Do you have a large harvest of onions from the garden this year? Learn how to preserve onions- so you can enjoy your homegrown harvest all year long!

Onions are a staple in kitchens, and gardens, around the world. They are used in countless dishes to enhance and add flavor. They are also a popular crop for home gardeners. Onions can be hard for beginning gardeners to get right, but they are worth the effort. 

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Onions are one of the easiest crops to grow 100% of your food needs. And if you preserve them just right, you can make your harvest last a full 12 months!

From the storing to freezing to canning, this guide will give you an overview of the 5 different ways you can preserve your homegrown onions.  


curing onions in sun


How to Preserve Onions in 5 Different Ways

Chances are, if you grow onions, you probably grow a lot of them. And when the harvest comes in ,it can be overwhelming to take care of them. 

But when cared for correctly, you can easily grow enough onions to last your family an entire year!

Here are 5 different ways to preserve onions for long term storage, so make sure you can enjoy your homegrown onions all year long!


Storing Onions for Long Term Storage

First up, is simply storing your onions. 

When onions are cured and stored correctly, they can last up to a year in storage!

The key is to grow onions that are made for long term storage, cure and dry them completely, and then store them in the optimum conditions. 


onions dry for storage


Storage is the best, and easiest option, for preserving your onions. Here are a few things to remember to get the longest storage time:

  • Allow your onions to dry for about 3 weeks before trimming and storing. 
  • Dry them in a sheltered, airy location with plenty of air flow between the onions. 
  • Once dry, trim off the roots and tops. Be sure to check for dryness before storing. 
  • For the best results, store in a cool dark place. The ideal temperature for storage is 35 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit with a low humidity.
  • Do not let the onions freeze. 

As I said, storage is best, but chances are, as time goes by you might notice some onions showing signs of age. It’s at this point I usually turn to the other preservation methods. 


Freezing Onions

Freezing onions is simple. And it’s a great way to use up onions that are bruised, damaged, or no longer suitable for storage. 

To freeze onions, all you have to do is chop them up, stick them in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. 

I prefer to use my vacuum sealer for freezing onions. 


onions preserved by freezing


When freezing onions, I recommend chopping them, since it’s how they are called for in most recipes. 

Be sure to label your bags with amounts as well. You can portion them in 1 cup portions, or simple label with the amount, ie. 1 large onion.

Frozen onions can be used in soups, stews, stir fries, etc. without defrosting first. 


Preserve Onions by Dehydrating

Dehydrating is another simple way to preserve your onions. I usually do at least 1-2 loads of dehydrated onions and then powder them for onion powder for minced onions. 

To dehydrate onions, chop them thin and lay them in a single layer on your dehydrator trays.

Set the temperature at 125°F and allow to dry until dry and crispy.


dehydrated onions


One thing to note about dehydrating onions, it will make your whole house smell like onions. 

I put my dehydrator out on my covered porch to dry. If you have a garage, that’s a good area too. 

Once dry, you can store in an air-tight container.


Freeze Dried Onions

Freeze drying onions is another great way to preserve onions. 

Freeze drying creates a shelf-stable product that will last for years on the shelf. Freeze dried onions can be easily turned into onion powder or used in all sorts of dishes. 

Freeze drying also retains most of the nutrients in onions! 


Canning Onions

And finally, canning. You can also preserve onions by canning. 

Onions are a low acid food, so they must be pressure canned. Unless you are pickling them, and then you can use a water bath canner. 

Now canning is probably the least common way of preserving onions, because between storing and freezing, most people won’t bother with canning. But if for whatever reason, you find yourself with lots of onions that can’t be stored and you don’t want to take up the freezer space with onions, then know that canning is an option. 

When pressure canning onions, be sure to leave a 1 inch headspace and process pints or quarts in a pressure canner for 40 minutes.



how to preserve onions


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