We grew a lot of onions this year and while it seemed like a great idea at the time, we now have alot of onions! 🤪
According to the experts, onions stored properly at temperatures between 30°F and 50°F will keep for up to one year so I put some of them into baskets down in our little “root cellar” under the stairs but at the rate I’m using them for cooking, it will take more than a year to use them all.
So, I’m also dehydrating some for long term storage.
Did you know that properly dehydrated onions can last for 25 years or more?
Heck, I probably won’t last that long myself. Even though they might outlive me, I figure it’s still worth the effort, though. I mean, I have to leave the kids something to remember me by and what’s better than a bunch of jars of dried onions? 🙂
It’s actually easier than I expected. Onions are one of the few things that you don’t have to blanch before dehydrating so that saved time. The rest was a breeze. Well, except for the eye watering part but that’s pretty much unavoidable since the only real way to keep the tears away is to freeze them and I had way too many to do and not nearly enough room in the freezers for all of them.
So I sucked it up and got on with it.
(I did run them under cold water which helped some.)
First, I tried using my slicer which did work, sort of, but I’m ready for a new one and it is just a bit too dull so it actually went faster when I just broke out the knife and did the slicing myself.
Except I cut them the wrong direction at first, probably because I was blind from the eye watering, which gave me big chunks instead of thin slices.
Still, I managed to get them into a usable size to put them into the dehydrator anyway.
You can see the difference between the two from the top racks to the bottom one. You want them to be between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick and you don’t want the pieces touching so the air flows around them easily, which I was able to do despite the blunder.
I set them to 135F and let them run overnight, so about 12 hours total. I made sure they were crispy and not bendy before I packed them into my mason jar and used the vacuum sealer on them. All of them when compressed only filled one of the smaller jars! 😮
I’ve set aside about half of the onion harvest for dehydrating and I’ll have to do this again a few more times to get through them all, but it will be worth it in the end. I may turn some of it into onion powder, too. I figure if the apocalypse happens we are definitely going to want some onions for our hobo stew!
Speaking of stew, I think I’m going to try this amazing recipe for pheasant stew I found since I’m trying to free up some room in the freezers and we have a few whole pheasant in there that I need to use up.
It really looks delicious and I think I can make it work so my mast cells don’t rebel too much. I have nearly all the ingredients, I just need some mushrooms, wine and brandy.
Maybe I’ll surprise the hubs with it for our anniversary dinner? 🤔