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Can you freeze caramelized onions?

Now that burger season is upon us, I was wondering if caramelized onions can be frozen? I always seem to make way more than is needed for burgers or pizza.

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  1. In my experience, they tend to break down when frozen. The quality just doesn't keep frozen.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bigfellow

      I disagree with bigfellow. Like other posters here, I routinely freeze them in small containers. They may be a tad softer afterwards, but the flavor doesn't suffer. I also freeze small amounts of onions sauteed until just golden, which is useful when preparing a meal in a hurry. Onion prep and preliminary cooking can easily double the time it takes to make a particular dish.

      1. re: greygarious

        I have always tried freezing them in large batches for restaurants. It never worked.
        But I like the idea of freezing them in "rounds" to put on burgers. I'm going to try it tonight.

        I always say that you learn something new everyday in the cooking business.

    2. But they keep for a week or so in the fridge. I always make more on purpose, then use them up on pizza, in burritos, or mixed with eggs.

      1. Here's what jfood does and it is on the calendar for this weekend if it rains:

        1 -Go to Costco and buy 8-10 pounds of sweet onions
        2 - Throw them in large stock pot and reduce and caramelize for a couple of hours
        3 - Place in fridge and cool off
        4 - Then take a large cookie sheet and make believe you are topping a hamburger in probably a 1/4" thick and round.
        5 - Place these "onion rounds" in the freezer
        6 - Remove and wrap each in saran wrap
        7 - Place in Freezer bag and into the freezer
        8 - When you make a burger, grab a packet, removed from saran wrap and reheat (jfood uses MV)

        Works perfectly and beautiful caramelized onions available 24/7 for weeks to go.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          I used to use an ice cube tray but I defer to jfood.

          They freeze well if properly sealed so there is no air in contact with the onions.

          1. re: phantomdoc

            I slice them in the food processor before cooking.

          2. re: jfood

            I do the same "onion rounds in the freezer" thing, too.

            The discs are good not just for burgers, but as quick melters when tossed into broth or soup.

            I used to freeze them in solid square containers, but the cube is not as versatile as the disc.

            I chuckle when the weekly grocery ad features onions at 19 cents a pound. Last year I snagged 50 lbs at $.09.

          3. I ALWAYS have little bags of caramelized onions in the freezer.

            1. I too love to freeze caramelized onions to save time. I have not had any problems.

              1. I freeze in snack size ziplocks or disks, like jfood. They freeze really well and add lots of flavor quickly.

                1. I didn't want to make a new thread, since my question touches on the OP's.

                  I am wanting to make caramelized creamed pearl onions for thanksgiving. What are your thoughts on caramelizing the onions prior to thanksgiving (for time/stove space sake) and then just adding the creamed step the day of?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pennylane915

                    I do my caramelized onions about 2 or 3 days ahead and then reheat. I don't do the creamed part, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't do the creamed step the day of.

                    1. re: pennylane915

                      I expect the challenge will be less about timing and more to do with maintaining the shape of pearl onions if cooking them long enough to caramelize the exterior. Is there a recipe you are using, or are you creating this on your own? In either case it will be fine to caramelize days ahead of time.

                      1. re: pennylane915

                        Jfood agrees with the previous two posters.

                        1 - caramelizing ahead of time and fridging or freezing should not be an issue
                        2 - caramelizing pearl onions to maintain the globe shape seems to jfood as an impossible task. The only exception is there is an oven roasted method posted by Joan N that has received tremendous reviews on outcome. Do a search for the oven roasted methon. Jfood thinks the thread was revived last week some time so it may be a few pages down on the home cooking board.

                        lets us know if you did, method, and results.

                        Good luck

                        1. re: jfood

                          Thanks, everyone. I do make up my own recipe, depending on what I'm using the onions for, but I will check out the oven roasted method mentioned above.

                          If my experiment fails, it will make for a really lovely green bean with caramelized onions dish! :o)