There is a kitchen without a porch or cabinet handy to store onions. How can I store onions in a way that doesn't cause odors in the kitchen? Is it even possible?

  • 13
    Unless they're rotten, or you start slicing them, I've never noticed any real odours from the 5-10 onions I have sitting on a shelf all year long...
    – Dan Mašek
    Commented Mar 9 at 19:19
  • 4
    Yup - they only smell when damaged. Rot, bruising or cutting will do that. An onion in good condition doesn't stink.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 9 at 19:33
  • 6
    @Jim they really don’t. Whole onions with the husks still on should smell like nothing, unless your nose gets really really close.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Mar 9 at 20:17
  • 2
    …though, just to keep terminology straight, I would not say that about the green stalks of spring onions, aka green onions (aka scallions).
    – Sneftel
    Commented Mar 9 at 21:15
  • 3
    Jim, sounds like the onions you are buying are already old.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 9 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


To store onions so that their smell does not invade the entire refrigerator, there is nothing better than storing them in airtight containers. It is vital to put absorbent paper as a base.

  • I believe the question refers to whole, intact onions with the skin still on stored in the kitchen, rather than the refrigerator.
    – moscafj
    Commented Apr 27 at 18:47

Assuming papery peel left on. Hard to control scent wafting with moisture evaporating from peeled onions.

Bury in flour covering by 2 inches or so. Keep cool.

Originally in Bavaria, rootveg was protected from rot/ sprouting by burying in sand in cellar

Flour will be contamiated with any mold dust etc but altered scent only after very prolonged use.

  • 4
    Is this something you personally do?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Mar 25 at 8:01
  • 1
    how do you use the flour later, doesn't it absorb some of the smell / flavor (or even moisture)? Or do you have to toss it after a while? Can you edit your answer to provide more details?
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 25 at 13:56
  • 2
    Storing root vegetables in slightly damp sand is common tradition but not for onions, which are stored dry, sometimes even braided and hung up. I don’t see how the paragraph about root vegetables fits in logically?
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 28 at 5:53
  • 2
    It really seems like you're going to end up with damp, moldy, weevil-ridden flour within a week or two.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Mar 28 at 11:14

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