This article is first in a series where I will be discussing dehydration and how to use dehydrated foods for long term storage. We will also be featuring several video tutorials for you to follow along. This step by step tutorial will walk you through the whole process from start to finish.
Dehydrating Onions for Long Term Storage
I love growing onions and being able to just walk outside and grab what I need for the dishes I create but there are times that I just need something quick. Onions are one of those vegetables that are used in a wide variety of dishes from soups to stews. They are also the main ingredient in Mirepoix, along with celery and carrots; it’s a culinary building block for soups, stocks and hundreds of other dishes. Luckily for us dehydrating onions is a simple process and doesn’t take up much time except for the drying process.
For my food storage I mostly prefer to stock up on basic ingredients, it allows me the freedom to create an unlimited variety of meals from just a dozen or so ingredients. I love the fact that I can just reach in to my pantry and grab a mason jar and have these brown little crunchys right at my finger tips.
One thing to note, dehydrating onions is a stinky job. As a bonus, I will also show you a little trick that will help eliminate the onion smell from your food dehydrator so that the next thing you make won’t smell or taste like onions.
Watch the video or follow the instructions below — Good Luck!
What you will need:
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Mandalin (Optional)
- Food Dehydrator
- Mason Jars or Small Mylar Bags
- O2 Absorbers
How to Dehydrate Onions
- Using a sharp chef’s knife or French knife, cut the ends off of all onions.
- Slice in half and peel the outer skin off. (Don’t forget to add these organic scraps to your compost pile.)
- To reduce tearing and eye burn, put uncut onions in cold water until ready to slice.
- Slice onions with flat side down. Cut pieces appx ¼ inch thick. If you have trouble using a knife you can use a mandalin for more consistant slices. Just be careful not to cut yourself.
- Arrange cut onions in the trays of your food dehydrator, leaving a small space between each piece for more evenly drying.
- Let your onions dry for about 20 hours, since we are using these for long term storage we want to reduce the moisture content as much as possible. Onions should be crispy when done and not feel spongy.
- When done, your onions should be a nice toasty brown. Remove from trays and store in mason jars or mylar bags. Don’t forget to add O2 absorbers to keep them fresh.
To get the onion smell out of your dehydrator, spray with lemon juice and dehydrate a few lemon rinds for a few hours!