If you are someone who loves cooking and spends a lot of time in the kitchen, then you would know how important onions are in almost every dish. But, chopping onions every time you need them can be time-consuming and annoying. That’s why many people prefer to freeze whole onions. Freezing onions extends their shelf life and saves you time in the kitchen as well. This article is going to cover everything you need to know about freezing whole onions like a pro!
Why Freeze Whole Onions?
Before we dive into the process of freezing whole onions, let’s talk about why you should freeze them in the first place. Freezing onions helps you to:
- Extend the shelf life of onions
- Save time in the kitchen
- Reduce wastage
- Ensure availability of onions for off-season cooking
Choosing the Right Onions
The first step in freezing onions is choosing the right type of onions. Not all onions are freezer-friendly. You need to choose onions that are firm, fresh, and free from bruises or blemishes. Ideally, choose onions that are small to medium-sized, as they freeze better than larger onions.
Types of Onions that Freeze Well:
- Yellow onions
- Sweet onions
- Red onions
Types of Onions that Don’t Freeze Well:
- Green onions or scallions
- White onions
How to Prepare Onions for Freezing
Once you’ve selected the right onions, it’s time to prepare them for freezing. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the Outer Skin
Peel off the outer skin layer of the onions. If the onions have already been chopped, discard any spoilt, loose, or excess skin.
Step 2: Rinse the Onions
Rinse the onions under running water to get rid of any dirt or debris. Pat the onions dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Step 3: Flash Freeze Whole Onions
Lay the onions out on a cookie sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other, and flash freeze them for 2-3 hours. Flash freezing helps to prevent the onions from sticking together or forming ice crystals.
Step 4: Packaging the Onion
Once the onions are frozen, transfer them into an airtight freezer bag or container. Don’t forget to label the bag with the freezing date and the type of onion inside.
How to Thaw Frozen Onions
Thawed onions can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh onions. Follow these steps for thawing:
Step 1: Remove the Onion from the Freezer
Remove the onion from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for thawing.
Step 2: Thaw the Onion
Allow the onion to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Use the Onion
Once the onion is thawed, you can chop and use it in any recipe that calls for onions.
Tips for Freezing Whole Onions
- If you want to avoid chopping onions again, freeze them in portion sizes before flash freezing. This way, you can easily use them without the need to thaw the whole bag.
- Use a straw to suck out the air from the freezer bag before sealing it tightly. This helps to prevent freezer burn and ice crystals from forming.
- Don’t thaw frozen onions by heating them in the microwave or hot water. This will cause the onions to turn mushy and lose their flavour.
- Never refreeze onions that have been thawed.
Freezing whole onions is a great idea if you want to save time in the kitchen and reduce wastage. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to freeze onions like a pro in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you freeze whole onions without blanching them?
- Can I freeze onions that have already been chopped?
- How long can you freeze onions?
Yes, you can freeze whole onions without blanching them. However, blanching onions before freezing helps to preserve the flavour and texture of the onions even better.
Yes, you can definitely freeze onions, whether whole or chopped. Just follow the steps we have mentioned above, and you’ll be good to go.
Onions can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 8 months.