How to Tell if Onion Is Bad?

If you have ever bought an onion that was spoiled, then you know how frustrating it can be. You could end up throwing out a whole bag of onions because one or two are rotten. It’s not just the money wasted but also the time and effort involved in getting new ones.

Onions are an important ingredient in many of your favorite dishes, but how to tell if onion is bad? 

🤔 How to tell if onion is bad? An onion can go bad in a few different ways. If it’s moldy, slimy, or smells funny then it’s time to throw that onion away!

You don’t want to risk getting sick from eating something that isn’t safe anymore. Here are some tips on how you can tell if your onions are bad or still good and tasty!

How to Tell if Onion Is Bad?

1. How Does It Look?

One of the most significant signs that the onion has gone bad is by looking at it. The skin can go from firm and smooth to wrinkled and soft. This will cause the inner layers to become mushy and slimy, making it impossible to dice or slice without them falling apart in your hands. Onion should be firm with shiny skin and not wrinkled.

Brown spots on your onion are a warning sign that it’s no good. The brown patches are evidence of mold development, and the onion is discarded. 

If you observe mold growing on the onion in any color, whether green or grey, it’s time to toss it out. Also, notice that if your onion sprouting you should not use it.

2. Does It Smell?

The next sign that onion has gone bad is by smelling it! A strong and pungent smell is a good indicator of an onion going bad because it means the sulfuric compounds inside are breaking down. If an onion smells like anything other than fresh onions, then there’s a good chance that there is something wrong with it.

The best way to tell if an onion has gone bad is by smelling it. If it doesn’t smell like fresh onions, then there’s a good possibility that the flavor will not be appealing either. 

3. Is It Soft?

Another sign of spoilage is if the onion has gone soft. The yellow or white layers that are normally firm should be now soft and mushy to touch. Like I mentioned earlier, if the layers inside begin to turn mushy and slimy, then it’s not safe to eat anymore.

You can check for soft spots by squeezing it gently with your fingers. If you can push your finger into the onion and leave a dent, then it’s gone bad. Another method of checking for softness is by pressing down on the skin of the onion with your thumb. If it has softened enough where the skin bruises, then there’s a good chance that something is wrong with it.

4. Can You Cut It?

Finally, cut into your onions before using them so you can see what they look like inside, and make sure there aren’t any brown spots or mushiness inside either! 

If you are unable to slice through the onion with ease, then there’s a good chance that something is wrong with it.

The onion should be able to easily be sliced into rounds without any resistance. However, if you try and cut an onion and it feels like it’s going to fall apart, then that is a sign of bad onions.

How to Store Onions?

To get the most out of your shopping experience at the grocery store, it’s best to buy onions that are fresh and not already past their prime. If you can’t use them all at once, then try and keep them in the fridge and take out what you need each day.

Just like garlic and other root vegetables, onions should be kept in a cool dry place with plenty of air circulation to keep them from spoiling. Storing them in a brown bag with holes to allow airflow is one of the quickest ways to eliminate the moisture that causes onions to go bad!

Another method is by using an onion bag. You can generally find these at any major grocery store, but it’s always better if you’re already storing your onions in one.

These bags are designed to draw out moisture through the pores of the onion, which greatly helps extend its shelf life. The best way to store onions is by using an onion bag.

Also, check out best spring onion substitutes here.

What To Look For When Buying Onions

When you’re seeking out the best onions for whatever dish you’re preparing, there are a few things to look for.

1. Look For Onions That Are Small and Firm to Touch

Smaller onions tend to be fresher than larger ones since they don’t need as much time until they’re ready for harvest. You should also avoid onions that feel spongy or have gone soft because they can be a sign of rot and spoilage.

2. Smell Before You Buy

The best way to tell if an onion has gone bad is through its smell. If it doesn’t smell like onions, then there’s a good chance that the flavor won’t be very good either. 

3. Avoid Cut Onions

Precut onions are much more likely to be worse than an onion that has not been cut open. If you can, try and find whole ones so you have complete control over how they are being handled before using them. 

4. Only Buy Onions That Have Their Skin Intact 

Another way to ensure freshness is by making sure the onion has not already been peeled! If you are unable to find onions with their skin on, then they probably won’t last very long at all. This is because once you cut into an onion, it starts to oxidize and the flavor diminishes.

5. Check for Bruising on the Skin

The outermost layer of an onion can sometimes be discolored if they bump into each other in transport or they are mishandled at the grocery store. If you see that your onions have some bruises or dents in the skin, then chances are they may not last very long after you get them home. 

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

Leave a Comment