Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 19, 2010 10:23 PM

Perhaps "Onion lovers" should consider a concurrent love affair with "Dried minced onions". Let's discuss places where we use them.

First of all, you already know them. They are the magic behind the taste and texture of the McDonald's cheeseburger.

Lately I've been experimenting with their substitution for fresh-diced in various dishes, and it's enjoyable.

Some advantages seem to be:

-the sulphenic acid problem of eye burn when chopping fresh onions

-the weight of dragging fresh ones on the subway

-the long storage time vs fresh

-the taste becomes richer and more concentrated, just as in dried mushrooms

-the chewy texture that remains after reconstitution with water

-the price of fresh onions at the grocery just won't come down. Gone are the days where loss leaders ads priced them at 19 cents a pound

So... where do you use them? Where have you wanted to use them? Does the purist within you impede you from enjoying them?

For example, I've used them in several bean dishes in place of fresh. Also for "French onion dip" knockoff by barely reconstituting with soy sauce and worchestershire and adding to sour cream.

(Links to previous threads appreciated)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Kroger Value brand has a 1.76 oz container of "chopped" onion selling for $1.

    I use this ingredient liberally when I make soups, and my Bloody Mary mix.

    1. The purist within me impedes me from enjoying them. They're just not the same as regular fresh onions. I'm sorry, but I think of Mcdonald's Hamburgers, with their dehyrated onion bits on their regular burgers, when I think of dried onions. I have a feeling I may be a minority here but no thanks.

      11 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        No I agree, I hate minced onions, the flavor is so strong and disagreeable. I can get fresh for $.59 or $.69, and all types too: sometimes I want sweet, sometimes Spanish, sometimes red. A recipe doesn't seem right if I don't start by sauteing some onions. Also hate recipes that tell you to add Lipton Onion Soup Mix, did that once with meatloaf and had indigestion for days.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          bushbaby, I agree as well. We inherited bunches of dehydrated onions when my survivalist MIL passed away. I use them in making dog food and bird food. I just tossed out the bottled garlic and garlic juice.

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            passa, i've been to some of your favorite restaurants.

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              Passadumkeg -- don't feed onions to dogs! Please read below--

              "Onion and garlic poisoning
              Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

              Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

              At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhoea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animal’s urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number."

                1. re: blue room

                  Wow, I didn't know this. No onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes. For creatures that will eat the most foul of items from the street, they are amazingly sensitive.

                  Just fed my dogs something containing garlic, small amount, but will cease and desist.

                  1. re: tcamp

                    It's dried and raw members of the allium family that are the major culprit. Cooked is less of an issue. Garlic is an ingredient in many canned pet foods..
                    Search Heinz Body anemia in dogs for specifics.

                    Dark chocolate is the most dangerous although a small amount is unlikely to cause serious trouble for an otherwise healthy dog. Some dogs can eat raisins and grapes in quantities, others can be imperiled by a single bite and to date, the mechanism of the problem is unknown so vets advise not letting dogs have any grapes or raisins.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      This is good to know (re cooked), we had been giving our elderly and now sadly deceased kitty tastes of food from the table which pretty much always had allium of some sort in it and since I read about the toxicity I had been terribly afraid we had harmed him by doing so (and cursing my lack of knowledge aforethought).

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Dogs can't eat flower bulbs either.

                        But question: How come they can't and we can?

                        *edit* eat onions and garlic that is, not flower bulbs.

                        1. re: Soop

                          I suppose it depends on the type. There are edible lily bulbs used in Chinese cooking (especially from around Shanghai) - quite good, taste sort of like a cross between an onion and a potato.

                2. re: Passadumkeg

                  Deleted my original comment. Point made by others before me.

              1. I keep a jar in the cabinet, and use occasionally, but I prefer fresh onions. Once or twice I have actually run out of onions (oh sad day!) and thrown them in a recipe. Usually, though, my (non-cooking) husband uses them. He toasts a bagel, and tops it with butter, dried minced onions, & garlic powder. Also, he occasionally makes some concoction with mayo & dried minced onions on tiny rye bread that he then toasts. Both drive me out of the kitchen.

                I think that these, like many dried ingredients, are useful for those who like them. Those who don't can easily slice their own onions.

                1. I use them ground up in BBQ rubs. That is about it. I am intrigued by your French onion dip knockoff though.

                  1. I wouldn't say I *prefer* them to fresh (which I love, raw or cooked), but they have saved the day / come in handy more than once!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: blue room

                      I agree with blue room. I have dried onion on hand mostly as a Plan B if I am unable to get to the store and am out of onion. It's Plan A in some homemade salad dressing, and I add a little bit to my melted cheese when making mac&cheese. If I think of it, I'll add some to the dry ingredients when making homemade bread.