Onions are the staple in the kitchen that’s why I want to share some onion tips with you about selection, storage, preparation and how to cook them. Whether you mince, dice, or slice them, they seem to appear in almost every dish that we cook. There are numerous ways you can find them in almost every cuisine. Onions hold up well and they are usually the first item on an ingredient list when starting to cook a recipe. They are one of the vegetables that take the longest to cook.
I did a little digging around and found some great tips about onions to share with you. Some of them are surprising, while others seem to be a no-brainer.
How to select onions:
- Bulbs should be firm for their size and have little to no scent.
- Avoid bulbs with any cuts, bruises, or blemishes.
- Select onions with an outside layer that does not show signs of being dehydrated.
How to store onions:
- Onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air movement.
- Do not store onions in plastic! Lack of ventilation will reduce their storage life.
- Refrigerate only when trying to extend the shelf life of the onion. Use a low humidity setting, they must be kept dry.
- Refrigerate whole peeled onions after purchase.
Onion Tips On Preparation:
- An onion’s flavor deteriorates and its aroma intensifies over time, so it is best to prepare them as close to cooking or serving time as possible.
- Light a candle when before cutting or refrigerate onions 30 minutes before preparation to prevent tearing.
- To remove the smell of onions, rub hands and equipment with lemon juice.
- Properly refrigerated, chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container for 7 to 10 days.
- When sautéing onions, always use low or medium heat. High heat makes onions turn bitter.
- Yellow onions are considered all-purpose and best for cooking.
- Onions can have a pungent, lingering aftertaste, but I have a tip I learned from Bobby Flay, that can change your whole attitude towards onions. The secret to really good onions without all the stinky armpit smell is to soak the onions in cold ice water for about 10 minutes before serving! The acids that cause your eyes to burn and cause the odor are water soluble. The cold ice water removes the stinging bite and mellows the taste. If you love the crunch and flavor of onions on burgers or leafy green salads, do this little trick next time you slice onions. It will change your whole outlook on the onion!
Onion Tips on Cooking:
- The taste and texture of onions vary greatly depending on their preparation. Onions can be braised, boiled, steamed, baked, grilled, sautéed, caramelized, roasted, or fried.
- Sautéing onions softens their texture and enriches their taste.
- Onions can be heated in broth or wine instead of butter or oil to lower the fat content.
- Want your onions to cook faster? Use salt! Salt extracts the extra moisture from the onions while cooking, breaking down the cell walls more quickly which makes the onions cook faster.
- Full flavored onions are best for savory dishes that require longer cooking times or more flavor. They often have a peppery taste, characteristic of a good cooking onion.
- Yellow onions contain more sugar than even sweet onions; sugar caramelizes as it cooks which also helps to break down the onion.
Do you like onions? Do you use them every day? I know we do and they are a part of almost every dish we make. I hope these onion tips help you out when using them in your kitchen.
Try this Healthy French Onion Soup recipe: Click HERE!