shelf-life. Dehydrating onion is a great method to use onions in other ways without losing their pungency or the tangy taste.

Drying onions can be accomplished by making use of a dehydrator or outdoors in the sun.

Dehydrating onions must be cut first, then peeled into smaller sizes. This allows the onions to be evenly dried evenly.

Before storage, make sure the slices are dry to avoid the development of mold. Keep them in airtight containers.

Dry onions are best kept in dry, air-conditioned conditions in a dark, shaded area far from direct sun. Be sure to check the containers for any signs of moisture.

The dried onions are cut into slices or take it a step further by crushing them into powder or crushing the slices using your hands to form onion flake. It is also possible to rehydrate dried onions by placing them in water that is lukewarm for a few minutes.

You can be sure that dried onions will last for a long time. The only drawback with dried onions is the loss of flavor over time.


Another effective method to extend the shelf longevity of onions is steeping onions in oil. This method of preservation is widely used in Mediterranean regions.

Onions preserved in oils are mostly intended for use for a short period of time, but you can still enjoy the onions with their full-bodied taste.

The most commonly used oil is olive oil due to the fact that it is the most widely used in the region, compared to other types of oils. Olive oil is a sealer for onions, preventing contaminants, air, or moisture from getting into the onion and causing the onions to spoil.

The key to success with preserved onions with oil is to first heat the oil and not smoke it. Pour the heated oil on the slices of onion lined and let them cool.

Place them in airtight storage containers and use them within the course of a week.


A word that is not widely used braiding onions may sound like a new concept, however, it is an old storage method. It is the process of tying the stalks of a variety of onions and hanging them in a ventilated, dark space.

In the event that you must utilize them frequently, you can hang them on a wall like your kitchen.

When braiding, choose onions that have already been curing with a slight drying yet are still flexible. Make sure to use uniformly solid and solid size onion for every braid to ensure it is that the onions dry equally and even perfectly.

Braided onions are a delight to look at. It is the smell you’ll be battling.


The most traditional method of canning involves placing food items in jars before heating them up to a high temperature, which kills any microorganisms.

The most common equipment used for canning is sealable mason containers and canners like hot water baths or pressure canners.

Before you begin canning, you have been aware that all food items can be used in using a hot canner because of the acid content in every food item.

Food items with high acidity are ideal for the boiling water canner. However low acidic foods require pressure canning to ensure that the strong pressure kills any bacteria that could otherwise multiply quickly.

Onions are acidic but not very acidic, therefore you must be cautious when making cans at your home. It is recommended to follow the instructions of accredited organizations to prevent fatalities when you eat canned foods that contain bacteria.

However, a basic process for canning involves boiling slices of onions in water until they turn translucent. The onions are transferred to jars for canning prior to adding salt and boiling liquid. The ingredients are thoroughly mixed before sealing them loosely and placing them in the canner to process.

Canned onions should be stored in the refrigerator, or in a cool, dark place.


Freezing is a fast and simple method to preserve food items.

In the case of freezing onions cut or chop them first into chunks. Use a paper towel to pat them before transferring them into baggies or containers that are airtight. Press out any air that is trapped in the bags to avoid spoilage.

The onions should be divided into the amounts that you’ll need for every occasion.

They can be stored for up to 8 months provided that temperatures are kept at a temperature of minus. They last for as long as 8 months.

Do Onions Rot? How Can You Tell An Onion Is Spoiled?

Onions are susceptible to rotting at the time of their decay. Onions that are rotten can be identified by following these ways:

  1. A slimy and soft texture Onions that are fresh have a firm, supple texture. As onions begin to deteriorate their flesh, it tends to soften, and become slimy and sticky, especially for onions that have been peeled and cut.
  2. A sour odor – Onions possess a strong smell So how do you identify a bad one by the smell? The onions that have been soiled emit an unmistakable smell compared to the normal one.
  3. Discoloration – Any indication of discoloration of the flesh may be a sign of loss of nutrients. Dark brown patches are a warning sign.

Summary of How Long Ionions Last

Onion is a common ingredient in many homes. Many people neglect it and forget about it even when it is in storage. But, you can still take advantage of onions throughout the year by properly storing them.

If your onions turn bad despite taking the best care when storing them it is possible to throw them into a compost bin (in the event that you have one) instead of throwing them out. The process of composting vegetables and fruits is a fantastic method of making utilization of the kitchen’s waste, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of trash that your home produces.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.