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Should onions and garlic be stored in the fridge?

  • t
  • taos Aug 8, 2009 02:19 PM

I've been storing onions, garlic and shallots in the fridge but now I'm wondering if that's not the best place for them. I have a tiny kitchen and there's more space in the fridge than anywhere else. That's really the only reason they're there.

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  1. No --- Cool, dark, dry storage.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Uncle Bob

      Right. The fridge is actually too humid and will make them spoil faster, plus they will add to the odors in your fridge. Maybe try a hanging basket somewhere?

    2. No. Mine live in a cupboard

      4 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        No room for a hanging basket and I don't have many cupboards in my tiny kitchen.

        Not trying to argue, but if we're just looking for cool, dark and dry, wouldn't an airtight container in the fridge work? It's cool, dark and the airtightness would make it dry. I'm not an expert which is why I posted here. I'm obviously missing something.

        1. re: taos

          I think of "cool" as the 55-60 degree-ish range, not the 35-40 degree-ish range of a fridge. I keep garlic in the cupboard with the rest of my spices (would do the same with shallots, since in my kitchen they're purchased for specific recipes only, not something I have on hand), and onions I'm indifferent about. Sometimes I keep them in my fridge, sometimes on the counter. I do definitely find that onions are less tear-inducing when cold, so I somewhat prefer keeping them in the fridge but am far from militant about it. My problem is yours: tiny kitchen!

          I do go through onions pretty quickly though, so I've not found it to be a problem.

          1. re: taos

            I think an airtight container just makes them stew in their own moisture. But if you're happy keeping them in the fridge, and if you didn't want to listen to answers suggesting otherwise, why did you ask the question?

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I am listening. The follow-up was just to help me further understand the various opinions. Thank you for clarifying why an airtight container is not a good idea.

        2. Ok, I'll be the voice of dissent...despite our standard American-sized fridge, my husband and I lean more toward the European tendency to only buy what we're going to eat over the next day or two, and therefore don't really do long-term storage of onions or other bulk produce. Now, I'm extremely sensitive to onion "fumes" when I don't have my contacts in, and I find prepping onions to be far less tear-inducing when they're cold, with no adverse effects on flavor that I've noticed. Like I said, I'm no expert on long-term, but I find this to be a pretty huge perk to fridge storage for a few days.

          1. Tried the old technique of dropping a vidalia into the leg of a panty-hose, knotting it, another vidalia, another knot and so on. Did'nt really work. Food Illustrated said Fridge so I did that, wrapping each onion in a paper towel. Works beautifully. Keeps onions fresh and unbruised for ages, Must work like an old fashioned root cellar.

            1. When we were visiting a chateau in Burgundy, we noticed that all the potatoes were kept on open shelves in the wine cellar, and the onions were strewn out on the floor in the attic. The cellar was cool and completely dark, while the attic was dry, hot, and well-lit. The storage methods are of course ancient ones, and worked perfectly. Having neither a totally-dark cellar, nor an attic the size of a tennis court, I nevertheless think of those as models and try to come as close as I can...

              1. Coldest part of the house in winter for potatoes and onions. I prefer buying 10# bags or larger to economize, but can only do that in winter. The rest of the year they need the fridge or they'll sprout/rot before I finish even a 5# bag. Onions always go into the fridge in winter before cutting, since it makes a huge difference in tear production. I keep garlic, onion, and potato in the fridge's produce bin and despite all sorts of cautions against allowing them to socialize, it's not been a problem, nor does odor permeate the fridge.