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Jun 20, 2014 04:36 AM

For future reference, can I store my pickled onions this way?

I might throw my current batch out or not but wanted your thoughts either way.

I quick-pickled red onions but just for kicks and so they've been sitting in a bowl of apple cider vinegar on the counter with a fork in it and a towel over it for 2 days/nights.

Just chatting with someone yesterday introduced me to the fear of botulism!

Should I throw this batch out?

Online I see some say store pickled onions in the fridge, some say store in the cupboard/cool, dark place. And I'm not sure if canned homemade pickled [onions] are to be stored differently than quick-pickled onions.

I don't mind throwing these out, I just wanted to see how to make them again. Whatever I do, I won't store it with a metal fork in it next time!

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  1. Your friend is a bit misinformed. Botulism isn't a concern here. Botulism needs an anaerobic environment to develop which is why its a concern with canned products. There is a chance that other bacteria may have contaminated the onions, but since you pickled these with vinegar, my guess is that the acidic environment would have impeded that. I'd personally taste it but you can pitch it if you're nervous as its only an onion.

    1. No need to worry about botulism - they're sitting in straight vinegar and it's a highly acidic environment - botulism generally grows in LOW acid - that's the whole reason they started using vinegar as a preservative and making pickles etc... I'd be more concerned that you left the fork sitting in a highly acid environment for two days. Acid dissolves metal, so it's leaching metal into the pickles and depending on what the fork's made of, that could be detrimental to your health.