Did you know you can freeze onions? I know, it goes against every instinct, right? You don’t even need to blanch them! WHAT?!. Well, it’s true, learning how to freeze onions involves nothing more than to peel, chop, dice, and freeze!
Why should/Would I Freeze My Onions?
You might be saying to yourself “yeah but why? I’ve never had to store onions in a freezer before? I eat them before they go bad!”.
That’s a good point, so here are a few reasons you might not have thought of
1. It’s easier to store large amounts of onions in a freezer space-wise
Onions take up a lot of space if you are keeping them fresh. It doesn’t seem like they would, but actually onions are notoriously stubborn about their storage room conditions. You mess up and they just wilt to mush instantly.
Storage should be a crisp 50f(10c). Depending on where you live this is just not possible to maintain all year-round. A bit too much heat, Or a slight cold wave and suddenly they are trying to reproduce (grow sprouts) or simply mold and die.
But assume you have everything right, the perfect onion storage room, everything’s fine right? Nop! You likely only have 1 room like that in your house and the current guest is probably potatoes. Onions and potatoes don’t get along. It would be savage bloodshed by first light.
So that’s why there is a great need to freeze them.
2. It will save you a lot of time
Onions are a staple in most of the things we cook. So we could can them, But wouldn’t that be super inconvenient?
Even if we did can them there would be all sorts of prep that needs to be done first before we can use them.
With freezing, they are already diced up and ready to get tossed into a pan of butter without any fuss or knife skills, Which I remind you, is what 99% of recipes would call for anyway!
So not only do you save time not having to peel, cut and chop, it makes it super easy to measure out exactly what you need when you need it.
So consider if freezing is right for you
- Do you have a lot of onions?
- Are you lazy?
- Do you hate repetitive tasks like slicing onions
I mean, if you answers yes to any of this than you should definitely freeze your onions.
How to freeze onions one step at a time
1. Wash, Peel And Dice Your Onions
Give your onions a good wash under cold water, than peel off the skin and first layer of onion. You don’t have to remove the first layer but I always do.
It will save you a lot of time and annoyance when it comes to removing the skin.
Since you are freezing your going to want some pretty decent chunks, but not too small as to become a complete pile of dead onion mush.
I recommend using a knife, and dice like you normally would, Or you could use a food processor with a couple of pulses.
If you want to save time on big batches with out the risk of mushing your onions in a food processor, I recommend getting an onion dicer over on amazon. For legal purposes, I have to point out that’s an affiliate link to a great onion chopper. I make a commission if you buy one.
2. Put in an airtight freezer bag
Since these are frozen you don’t need to worry about them breathing. So an airtight bag is the way to go on this.
If you use a food saver or any other vacuum sealer, remember not to pull too hard or you might squish your onions.
So freeze them first before sucking out all the air, this way they won’t get squashed and can keep their freshness longer.
2.1 Freezing onions on a tray before bagging
You can save yourself a lot of hassle if you go ahead and spread out your diced onions on a pan and freeze them in the pan first.
This will prevent them from sticking together inside the bag, which will make it easier to scoop out what you need later down the road.
It takes a bit of extra time but it’s worth it.
2.2 Freezing them in water
If you want to squeeze out a little bit more freshness time, You can do the same as above but instead of just placing them in a bag, Place them in smaller portion with water inside a bag.
This is a great way to store onions for soups, stocks, and other things. Just be aware that using this method will make it rather difficult to just fry those onions since they will be encased in a brick of water.
Frequently asked questions
How to freeze onions without the smell?
As soon as you chop and onion, it will start to smell like an onion. There really is no avoiding this. You could wear a mask and gloves to keep the smell off your fingers. Maybe a hat as well if your worried you will end up smelling like onion.
Otherwise there’s not much you can do about the smell of onions, Although once they are frozen they no longer smell oniony. So if you want to keep the smell out, Dice them up outside on a nice sunny day.
Why a sunny day? Why not. Better than a cloudy rainy day :D.
Can I freeze a whole onion?
This is definitely not a recommended course of action. Thawing an entire onion is such a pain as you can’t even use it until it’s thawed.
But who am I to tell you what to do? You can freeze a whole onion if you really want too, But you must wash, peel and blanch for 3-7 minutes beforehand. 3 minutes for small onions and 7 for big, According to the national center for home and food preservation.
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