What happens if you refrigerate onions?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “What happens if you refrigerate onions?” We will also discuss why there is a need to store onions and how long do onions last if stored properly.

What happens if you refrigerate onions?

Moisture can be introduced in them if onions are stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerating onions is not a safe practice. Keeping entire onions in the fridge has its drawbacks. When storing whole onions, keep them in a dry, cold environment with plenty of air movement.

You expose onions to a moist environment when you store them in the refrigerator. This may allow onions to lose the majority of their crisp firmness, which is characteristic of the vegetable. They might even turn mushy.

Why is there a need to store onions?

The optimal temperature for storing onions is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and they can last anywhere from 2-3 months if not sliced.

They also realize that finding the ideal cool, dry space in your kitchen for your onions may be more difficult than it appears, so your refrigerator is the next best alternative. Roasted, sliced, or chopped onions should also be kept in the fridge.

How long do onions last if stored properly?

When preserved in a clean, dry place, raw onions will survive two to three months.  These conditions can be found in a basement or kitchen.

For the longest shelf life, onions should be kept in the refrigerator. They’ll keep in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 months; but keep in mind that onions absorb moisture quickly in the fridge, so their texture may become squishy.

If you don’t have enough fridge space and have to store onions at room temperature, entire raw onions will survive 2 to 4 weeks at room temperature.

How can you store peeled or sliced onions?

It’s recommended to keep an onion in the fridge once it’s been peeled. Raw onions should be refrigerated in a sealed jar or zippered plastic bag if they are halved, sliced, or chopped. When stored in this manner, they will survive seven to ten days.

Cooked onions must be kept chilled and placed in a container. Cooked onions, like most leftovers, will keep in the fridge for up to four days. Another advantage of refrigeration and air conditioning onions would be that the cool environment inhibits the enzymes that cause onion tears.

How can you tell if the onion has gone bad in the fridge?

Appearance, feel, and smell are the three ways to determine whether the onions have gone terribly wrong. Spoiled onions maintain dark patches on them and may grow mold over them eventually.

Ignore such onions and also those that have sprouted, as this shows that they are about to spoil. You can also check your onions to see if they’re still fresh. Soft or mushy areas on onions indicate that they are starting to spoil.

Last but not least, Onions will, of course, change fragrance as they degrade. Many of us like the smell of raw onion in the first place, so if your onions start to smell like anything but onion, it’s definitely time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.

What is the ideal way to store the onions?

Onions should be stored in a kitchen or basement that is cold, dry, dark, and well-ventilated. This is due to their proclivity for absorbing moisture. They may grow or decay if the temperature or moisture is too high. It’s best to store onions around four to ten degrees Celsius. They preserve their qualities best at these temperatures.

It’s also crucial to have adequate ventilation to avoid mold and deIt can be done using open baskets, net bags, or even pantyhose. Avoid storing onions in plastic containers, as the lack of ventilation may cause them to rot quickly. A dark environment allows them to survive for a longer period of time.

The lack of sunshine lowers temperature and humidity fluctuations, two variables that can lead them to spoil more quickly. Read here to know more about the ways to store onions. 

Do onions last longer in the fridge or on the kitchen shelf?

Onions last longer on the kitchen shelf in a dry environment. The fridge is a cold place, not a dry environment, this will cause the onions to decay. 

It is better to store them in a dry place free from any moisture or cold. This will increase their shelf life and prevent any growth of microorganisms. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What happens if you refrigerate onions?” We also discussed why there is a need to store onions and how long do onions last if stored properly.

If you have any questions, ask in the comment section below. 



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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.