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What to do with all those bulk onions? I almost always buy my onions in the 3 lb. bags, but used to end up on the losing end when half of them went bad. I've found a solution to that!
I dice up all the onions that I'm not going to use right away and put 2/3 cup of the chopped onions into ziplock bags. These bags go into the freezer until the onions are needed. I make a lot of soups and gumbos so the slightly limp texture is fine, and the taste is the same as fresh.
This also works for celery and bell peppers!
By Ann B. from New Orleans, LA
By Debbi C. from southern AL
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I recently received about 10 pounds of red onions and am looking for ways to use them up or save them. My mom said they don't freeze well... anyone have any luck with this?
we have a food dehydrator, we store lots of veggies and fruits that way, by dehydrating them first. once they are dehydrated, you can then freeze them to keep them longer.
my mom always diced them & put in storage for the freezer for soups or chili -
They freeze fine if chopped up. I keep bags of onions in my freezer to add to soups, omelets, salads, hamburger helper, etc. I freeze Vadalia sweet onions every year, and make & can sweet Vadalia relish, yummy! I love them so much I bought a Vadalia onion cookbook, lol. :>)
I've found that you can freeze them with great results, provided you don't want to use them raw once thawed. If you are going to cook them or add them into a recipe them you won't notice any problems with texture or flavour. To make them easier to use, chop them before freezing.
Try the Inn chef web site http://www.innchef.com - they were "Pickling" Red Onions today.
When you freeze them do you double bag them? If you single bag the onions does the odor permeate the rest of the freezer goods?
Can you freeze onion?
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Franco from Fayetteville, AR
I dice the onions up and put them in baggies in the approximate amount that I think I will be needing for certain things.
I freeze onions all the time, chopped up and ready to use.
We buy bags of onions and cut up and freeze them in zip lock bags ready to use for cooking The only time we use freshly chopped onions is in potato salad.
Hello Franco, I often chop up a bag of onions, freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer (helps draw out some of the excess moisture) and then divide them up into freezer bags to store in the freezer. They work great for most crock pot recipes, soups, stews, gravies, and some casseroles, but not for fresh salads or burgers.
I really don't notice the difference in flavor as much as the difference in texture. I don't use them as a "fresh" ingredient in potato salads (as Kathryen said) or any kind of salad, sandwich spread, etc. It's a great time saver if using them in dishes that need the flavor and not necessarily the crunch. Chop up a fresh one when needed!
Can I freeze onions?
No problem! Just cut, slice, or dice and place in freezer bags or freezer containers. The texture may change for eating raw, but for cooking, they are just fine. I do it all the time.
Yes you can! I dice them up and sometimes will add them to diced green onions and chopped celery. When I'm cooking it saves a ton of time to have these waiting and already prepped!
You can freeze just about anything that will be cooked when you thaw it. Like Binkylou says, they are great to have on hand. The best way is to chop them the way you want them, then spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze them like that. When they are good and hard, put them in a freezer bag. This way, you can take out a tablespoon or a cut, plus they thaw faster when not in one big clump. And mixing them up with other aromatics is especially nice. Just think, you want a quick meal, and the onions, peppers and garlic are already chopped up! No paring, chopping, and no cleaning the chopping board.
Is cutting up onion and keeping it frozen carcinogenic or safe?
I've never heard that frozen onions cause cancer. I've purchased frozen chopped onions at the grocery store, and haven't given it a second thought. I'm pretty sure I've purchased frozen stir fry mixes containing onion, and I think I've seen frozen onion rings. That leads me to believe it is probably safe. But, honestly, it isn't something I've ever looked in to. If you are very concerned about frozen chopped onions causing cancer, you might get better information from your doctor/dietician/nutritionist, than from someone here.
When freezing onions, do they have to be sliced? or can you freeze the whole onion?
By Ginger from OK
How do you freeze onions?
Peel them, chop them and put them in freezer bags. You can freeze green peppers and celery this way too.
What effect does it have on onions to freeze them when they are fresh?
By Jo Ann M
Please can someone tell me if you can freeze fried onions, and if so how?
By Dee from Essex
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I buy onion in 5 pounds or more. I prep all the onions at the same time to avoid wasting any of it. I peel them, quarter them, then toss into my blender to puree them. I use the Ziploc snack size bags to measure out what one small/medium onion would be. You will have to test the size you want your standard measure to be. I do this with all my onion then lay flat in the freezer. Once frozen, I put all the small bags into one large bag for long term freezing. I have many recipes that use onion, a lot calling for finely chopped/minced. Pureed fits the bill perfectly. It can be put into recipes undetected. My non-onion eaters do not object if they can't see the onion.
If you use this method, you do not waste any of the currently expensive vegetable by using less than the whole onion when the recipe calls for a small amount. I take out the bag, snap off the frozen piece I want (if smaller than what you packaged) whether 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon or more, and toss the rest of the bag back into the freezer.
By T & T Grandma from Benson MN
With onions and bell peppers, I clean them, dice them and then put them in my trusty Ziploc freezer bags and freeze them. However, on thawing the peppers will become a bit saggy and don't do well for sauteing, but fine for soups, meat loaf, etc., the onions were always OK for me. (06/15/2010)
PS: On the MSU Extention post that onions don't do well freezing due to a change of flavor. Are they aware that frozen onions, chopped and rings are sold in grocery stores and cooked in restaurants and fast foods places? They taste just fine. I have bought them in the past, but not now since I freeze my on. (06/15/2010)
Can you freeze onions or will they last chopped in a container in the refrigerator for a week?
By Linda from Brooklyn, NY
I always chop up two onions and put 1/2 cup at a time in baggies, then put them in a ziploc type container and freeze them. I do the same with green and red peppers. (11/21/2009)
I chop them, lay them on a cookie sheet, and put the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once they're frozen, I transfer them to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer (sometimes I use canning jars with plastic lids. I'm not sure how long they'd last, but I've kept them for a few months in there. I do the same with celery and bell peppers. (11/21/2009)
When I used the frozen onions they are always soggy so I don't know if there is a way round that - anyone know? (11/22/2009)
tiesgl definitely freezes them correctly and, yes, they will be okay chopped in the refrigerator for up to a week fresh but not for a week after freezing. (11/23/2009)
I am a big fan of Food Network ,esp. Alton brown he explains the chemical aspect of a lot of cooking; why something does or does not work. Onions have a lot of water in them by nature. You need to have anything that you freeze to be as dry as possible.
Alton used a pan to spread his veggies on and placed in the fridge to dry. Once dry they were placed in freezer bags with as much air removed as possible. He used a straw to suck out the air, I don't know.
Yes you can freeze onions. When I make spaghetti sauce, I chop fine one whole onion in the food processor. I use about half and put the rest in a sandwich bag and throw it in the freezer. When I make spaghetti sauce again I have onions already chopped and they thaw in the hot sauce. (11/24/2009)
I always chop one whole onion and store them in a plastic container in the fridge. They stay good for a week! (11/24/2009)
Bulb onions store well in a cool, dry place. Freezing is usually not recommended since onions change flavor when frozen.
Preparation: Chose mature bulbs and clean as for eating. Water blanch for 3 to 7 minutes or until center is heated. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Seal, label and freeze. These are suitable for cooking only.
Source: MSU Extension
If you like cooking with chopped or diced onions but don't like spending extra money buying prepared onions, try making your own. Wash, peel and chop the onion to your preferred fineness. Place in a plastic storage bag and toss in the freezer. When you're ready to use them, there's no need to thaw first. Just remove the amount you need from the bag. This is a great money-saver for me, since we buy the three-pound bags of white onions but don't always use them before they spoil. (Note: I don't recommend freezing onion you're going to want to eat fresh.) Happy cooking!
Source: This is something I figured out on my own.
By Lelia from Springfield, OH
You can also chop celery and put it in the freezer without blanching. I also cut it in longer pieces sometimes. Like you and the onions I wasted a lot of celery before I discovered this. (11/21/2008)
This is a very good time-saving tip, but freezing the onion reduces the strength of the flavor. Most people don't like strong onions, anyway, so it may be a moot point, but it should be mentioned that the onion flavor becomes milder after freezing. (11/21/2008)
I found that after I dice onions or celery, spread it out on a pan sprayed with cooking spray and put it in the freezer for a little while. Then put in containers. It is a lot easier to separate when you get it out of freezer. Otherwise when you get it out of freezer it is in one big clump. I learned this from my sister. (11/22/2008)
By Mimi in Pensacola
This also works for green bell peppers and other colored bell peppers. When the peppers go on sale, I will buy extra, cut into strips and freeze for fajitas or I can cut the strips for diced peppers. Do as mentioned before and freeze on a cookie sheet, then put into a bag. (Don't use these if you need the crunch of fresh peppers, just in your cooking.) (11/22/2008)