How to Tell If an Onion Is Bad

Unmistakeable Signs and How to Read Them

How to tell if the onion is bad

Shelf-Life Of an Onion.

Onion is one of the most popular vegetables in any kitchen. It can be added in various dishes, raw or cooked, and some people even use onion circles for their sandwiches. Fresh, fried, boiled or dry – onion has endless options for culinary experiments.

How do you usually store onions?
In the cool and dark place
In the freezer
I do not eat onions

How to tell if the onion is bad? In this article, you will know everything you need about this vegetable!

How Long Do Onions Last?

The good news is that onion is one of the most long-lasting vegetables that can be found in our fridges! How long does onion last in the fridge? Of course, everything depends on the state of the vegetable and the conditions it is being stored at. To clarify this issue, let’s check out the following information.

  • Raw and whole onions can be stored for two or three months if they are kept in a cool dark place with the temperature around 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer to measure the temperature, just remember that it must be warmer than in the fridge and cooler than the average room temperature.
  • Life of a properly stored whole and raw onion in a fridge can last up to three months.
  • How long do cut onions last? Chopped or sliced raw onion will survive for a maximum of ten days in the fridge only if being kept in the airtight container.
how long do onions last

Nevertheless, if you have cut your onion in two pieces, it is better to put them into a plastic bag, airtight container or simply wrap in a plastic cover.

  • The shelf life of cooked onions depends on where you keep them. If they “live” in the fridge, then they can be used up to five days approximately after you cooked them. If cooked onions dwell in your freezer, they will remain eatable for up to one year.

How to extend the onion shelf-life

How Long Do Onions Last
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Do onions go bad? Of course, they do, especially when being stored improperly! To make onions available for cooking even longer, follow several easy but very useful tips that will allow you to enjoy this vegetable while you are storing it at home.

  • Onions like cool and dark places, for example, in the cellar. If you don’t have one in your house or apartment, simply put onions to the fridge.
  • To help your onions last longer, wrap them in loose paper or keep onions in a mesh bag or basket. It will allow the air circulate properly and the vegetables won’t get rotten fast.
  • Never keep onions in p[lastic bags as they lack air inside which ruins the vegetable.
  • It’s better to prevent the onion from “living” close to potatoes because then both of them will get spoiled faster.
  • Never keep your onions close to the fresh fruits, even watermelons. The reason is simple: fruits produce a specific gas that speeds up the process of spoiling and rotting of the vegetables. 

How long can onions last in the freezer?

How Long Do Onions Last
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Freezing onions is a good method for preventing them from spoiling. 

To do this, simply peel onions, then slice or chop them depending on where and how you are going to use them later. 

Did you defrost the onion?
Yes, once
Many times
Great that you recalled. I just have onions in the freezer.
No, I didn’t have to

Put onion circles into an airtight container or a special bag for freezing. One more option to use is to wrap onion tightly with aluminum foil.

And just send it to the freezer!

How to defrost onion?

shelf life of cooked onions
Photo by Burhan Rexhepi on Unsplash

Frozen onions can be easily defrosted. Depending on how soon you will need to use the onion, you can leave it on the table or the kitchen counter to defrost, otherwise, a microwave can be used to speed up the process. 

No matter what method you choose, the procedure won’t take you more than a couple of minutes.

There is only one thing to keep in mind regarding frozen onions: they will never be the same. As onions contain pretty much water inside them, freezing and defrosting cause this water to expand first and then condensate. It means that, after you defrost the previously frozen onions, they will be somewhat soft. 

For this very reason, it won’t be possible to use defrosted onion in salads or as a topping for any dish

How to Tell If an Onion Is Bad? 

How to Tell If an Onion Is Bad
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What if it so happened that you suspect your onions got rotten? Well, to begin with, it is quite easy to identify bad onion in your fridge as onions become soft and darken or even lose their color in this case. Also, the specific smell will give the rotten onions out.

If you are still not sure whether the onion is not good, check it for any of these signs of spoiling.

  • Loss of color
  • Bad smell
  • Mold
  • Soft and squashy surface
  • Sprouts
  • Dry flesh
  • Soft areas on the surface
  • Dark dots
how long do onions last in the fridge

This list can be applied not only to the ordinary onion but also to the leek, green onion, and scallions.  

When do onions go bad? Apparently, if they are being stored under improper conditions such as too high or too low temperature, excess of light, lack of air, storage with potatoes (which speeds up the spoiling process of both vegetables, by the way) and other reasons. 

How to tell if green onions are bad you may ask? The same way as you would use for leek and other onions of that kind. If you see it’s soft and somewhat slimy, notice its color changes (it’s faded or became pale-yellow), if the onion feathers got dry then it is better to throw it away and buy a new one.

As you can see, even though onion is not that complicated to deal with, some specific rules still need to be followed if you want to keep this vegetable eatable and durable to enrich your dishes with its flavor and taste! Keep them in mind and you will never have to throw away any single piece of onion.

FAQ And Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Onion is a widespread vegetable in any kitchen all over the world and an irreplaceable ingredient in many dishes. No wonder we buy onions in big bags and toss them to the fridge…to find them rotten pretty soon!

Have you ever wondered how to tell if the onion is already bad? Do different sorts of onion get spoiled in different ways?

Below you will find the answers to these and other questions!

How to tell if a red onion is bad?

To find it out, take it and take a look at it attentively. Fresh red onion is heavy and quite hard to the touch. They have a neutral scent with a very light trace of typical onion odor with some sweetness.

How to tell if a red onion is bad
Photo by Webvilla on Unsplash

Unlike the fresh vegetable, spoiled one may be soft, partly or whole, with some dark-red or brownish spots on the skin and with an unpleasant acidic odor. If there is any mold or moist areas on it, discard the onion instantly.

How to tell if a cut onion gone bad?

You need to meticulously examine your onions. If they are soft or have a slimy texture if they smell weird and obviously bad, then they are already passed away.

How to tell if a yellow onion is bad?

How to tell if a yellow onion is bad
Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

To spot a rotten or spoiled yellow onion, take a look at it. If it has any strange color changes (like dark spots or discoloration), if it is soft to the touch or you find any slimy areas and of course, if there is mold and the smell is awful, then simply discard it.

How to tell if a brown onion is bad?

Spoiled brown onion may be a bit more difficult to spot compared to the yellow one because if its external husk. Nevertheless, the second you notice any dark spots on the husk or the husk become soft to touch and a bad smell appears, it means that the onion must be thrown away to the garbage.

How to tell if the chopped onion is bad?

With a chopped onion it may be a bit more tricky. Anyway, the best way to tell that it has turned bad is to smell it. If the odor is stinky and acidic and if the onion is slimy, then you need to discard it.

How to tell if the diced onion is bad?

How to tell if the diced onion is bad

The same way as you would do with the chopped onion, smell it first. Any weird odor, as well as the slimy traces, will tell you that the vegetable is unconsumable anymore.

How to tell if french onion dip is bad?

The best and the fastest way to figure that out is to look inside the container. Except for the off odor and flavor, mold is also a sign that something has gone bad. Are there any other ways how to know if french onion dip is bad? Unfortunately, there aren’t.

How to tell if Vidalia onion is bad?

How to tell if Vidalia onion is bad

Vidalia onion is the same onion as other kinds of this vegetable and it gets spoiled the same way. Any traces of mold or soft and slimy texture in addition to the off smell and color changes will tell you that the onions must be thrown away.

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