Tips & Techniques

The Surprising Way You Should Be Storing Onions

November 18, 2015

Onions should be stored in a cool (and ideally dark) spot with good airflow—separated from potatoes. You know that, but there's a more fun way.

Photo by James Ransom

Food52er Sam1148 has been telling us about for years how he stores onions: Take a pair of pantyhose, drop an onion down into the toe, and tie a knot above it. Repeat that process with the remainder of your onions and hang the resulting onion-filled pair of pantyhose in a dark closet (ideally a closet without clothes/one that guests won’t be opening and questioning you about your life choices).

There's no better way to maximize airflow around your onions while simultaneously keeping them separated and moisture-free. Whenever you need​ an onion, simply snip one off; make sure you’re cutting below a knot so the onion above it stays in place. This method works for any type of onion, but it’s especially good for sweet onions, which otherwise are known for having a short shelf life.

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What’s your favorite quirky produce storage trick? Tell us in the comments!

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I like esoteric facts about vegetables and think ambling through a farmers market is a great way to start the day. My first cookbook, available now, is called Cooking with Scraps.


Parrish N. November 12, 2019
Yeah, not doing that
Clementine H. January 12, 2019
I buy a abundance of sweet onions late summer. I store them in a mesh bag. Do you know if these onions turn stronger the longer they are kept??
Nils S. April 2, 2018
Wasting 1 pantyhose every time you store a bunch of onions is a great way to fill up our landfills. This "trick" should be removed! :(
thewholekitchen January 10, 2016
I live in a small condo, so space is at a premium, but I asked my woodworker father in law to make me an old fashioned onion/potato box - air holes in back and floor, dividing wall between the tool, just at a smaller scale for city living - it's one of my favorite things, and doubles as low side table in the living room.
Mav November 19, 2015
We threw the (new) onion bag in an empty cardboard box in the kitchen (it was on the floor beside the kitchen trolley). What once started as a lazy accident, proved to be quite effective! Onions would keep for months!
Vittoria A. November 18, 2015
Obviously we should be calling these pantryhose.
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 18, 2015
Ohhh well played.
ChefJune November 18, 2015
Well now, that's a great idea! But from the looks of things, not too many folks wear panty hose any more....
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. November 18, 2015
Ha! Well, all the more for onions then!