Can we store cut up onions in the fridge or do onions go bad in the fridge? Do they become poisonous? Can onions be safely stored in the refrigerator after peeling? Also how can you tell if an onion is bad?

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Restaurants store cut onions refrigerated all the time. They will try to use them in one shift but they can last longer if needed.

They will go soft after time and lose flavor and crispness. As far as going bad it would take over a week. It will be too soft before it actually goes bad.

At home I try and cut on demand. I will halve and make the vertical and horizontal cuts but only finish the dice on demand. My experience is vertical and horizontal cuts on demand causes more damage. Most of the damage is on the exposed surface, which stays the same either way. This assumes proper technique, good knife skills, and a sharp knife.

If you want slices then easy. Just take a slice on demand.

Store them cut side down in a sealed container.

The general rule is, it is safe to keep in the fridge (in a sealed container) for about a week. However, I strongly advise against it, as the taste and flavor will suffer. Cut onions will get more and more pungent as they wait.

Even the direction of the cuts contribute to how pungent it gets after being cut.

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    A *well-*sealed container as they stink out the fridge otherwise. Cling film on the cut face as well can help. This is mainly a technique to use when cooking for one, and you only need 1/2 an onion. – Chris H Oct 11 at 12:08
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    Some more tips here on storage (not related to safety): cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/6658/… and cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/24618/… – Ess Kay Oct 11 at 15:02
  • @ChrisH I've never had a problem leaving half an onion in a sealed-but-not-remotely-hermetic container for 24 hours. – David Richerby Oct 11 at 15:31
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    @DavidRicherby 24 hours might be OK most of the time, but not if you've got desserts chilling loosely covered in there. The cream on a trifle can pick up the scent of onion very easily – Chris H Oct 11 at 15:33
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    @ChrisH Clearly there's not enough trifle in my life. :-( – David Richerby Oct 11 at 15:36

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