How To Best Handle And Store Onions In Your Kitchen

A constant culinary companion, onions should always be treated with the utmost care. Handling and storing them incorrectly can result in a decrease in quality or a spoiled onion. With this info from the JC Watson Packing Company, one of the oldest family owned and operated produce companies in the US, you can an ensure a perfect onion every time.


  • Loose outer skins are completely normal, but be careful when sorting, as dropping onions can result in bruising or decay.
  • Always store onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Temperatures of 35-45℉ are ideal! If you want to go the extra mile, humidity levels of 65-70% help onions maintain top quality.
    • If you have a large amount of onions in your kitchen, you may want to consider using a fan to keep the onions dry.
  • Be sure to keep away from moisture producing items like potatoes, as this can decrease shelf life.
  • Never wrap whole onions in plastic or store in bags. They need circulation to survive!


  • To prevent tearing, refrigerate an onion 30 minutes to 1 hour before cutting. Additionally, be sure to peel under cold running water.
  • Knife selection is key when cutting onions. Be sure to use stainless steel, as iron knives can cause discoloration.
  • Always cut an onion from the neck end first, as the sulfur compounds are stronger near the root.
  • Want to mellow out a strong tasting onion? First, cut the onion into rings or dice it, then soak in a 1:3 solution of lemon juice and water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Did you know?

Onions contain sulfuric compounds that, when cut, go into the air and dissolve in the small amount of water in your eyes causing your tear ducts to react by crying.