What Happens If You Refrigerate Onions?

Americans like their onions. Per Statista, households in the United States consumed 21 pounds per person of these crunchy, flavorful vegetables in 2020. According to Food Storage Moms, there are many different types of onions. But whatever type of onion your taste buds crave, nothing beats the crispy texture and flavor they add, whether you choose to add them to your French onion soup or to grill, char, caramelize, or deep fry them – hello onion rings. Of course, if you are planning to cook with onions, you probably are wondering the best way to store them so they are fresh and ready to use when you are ready for them.

Onions have been a staple of the world for thousands of years, per National Onion Association. In fact, because onions are so hearty, it is believed that onions may have been among the first crops humanity tried their hand at growing for human use. Needless to say, we know a lot about the onion, including the fact that some people use onions to calm a cough or clean their grills. And thanks to those who have come before us, we also know what happens to onions when you put them in the refrigerator.

They lose some crunchiness

According to Healthline, storing whole onions in the refrigerator comes with its perils. Whole onions are at their best when they are stored in a dry and cool place with good air circulation. When you are storing onions in the refrigerator, you are exposing them to a humid, albeit cold, environment. This could cause onions to lose some of that crisp rigidity that is synonymous with this vegetable. They may even become mushy. Huff Post adds that storing onions in the refrigerator can make them smelly.

How should you store your onions? AllRecipes notes the best temperature to store whole onions is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and as long as they are uncut, they can last anywhere from 2-3 months. However, they also recognize that finding a perfect cool, dry spot in your pantry for your onions may be easier said than done, making your fridge the next best option. You'll also want to store cooked, peeled, sliced, or diced onions in the fridge, per Healthline.