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How to keep leftover raw onion from smelling inside fridge

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  • Flynn Apr 23, 2003 03:33 PM
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Everytime I have half a raw white or red onion left, I've wrapped it in plastic wrap and it smells up the fridge. Now I don't bother and wind up throwing out a good onion.

Any suggestions to avoid the onion aroma?

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  1. I have had good results by putting that plastic wrapped onion half into a plastic sandwich bag. The odor seems to be contained by the extra layer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeremy newel

      That's what i do. One layer of wrap, tightly tied. inside a little baggie works every time. I've never had trouble even if I forget about it and it stays in there until almost a year has gone by. (I somehow lost it in the back)

    2. We tend to use a number of WHOLE onions each time we cook...however, I've seen a great little Tupperware gadget designed specifically to hold half an onion and hang from your fridge shelf to remind you it's there. I believe it's called a "Forget Me Not."

      1. I usually use a small freezer ziplock bag - double bagged, if needed. The freezer bags are heavier than regular ziplock bags and seem to do a good job with no-onion smells in my veggie drawer.

        1. I try wrapping in foil (seems less odor-permeable to me) and then in sandwich bag. It isn't perfect, but it does seem to reduce the odor short term.

          1. Hi Flynn,

            I don't remember where I learned this, but if you triple wrap the cut onion in plastic wrap, you'll never have that problem again.

            1. I use a little one of those newish, quasi-disposable plastic containers...Just keep one as the "onion-only" container, altho I've washed out the odor with no problem....

              1. d
                DodinBouffant

                I usually just put it in a decent quality zip-lock bag.

                Another thing I do if I need the onions diced for a raw preparation and am not using them right away is I dice them and then put them in ice water covered in a deli countainer, crisps them up nice, doesn't allow them to oxidize and takes just a little of the "burn" off them(usually only do this with spanish onions/yellow onions and not the sweet varieties)

                1. The tricks mentioned below make sense but I strongly suspect the temperature inside your fridge is just as important. Colder temperatures minimizes odors. I keep mine quite cold (but not to the point of harming veggies/fruits) and nothing ever smells, even a half-onion lightly wrapped inside a plastic bag.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Christine

                    That would explain why I never have onion odor.

                    I put my partial-onions, tomatoes, and other such things in a plastic container that isn't remotely close to being airtight and nothing ever smells.

                  2. This is more a question of smart shopping than anything else. When I am buying onions for stock or a dish that I know that more than likely I will need a large onion or onions then that is what I buy. Other than that, I buy a bag of small onions for around 2 dollars. So we are only talking here about what... 20 cents. I hate to throw food out but lets be reasonable... this is not about spoilage on a grand scale. I draw the line when it comes to my comfort or minor scraps with the food pc police. Out it goes at a cost of 20 cents. As it is I have trouble keeping track of what is in my frig.

                    1. A salsa jar is the perfect size for half of an onion. I also buy small white boiling onions, they have a milder flavor than spanish onions but they are good to have on hand when you only need 1-2 tablespoons of onion.

                      1. Ive never noticed this - then again, I use classic saran wrap, which is more air impervious than other plastic wraps. I also put this kind of stuff in the door along with all the jars, etc. Less likely to get lost.

                        1. I've had this problem, too, when I put a chopped onion in one regular zip-lock bag -- try double bagging (works for me), or, like others have said, using a heavy freezer ziplock bag (or two, if necessary) or wrapping in plastic wrap and then putting in a freezer ziplock bag.

                          1. I triple wrap the onion after it is cut, put it in a ziplock sandwich baggie, put that in a freezer ziplock baggie and vacuum seal the whole thing. Guess what, it still makes the refrigerator reek something awful. Onions do not have an aroma, they reek. If someone ever does come up with a solution, I will be first in line to try it. I try to use the whole onion in my cooking but my husband likes slices on his food. Nothing like onion flavored yogurt.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: budeena

                              I use a glass jar or container for the cut onion, and frequently for diced onion. Something to consider is to wipe/wash off the outside of the jar & lid after filling, to remove onion juice.

                            2. I have a collection of various sizes pyrex containers with plastic lids for food storage. I have never had a problem with smell when I stored cut onion in one of them.

                              1. I use slide-lock bags which seem a bit thicker than some and have never had a scent problem.

                                1. I typically double bag it in a ziplock and haven't had any problems. I feel your pain though - I hate onions and the smell as well. I only cook them for SO and DS but when I do do that onerous task, I usually chop the whole onion to get it over with and double bag the leftover for next time.

                                  1. I don't keep onions, cut or uncut, in the fridge. Cut ones get wrapped in clingfilm (if remembered) and then go back in the veg cupboard.