Perfect place to store onions and garlic to stay fresh – and fridge warning

When it comes to cooking, few ingredients are as universally cherished as onions and garlic, which are essential to adding flavours to a wide variety of dishes. 

From savoury stews to zesty sauces, both onions and garlic are versatile ingredients which are essential for any kitchen to cook in. 

These allium vegetables will last for a very long time under the right conditions, but it can be frustrating to find out they have sprouted, shrivelled or are even covered in furry mould before you have even cooked with them. 

It is very easy to keep both onions and garlic fresher for much longer, but one common mistake most people make is storing them in the fridge, as both do not do well in cold conditions. 

While both onions and garlic should never be stored in the fridge, the effects of doing so are different for either veggie. Onions will absorb the moisture in the fridge, which makes them begin rotting much faster while storing garlic in the fridge will cause them to begin sprouting, which will make them taste bitter. 

How to store your onions and garlic

The National Onion Association has said that onions should always be stored in a “cool, dry well-ventilated place.” 

Onions need to be somewhere with no moisture but are still airy to keep them fresh, while they must also be placed somewhere dark as sunlight will cause them to start sprouting. 

Garlic also needs to be stored in the exact same conditions, and according to the University of Califonia, garlic can last up to three to five months if stored in dry and dark conditions. 

Ideally, onions and garlic should be kept in a cupboard, pantry or well-ventilated drawer of your home. 

You can keep them in a basket, but Monica Matheny, a food expert from Yummy Life, has said that a brown paper bag in which you have made holes using a hole puncher is the best place to keep both onions and garlic.

Monica said: “This punched paper bag method should extend the life of onions, garlic, and shallots in most situations. However, their specific life may vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and light conditions where the bags are stored.” 

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In order to try this method, flatten a brown paper bag out and punch multiple holes along the edges which are around one inch apart. 

Fill the bag halfway with your garlic and onions and then fold the bag on top two or three times. You can then use paperclips to hold the bag in place, and then store the bag somewhere cool and dark. 

In order to keep both your onions and garlic fresh, Monica’s ultimate food storage tip is not to store them next to potatoes, as potatoes have a high moisture content which will cause onions to spoil quickly.

Onions also produce high levels of ethylene gas, a growth-growing hormone, that can cause certain vegetables to rot a lot faster if they are ethylene-sensitive, which is why it is not advised to store all your vegetables in the same area. 

Monica wrote: “Potatoes and onions should not be stored together. They give off gases that will accelerate spoilage of each other.” 

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