Here's Why You Should NEVER Refrigerate Your Onions

You could say we unpeeled this mystery.

09/09/2015 7:10 AM AEST | Updated 09/09/2015 7:10 AM AEST

While there are many reasons to extol your refrigerator's virtues, some foods just need to stay out of it.

A fridge can dehydrate your bread, for example, sweeten your potatoes and harden your honey.

And, believe it or not, this rule applies to onions, too, which stay good for up to 30 days if you store them the right way (in a cool, dry, dark place -- not in the fridge).

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Here's why: When an onion is chilled, the cold, humid temperatures in a refrigerator convert the starch to sugars (the same happens with potatoes), and onions tend to become soft or soggy a lot faster. Plus, as you probably already know, they also skunk up your fridge and make everything smell or taste like onions.

Instead, keep storage onions, such as red or white onions, in the mesh bag they came in, or in a bowl in a cool, dry, ventilated spot in your pantry. The USDA recommends you store them at 45 to 50ºF (just above refrigeration level), but if you can't find such a cool place, they'll keep for a week at room temperature. Also, don't store onions in a bag; they need air to breathe, and make sure you keep the onions separate from potatoes, as potatoes can excrete moisture that speed up an onion's decomposition.

This no-fridge rule doesn't apply to scallions or green onions, however, as they have a higher water content and need to be chilled.

As a bonus, if you want to reduce the amount of tears that fly out of your face when you cut onions, the National Onion Association recommends chilling the onion for about 30 minutes before cutting the top off and peeling off its outer layers (being sure to leave the root end alone, as it has the highest amount of sulphuric compounds that tend to get our eyes watery).

Add this to the list of other things we keep refrigerated that we definitely shouldn't.

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