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Storing onions and garlic

Hello there! I am new here and am excited to join in the conversations! I love cooking!
Anyhow, my concern today is how to store onions and garlic. I stored them initially in a basket under the sink (cabinet). However, after a little bit it started to smell so i put them in an airtight container and that didnt help any. Any advice??

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  1. Both are really bad ideas. Too much moisture. Store them in a basket out on the counter to dissipate the ethylene gas they exude to avoid over-ripening/rotting. You can refrigerate as they get a little older to slow down the process if you wish.

    1. Welcome to Chowhound. Here's a link to the numerous threads on this topic: http://www.chow.com/search?query=Stor...
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      1. They should be stored away from light, but in a container that allows ventilation. I keep onions in a mesh strainer basket, garlic in a garlic keeper, on a shelf in a pantry closet. Onions and garlic also should be stored away from potatoes, they hasten the ripening/rotting process for each other. I keep potatoes in a separate pantry closet from onions.

        If the onions or garlic are starting to smell, they are rotting and should be discarded; they cannot be saved and should not be eaten.

        1. I keep onions in the fridge--they like the cool darkness. Garlic goes into a perforated terra cotta pot on the counter.

          Under the sink is not a good place for potatoes or onions--too warm, from the hot water in the sink, and not enough air circulation. And don't store potatoes and onions in the same place--one causes the other to sprout and spoil.

          1. Sweet onions that have not been cured for dry storage - that is, Vidalia onions, for example - should be individually wrapped in paper towels and stacked in the dry crisper. They can keep well for months that way.

            1. My wife contributed a pair of old pantyhose she didn't need any more. One leg makes a really simple 'bag' for onions that lets air in but keeps them in one place on a pantry shelf. I think I got the idea here several years ago.

              1. I think it is best to not buy large quantities of either one unless you have no choice. I store all onions, garlic, shallots and potatoes in a basket in a drawer--but I never buy more that I can use in a week to ten days--except for garlic which I find lasts a little longer. It is also important to give the onions and such a good squeeze before you buy them to make sure they haven't begun to get soft.

                1. I remember long ago in my grandmother's house, that the kitchen had big tilt-out bins under the counter for potatoes and onions. There wasn't enough cooking going on by that time that required that much storage, so they were used for paper bags, etc.

                  Anyway...potatoes and onions like it dark, and after a lot of searching, I found not only potato storage bags, but onion bags as well on Amazon. They are heavy fabric, black-lined, with a drawstring opening at one end, and a zip opening at the other. They keep both very well, and you can hang them from a hook, fill them from the top and take what you need from the bottom. Rotate your stock, dontcha know.

                  1. I grew up on a farm (many, many years ago), and potatoes and onions were staples -- we ate them almost every day (often two meals). We harvested them and threw them into a dark "crib" in our barn. Onions and potatoes were kept in different parts of the "root celler", but almost all of them lasted nearly a year in there. Of course, we had a few go bad along the way, and every week, when I went in to get the week's potatoes and onions for my mother, I had to throw away any which were going bad, but it was very few. Also, we kept garlic hanging in there for months with no problem. There was plenty of air circulation. FAST FORWARD TO NOW: I don't know whether it's changes in the varieties grown and sold or in the production, harvesting and storage of the product, but something is seriously wrong when we can't store potatoes and onions for a month and garlic for three months without taking some special care. As somebody who really loves potatoes, onions, and garlic, it's very frustrating, so I'm going to try the refrigerator crisper in paper towels. I'll report back when I have a result.

                    1. We keep the garlic in a terra cotta pot on the counter. The onions are in a small, open cardboard box in the mud room off the kitchen, actually it's just the entryway from the garage into the kitchen but there are no windows so it's dark most of the time. I prefer the small box on the floor in the corner to a hanging basket because the loose onion skins stay in the box.

                      Unless you're storing sweet onions such as Walla Walla, Sweet Maui, or Vidalia onions, never put onions or garlic in the refrigerator. The humidity in the refrigerator will promote sprouting. Both last longer in a dark, dry area that is not too hot. (Inside a cupboard or a drawer is not a good idea either).

                      1. We were visiting a smallish chateau in Burgundy, and spent part of one day exploring it, starting in the cellar. Most of the wine racks had been cleared out, but several large tables were covered with potatoes from the year's crop - this was early September. After touring the two main floors we went up to the cavernous attic, and there a big area of floor had been swept clean and covered with onions! Both areas were quite dry, and while the attic would get very cold in the winter we figured whatever onions were still there would be taken downstairs.

                        We don't eat many potatoes, so I tend to get those as I need them, but my onions live in a wire basket hanging out of direct sunlight, but in the open. As long as I get nice solid ones they keep very well; I wrap and refrigerate only cut ones.