Friday, September 24, 2010

Drying Onions

Earlier this year I mentioned my struggle to keep onions. Several of you suggested drying them.

My onions are one crop that did well this summer. And surprisingly, they seem to be keeping well. Usually the onions look fine when harvested, but when cut open, one of the inner rings is rotten. Soon, the whole center of the onion is rotten.

I talked to my extension office, and they suggested that possibly fluctuating soil moisture had something to do with my problem. Well, this summer there was no moisture to fluctuate! And the onions appear to have no center rot problem. Maybe onions like dry weather?

After harvesting the onions, I braided them and hung them in the wood shed to dry. I've been using a lot of them in pizza sauce and salsa. But since my tomatoes didn't do that great, I still have lots left.

I borrowed my mom's dehydrator, and tried drying some.

It took a large bowl of onions to fill the dehydrator. I sat the dehydrator in the basement in my husband's shop because the smell of onions was almost overpowering.

The dehydrator ran all night. In the morning I separated the rings and left it on for a few more hours.

Once the onions were totally dry, I decided to turn them into minced onions.

The blender made quick work and almost made it onion powder than minced.


The entire dehydrator load, once blended, fit into one pint container! How is that for space saving!

I'm storing the dried onion in the freezer since it doesn't have any anti-caking agents added and I'm guessing it may absorb moisture. 

I still have about 60 heads of onions hanging. I have no idea how many I use in one winter. I'm going to keep using them for as long as they seem to be keeping well. Then I may dehydrate some more. Hopefully, I can use my own onions (fresh or dried)  until spring onions arrive! Not that onions are expensive to buy, but since my garden was a failure in most other areas, I'm enjoying this one small success!

Linked to Tuesday Garden Party

8 comments :

  1. I dry my onions too, and then run them in the food processor. I just store them in the cabinet. If they stick a little, I just loosen by tapping on the counter and then they're fine. No sense taking up freezer space, even a little, if you don't have to :)

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  2. What a good plan! I love home grown veg..so might try that if I have surplus onions. God bless :-)

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  3. Wow, you did have a great onion harvest!

    Our onion harvest was made up of very small onions, most of which I have already used up. I'm thankful for what we did get, but hoping next year will be better.

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  4. We dehydrate our onions too! I mince some in the food processor, then powder the rest in our spice grinder.

    We do store ours in the freezer though, as we live right next to one of the Great Lakes and moisture can be a problem here.

    We do make onion rings thought to help use up some of the fresh supply. :)

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  5. fascinating. I never thought of drying onions. In fact, I've never dried anything but I've been hearing so much about it recently that I want to give it a try.

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  6. Great idea! I've never thought about that - though it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I ruined my onion harvest this year by leaving them outside too many days in hot sun thinking they would "cure" but instead just cooked! Ugh. Always learning with a garden, huh? :-) I salvaged what I could and will have enough to use in canning recipes, but that's about it. Maybe one day I will have an abundance to dry.

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  8. Hi Gina, I really am enjoying your web site and learning alot. This is my first year in trying to can and preserve food for the winter. I'm having a problem with my drying my onions. I bought some
    large white onions. Perfect for onion rings. I cut a bunch and used the food dehydrator. The first day your right very strong
    smell. Put it back on day 2 and some of them started to turn brown and then black, but their not dry. They are sticky and will fold but not break. What am I doing wrong? Thank you for any help you can give us. God Bless you and your family.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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