Store Onions And Garlic In A Brown Paper Bag For Double The Shelf Life

assorted onions and garlic in a wooden bowl
assorted onions and garlic in a wooden bowl - Marko Jan/Getty Images

Both onions and garlic belong to the allium family, which means these pungent vegetables share lots of common attributes. Their commonalities are especially relevant when it comes to the proper storage of each veggie, as using the correct storage method ensures that your produce enjoys an extended lifespan and a reduced risk of premature spoilage. In this case, one of the best things you can do for alliums is store them in a paper bag, which will help keep them firm and fresh for three to six months, or possibly even longer.

Air circulation is major factor in how quickly onions and garlic spoil. That's why a paper bag is preferred to a plastic one, as plastic prevents the proper flow of air over vegetables while also trapping moisture. In addition to using a paper bag to store garlic and onions, create a few holes in the bag to boost airflow even further and encourage a longer shelf life for your vegetables. Of course, where you place your onion and garlic-filled paper bags can also impact shelf life.

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Best Places To Keep Onions And Garlic

man taking items from his pantry
man taking items from his pantry - Zoranm/Getty Images

Certain environmental factors can wreak havoc on your stock of vegetables and ultimately result in premature spoilage. Heat is a major factor in spoilage, so it's best to keep these alliums in a temperature range between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, the area must be well-protected against external distributors of heat, such as hot air coming from a nearby vent, as well as sunlight. Storing your onions and garlic in a paper bag has the advantage here over a basket or mesh bag, as it helps shield your produce from sunlight.

Remember that moisture is also a foe to the shelf life of onions and garlic. Excess moisture creates a prime environment for the growth of mold, which will render your veggies unsafe for consumption. Along with ensuring your pantry or cabinet is cool and dry, also be mindful of where you place the punctured paper bag containing your onions and garlic. It's best to situate the bag in the middle of a shelf, as placing it against the wall will decrease airflow. It's also important to avoid storing other produce next to your onions and garlic, as the proximity of certain fruits and veggies can cause your alliums to spoil faster.

Potatoes Are No Friend To Your Onions

potatoes in a bag with other vegetables
potatoes in a bag with other vegetables - Zagardinova/Getty Images

While potatoes and onions taste amazing when combined in recipes, they should never be stored together. That's because potatoes contain a lot of moisture, and this moisture can alter storage conditions and potentially contribute to mold growth on your onions. You should also keep onions away from citrus fruits and apples due to their production of ethylene, which is a chemical that causes produce to ripen. If onions ripen too quickly, they'll naturally spoil faster.

As for garlic, you have more options when it comes to storage buddies. Onions also produce ethylene, but garlic isn't particularly vulnerable to its ripening ability, so it's perfectly fine to keep onions and garlic together. Also, garlic doesn't give off as much ethylene as other types of produce, so you don't have to worry about the bulbs spoiling other vegetables. By taking the right steps, you can preserve fresh onions and garlic and ensure your precious grocery budget does not needlessly go to waste.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.