Can You Store Potatoes and Onions Together?

Organizing a kitchen can be challenging, especially in small apartments or shared spaces, and it may be tempting to store all vegetables together in one drawer or on the same shelf. However, it is important to consider whether storing certain veggies together, such as potatoes and onions, is advisable.

It is not recommended to keep potatoes and onions in the same container. It is best to refrain from storing them together in a cabinet or drawer as onions can accelerate the spoilage of potatoes. In case you have to store them together, it is advisable to keep them at a considerable distance from each other.

Is it possible to store potatoes and onions together? Can the presence of onions cause spoilage in potatoes? Continue reading to find out!

Why Should Potatoes and Onions Be Stored Separately?

Storing potatoes and onions in the same place is not recommended as onions can accelerate the spoilage process of potatoes, which should be kept in a cool and dark environment. Additionally, the strong smell of onions can affect the taste of potatoes.

Onions emit large amounts of ethylene gas, which affects the ripening process of fruits and vegetables. This semi-sweet, musky-smelling gas has a pleasant aroma when it comes to fresh produce, but can give off a sour, spoiled smell when the food is no longer edible. 

Ethylene can trigger a hormonal response in fruits and vegetables, hastening the aging process and leading to quicker spoilage of vegetables such as potatoes.

This gas is so powerful that it is even utilized in transport of fruits and vegetables. It is sprayed on immature produce shortly before it reaches the stores, giving it enough time to ripen without going bad. 

While some specialists claim that the hastened procedure could reduce the nutritional value of the food, this is feasible as the produce no longer obtains nutrients from its source plant.

Unless you want your fruits and vegetables to ripen faster, it is advisable to keep away high Ethylene producers when storing potatoes and onions together.

How Far Apart Should Potatoes and Onions Be Stored?

Generally, it is advisable to keep potatoes in a location where they won’t be exposed to Ethylene gas, although the ideal storage method may differ depending on the type of storage unit or cabinet you have.

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Plastic bins can be handy as they provide a barrier against many substances, and it is advisable to store potatoes in lower compartments while keeping onions in higher ones.

Storing onions and potatoes together in the same bin or closet is a common mistake that many people make, but it is not advisable as they can have a negative impact on each other.

If you store potatoes and onions together, the onions will spoil due to the rapid aging and spoiling of potatoes in the same bin.

If you want to store potatoes and onions properly, it is recommended to keep them in different storage spaces such as closets, drawers, or containers. It is advisable to maintain a considerable distance between them.

If you are only able to keep potatoes and onions in a separate container, that is acceptable. Nevertheless, having a distinct cupboard for them would be more ideal.

What’s the Best Way to Store Potatoes?

Potatoes should be kept in a cool and dry place with a temperature range of 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit (6-10 degrees Celsius). It is recommended to store them in an open bin rather than a closed container, as dry environments are more suitable for their storage.

Potatoes can spoil rapidly when they come into contact with moisture, leading to decay and eventual rotting if left in damp or warm conditions for an extended period.

It is best to store potatoes in the following containers

  • Plastic basket 
  • Plastic bin
  • Wooden basket 
  • Woven basket 
  • Cardboard bin 

We advise against utilizing paper or cardboard for extended periods of storage as they tend to deteriorate rapidly and may result in the formation of damp areas beneath the potato, leading to spoilage.

Potatoes should not be stored in the fridge.

Storing potatoes and onions together can result in a gritty and elastic consistency for your potatoes, but it’s not essential to refrigerate them as they can be stored at room temperature for several weeks without any issues.

Avoid storing potatoes with certain fruits and vegetables:

  • Apples 
  • Bananas 
  • Plantains
  • Onions 
  • Garlic 
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Potatoes should be stored in a dry cellar, preferably inside an open plastic bin and off the floor as they produce high levels of ethenyl gas. It is important to avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as it can speed up the growth of eyes and seeding.

Can You Freeze Potatoes? 

Although it is possible to store potatoes in the freezer, it is not advisable due to the alteration of their molecular structure, resulting in an undesirable texture. Instead, for long-term storage, it is recommended to dehydrate them into mashed potato flakes or can them.

What’s the Best Way to Store Onions?

Onions should be kept in a cool and dry location, away from direct sunlight to prevent mold growth within the layers and under the outer skin. It is also recommended to avoid paper or cardboard containers and instead opt for plastic or woven baskets when storing.

Onions can be stored for up to a year without being cut or peeled, provided they are kept in the appropriate environment at room temperature, with the ideal temperature range being between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit (4-16 degrees Celsius).

Onions do not thrive in damp or humid surroundings, but you can extend the lifespan of your room storage vegetables by utilizing a dehydrator. Alternatively, you may store your onions in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.

For storing potatoes and onions together, it is recommended to use a sealed container in the fridge. While onions cannot be stored for a long time in the fridge, they can stay fresh for a few weeks longer than usual if kept in the fridge instead of a humid environment.

Using a sealed container for storing potatoes and onions together for a long time or on a shelf is not recommended as it can result in the accumulation of moisture inside the container, leading to the growth of mold.

Onions that have been cut should be placed in an airtight container made of plastic or glass and stored in the fridge, but it’s important to note that they should not be kept for more than a week as there is a risk of them developing dangerous levels of bacteria.

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Can You Freeze Onions? 

Onions can be safely frozen for a maximum of three years, either in plastic bags or freezer-safe containers, as long as they are sealed correctly to prevent freezer burn and avoid contaminating other foods in the freezer.

What Can You Store With Onions?

Onions can be stored with garlic and ginger root, as they do not react to Ethylene in the same way as potatoes and other vegetables. Moreover, these plants have a strong scent, making it unlikely for them to absorb each other’s odor.

The optimal vegetables and herbs to store with onions are:

  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 
  • Yucca root
  • Tamarine
  • Winter squash 
  • Summer squash

The majority of these vegetables share a common trait – they are either unresponsive to Ethylene gas or have a protective outer layer that inhibits decay.

While some may suggest storing potatoes and onions separately due to the belief that onions can shorten their shelf life, the impact is so negligible that it is unlikely to have a significant effect on their longevity.

What Can You Store With Potatoes?

Potatoes cannot be stored together with most fruits or vegetables due to the high amounts of Ethylene released by fruits such as avocados, apples, and pears which can lead to rotting. However, root vegetables and certain types of cabbage crops can be stored alongside potatoes for a few weeks.

It is advisable to refrain from storing potatoes with other fruits and vegetables as they can last for a long time if kept in a cool and dark environment, making it unnecessary to store them with other vegetables.

Nevertheless, in case you have the urge to keep other vegetables along with potatoes, opt for the following:

  • Yucca root
  • Summer squash 
  • Winter squash 
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I trust that you have gained all the necessary information regarding the storage of potatoes and onions together.

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