How to Dehydrate Onions for Home Storage
Are your onions going bad, and you don’t have any other options but to throw them away? You are looking for options, but you cannot find any to preserve onions for longer storage. Don’t worry we have just the right solution for you.
If you bought a lot of onions and they are just rotting, then preserve those onions by dehydrating them. Dehydrated onions work just as well as fresh onions. In this blog, we will discuss how to dehydrate onions with a detailed breakdown of the process. Incorporating dehydrated onions helps you to enhance the flavor of any dish. Not only that, you can also make onion powder with it.
Dehydrating onions is pretty simple and straightforward, and they are really easy to use. They require no extra effort before use. Also, there is an added advantage- if you dehydrate onions, you are free from the daily struggle of cutting onions, which, of course, comes with a few tears.
How to dehydrate onions using a food dehydrator
Onions are an amazing addition to any dish. And if you are planning on dehydrating them, you should look for onions that are good in quality and have a heavy aroma. Using onions that are not so good in terms of quality may result in failure in the dehydration process. So, make sure you have access to good quality onions, and you are more than ready to start the dehydration process.
Follow these steps to dehydrate onions using a food dehydrator:
Prepping the onions for dehydration:
- Slice the onion in half, removing the stem and roots.
- Peel off the papery part. You should cut through a few layers of the onion with a knife, then peel back the sections that were cut.
- Run cold water over the onions to clean them. Sometimes, the onions might be dirty, so clean them thoroughly.
- Next, cut the onions to help with the layering process. If you cut the onions, they will not clump up together.
- You can choose to cut them into ¼ rings or ¼-inch dice. You can also choose to slice or even shred. Once dried/dehydrated, the onions will get smaller, and ¼-inch is the best option to cut them into.
Now that you have prepared the onions, let’s move on to the dehydrating process.
Dehydrating onions in the dehydrator
- First of all, arrange the onions on the dehydrator trays so they are in a single layer.
- Onions should be dried for 5-8 hours at 155°F. This time varies and is highly dependent on the environment. When onions are leathery and split easily when chilled, this indicates that they are done.
- Before moving the onions to your storage container, let them cool in the closed dehydrator for 45 to 60 minutes.
Don’t wait until the onions have cooled to room temperature because they can absorb moisture again quickly! Also, remember to condition your onions after storing them.
It is pretty easy to condition your onions. It might sound pretty intimidating, especially if you have never done it before, but it is really simple. So, after you have stored those onions in a container, all you have to do is shake the onions once or twice a day and continue this for a week. This should show any signs of moisture left in the onion.
If there are no signs of moisture, then fortunately, your onions are properly dehydrated, and you can go on and store them in a cool, dark place. But, if you see a sign of moisture, then you must go through the dehydrating and conditioning process again. A slight moisture could ruin those onions, so make sure these onions are properly dried with no moisture at all.
How to dehydrate onions in the oven
One of the easiest and simplest ways to dehydrate onions is to use an oven. Nowadays, almost every household has an oven; therefore, it may be the most suitable option for many. Also, the process itself is not that hard. If you follow the steps mentioned below, then dehydrating onions in the oven will be a breeze for you.
So, read on to learn how to dehydrate onions in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 140°F or 60°C.
- Lay the sliced onions in a single layer on a cookie sheet or parchment paper, making sure to place an oven thermometer in the center.
- Put the tray into the oven and, to allow for air circulation, leave the door open by about two inches.
- Every thirty minutes, check the temperature to make sure the onions are heating up evenly.
- Wait for the onions to dry for six to twelve hours; they will shrink and become ready to store.
How to dehydrate onions in an air fryer
You can also use an air fryer to dehydrate onions; isn’t it amazing? Air fryer is also a useful and efficient method as it doesn’t take a lot of preparation. The only form of preparation that you need to take is to make sure you have good quality onions and a working air fryer. If you have these two, then you are good to go.
Follow these steps to dehydrate onions in an air fryer:
- Slice and peel the onions the way you prefer. But make sure they are thinly sliced so that it is easier to dry them.
- Arrange the onion slices on the shelves of your dehydrator. Beginning at the bottom, clip every shelf as it becomes filled up.
- Then, put the air fryer top down and add your stackable dehydrator to the air fryer.
- After you have the dehydrator set to 55°C/130°F, dry the onion for 6 hours or until it is completely dry.
- After the dehydrator is finished, take out the dried onion and transfer it to a container that is airtight. It can be stored for one to two years.
- Also, to make onion powder, transfer the dried onion from the air fryer to a blender and blend.
Viola, you now have dehydrated onions. Use it in different recipes and explore different recipes with them. But make sure to store them properly; otherwise, the shelf life of dehydrated onions will reduce.
How to store dehydrated onions
Onions naturally have a lot of moisture, and due to the dehydration process, they lose a significant amount of weight. And these dry onions, if shredded, will take up much less space. For every pound of fresh onions, you may receive about 1/3 to 1/2 of a pint of dehydrated onions.
You can store your dehydrated onions in an airtight container- preferably vacuum-sealed jars or airtight containers. Mason Jars will also work. Make sure there is no scope for air circulation, as it might ruin the dehydrated onions.
If you have an abundance of onions, then vacuum-sealed jars are probably the best option. Use the thickest bags you can find to prevent punctures to your bags. Small containers are the best ones for dried onions. Your dehydrated onions may eventually decay if the container is opened frequently enough to let moisture and air inside, so store them carefully.
Uses for dehydrated onions
Your dehydrated onions can be used in many ways, and also you can experiment with many dishes. Here are some of the ways dried onions are mostly used:
- Add finely chopped dried onions to cooked sauces, stews, and soups. This is a great method to flavor food with onions without having to deal with the hassle of cutting them.
- Use them in a salad. Dehydrated onions give salads a wonderful little burst of flavor and texture.
- Among many other smoker recipes, you may use our own handmade onion powder in many recipes like chicken, pork, fish, etc.
- Add them to burgers and sandwiches to give them an oniony bite!
How to rehydrate dehydrated onions
If you want to rehydrate your onions because you miss that crunchy onion flavor, then follow along. Rehydrating the dried onions will somewhat help to bring back the flavors of the fresh onions. It does not take much time; just make sure you have your dried onions with you.
Here’s how to do it:
- In a small bowl, measure the number of onions you need. It does not matter, even if it’s a huge batch, but make sure you do not take too much if not needed.
- Cover with boiling water and let the onion soak up the liquid for up to one hour. It takes more than an hour, depending on your dried onions.
- Next, just use the drained onion just like you would a fresh one.
In conclusion, in this blog, we discussed how to dehydrate onions using various kitchen appliances like an air fryer, oven, and food dehydrator. You can use any, according to your suitability and preference. All the methods are really easy and simple to use. But make sure your onions are of good quality; otherwise, you might not get the best results.
Dehydrating your onions helps to maintain the flavor of your onions and also helps you to enhance the taste of your recipes. And the most amazing part is that it can be stored for many months. So, instead of letting your unused onions rot, try dehydrating them!