Onions form an integral part of many dishes worldwide. They add taste, texture and colour to dishes and can be found in most households’ kitchens across the UK, but many recipes call for half an onion or less, so what should you do with the other half?
Peeled onions provide a wealth of problems when it comes to storage. When exposed to the air, onions start to oxidize and bacteria begin to grow on their surface, this can lead to health problems if stored for a long time. Putting peeled onions in the fridge can slow this process but can make them soggy and reduce their flavour intensity. So how can you store your half-used onions? The United States Department of Agriculture recommends you keep your peeled onions in a paper towel, or in a sealed container if chopped, in your fridge at 40°F (or 4.4°C).
You should keep in mind, though, that even in a sealed container, chopped onions can still loose firmness and become soft in the fridge. That is why the top recommendation is to place your spare chopped onions in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. To avoid the onions sticking together as they freeze, it is important to stir the chopped onions with a spoon a couple of hours after you’ve put them in the freezer. This will ensure they are easy to portion and ready to use the next time you cook. It is worth noting that the onions will be softer once thawed and should be used in cooked dishes rather than salads.
So how long will your properly packaged chopped onions store for? Properly stored, chopped onions will last for 8-10 days in the fridge and 6-8 months in the freezer – though they will still be safe to eat after this date, but won’t be at their best. Onions properly stored and kept constantly frozen below -18°C will be safe to eat indefinitely but may lose some of their texture due to the formation and thawing of ice crystals.
You can tell if your stored onions are safe to eat as you would with other onions – simply smell and inspect them for any signs of mold or off smells. If in doubt, discard your stored onions and use some new ones – your taste buds will thank you!
M&P Engineering is a manufacturer of food processing equipment, including onion peeling machines, food depositing machines, rotary transfer units and sachet filling machines. M&P Engineering has over 50 years’ of experience in designing and manufacturing food processing systems for its worldwide clients and is one of the worlds leading onion peeling machine manufacturers.
M&P’s large onion peeler boasts a completely dry peeling process and peels, tops and tails onions with a size between 45mm and 115mm utilising self-adjusting floating knife assemblies. Alongside their new and bespoke machinery, M&P also offers used food processing equipment which comes fully refurbished by M&P’s expert engineering team.
If you would like to find out more information about M&P Engineering’s large onion peeler, call on +44 (0)161 872 8378 or contact us here.