Dehydrated Onions - How To Dehydrate Them and Why to dehydrate?
Dehydrated onions (how to dehydrate them and why to dehydrate them)

Dehydrated Onions – How To Dehydrate Them and Why to dehydrate?

This article imparts information about how to dehydrate onions and the purposes to which dehydrated onions can be put.

One of the most found food ingredients in any household’s kitchen is an onion. As it has versatility, onions can be used in different recipes, both as dried and freshly chopped. Although dehydrated onions are not usually used for cooking, dehydrating them is a straightforward process. Dehydrated onions can be put to a variety of uses, including using for cooking and food storage.

Therefore, if you have a dehydrator, oven, or microwave at home and your onions are rotting or becoming soft, why not dehydrate or dry them and put them to some constructive use?  

How To Dehydrate Onions At Home?

5 ways to dehydrate onions at home are:

1. Dehydrating with a dehydrator machine

If you have a dehydrator at home, you will realize that this is the easiest way to dehydrate onions. The dehydration process can be completed in a few basic steps.

To dry onion:

  • Prepare the onions by removing their skins.
  • Trim the ends and slice them into evenly sized pieces.
  • Segment the onions and spread them out evenly on the dehydrator trays single-layer-wise. 
  • Put the dehydrator on 1250F. Let it dry for about 3-9 hours. 
  • The time required for the drying process depends on the size of the onions pieces and their moisture content. 
  • The dried onions should be so crisp that they snap when you try to break them.
  • Leave these onions to cool, crush them into flakes of onion.
  • Keep the dry onions in airtight containers made of glass or process them further into onion powder and dried flakes of onion. 

2. Dehydrating in an oven

So, you know how to dehydrate onions in a food dehydrator. You can also dehydrate onions in the oven. Here is how to make oven-dried onions. This is how you can do it:

  • Preheat the oven to 1400F or 60 degrees C. 
  • Lay the onions, which have been thinly sliced in one single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Put an oven thermometer in the midst of it.
  • Place the onions inside the oven.
  • Let the door be open at 2 inches approximately for allowing air circulation.
  • Check the oven’s temperature every 30 minutes for ensuring that the thinly sliced onions are evenly heated.
  • Post waiting for 6-12 hours, you can notice that the onions have shrunk, and this is when you will realize that the onions are ready for being stored. 

So, this is the process of dehydrating onions in the oven. The oven is more readily available than food dehydrators in one’s kitchen. Therefore, this can be used to dry onions quickly and conveniently, requiring no special preparation techniques.

However, the single disadvantage of this process is if the oven doors are kept open, it could be unsafe for the kids or the pets who play around. 

As it has versatility, we can use onions in different recipes, both as dried and freshly chopped.

 

3. How To Dehydrate Onions In The Microwave?

Recently, microwave dehydration has also become very popular. It is more advantageous than the normal and conventional process in which onions are dried, as the onion’s quality is not damaged because of a shorter period of exposure to the process of dehydration. 

Instructions

  • Cut the onions into thinly sliced and long pieces.
  • Insert them into the microwave plate.
  • Insert the microwave plate into the microwave.
  • Set a 30 minutes timer and ensure that the setting is fixed at “defrost” to avert any burns to the onions.
  • Check if the onions have been dried on one inside after 30 minutes.
  • Flip it and check if complete drying has taken place. 

4. Air-dried onions

A conventional way in which we can have dehydrated onions is by hanging the onions inside the house. How to do it?

  • Cleanse the onions without washing with water to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Leave 6 inches of stem. Braid them together. 
  • During the braiding process, add three onions to every layer by tracing from the last onion’s stem.  
  • Perform this step until you get to the onion foot and place it in an open space. 

5. Sun-drying onions

  • Rinse the onions and cleanse them
  • Pat them to dry after cleaning
  • Make even slices of the onions to ensure that they are consistently dried. 
  • You can also separate each ring for quickening the process of drying.
  • Position them in metal sheets or drying racks and in such a way that they can receive direct sunlight. 

If you want to know whether your onions have been perfectly dehydrated, you can touch them to see if they are brittle and crisp. This might need 8-12 hours of sun-drying, especially for the areas that have low humidity. 

Dehydrated onions can be put to a variety of uses, including using for cooking and food storage.

Storing The Dehydrated Onions

Dehydrating onions is easy. But the difficult question is how to store dehydrated onions?

A major goal of drying onions is to prolong their shelf life. Therefore, they need to be stored properly. Before the dehydrated onions are stored, they must be cooled first.

Post cooling, they need to be placed loosely in one bow and put aside from direct sunlight for some weeks. Then, gently shake them and check for droplets of water in the container.

If no moisture is traced, then it can be put into vacuum-sealed airbags for avoiding product degradation. Airtight containers can also be used, but then the product needs to be stowed in a cool and dark, dry place. 

How To Dehydrate Green Onions Without A Dehydrator? 

  • Cut off the root ends.
  • Wash the onions and pick them to remove damaged or discolored parts
  • Chop the onions into smaller and uniform pieces. 
  • Separate the white rings.
  • Place them on metal sheets or drying racks and put them at an angle where they can receive direct sunlight for 8-12 hours. 
Thinly sliced Onion makes the process of dehydrating even and fast.

How To Make Dried Minced Onion?

Here’s how to make dried minced onion at home.

Ingredients

  • Onions
  • Cutting board and sharp knife or mandoline slicer 
  • Dehydrator
  • Tray liners or parchment paper

Instructions

  • Firstly, you need to peel onions.
  • Cutaway the bad spots.
  • Set up your mandolin with a julienne blade. 
  • Use the mandoline blades for making very thin slices.
  • Cut the julienne piece or slices into a fine mince. 
  • More uniform pieces will be dried faster.
  • Put the parchment paper or liners on the trays.
  • Spread out the onions evenly on them.
  • Put the lined trays inside the dehydrator. Turn it on.
  • Set the dehydrator’s temperature at 1450F. Turn the temperature down at 1250F post 2 hours. 
  • Drying time depends on the size of the pieces of onions and the level of humidity and moisture content of the onions. 
  • After the pieces have been dried completely, let them off to cool before storing them away in storage containers. 

How To Make Dry Onion Flakes

Make dry onion flakes at home by following the direction mentioned below.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven at 1400F or 710C. 
  • Add the trays that have been loaded with the onion slices.
  • Keep the doors open to at least 4 inches. 
  • Dry the onions on trays in a single layer. 
  • The slices need to be placed on the trays that are 11/1 inches narrower than the inside portion of the oven to let air circulation take place.
  • Leave 21/2 inch space between the trays. Leave 3 inches free space above the first tray. This will have scope for a lot of air circulation to take place between the onion pieces. 
  • It is optional, but you can position a fan outside the oven so that the air is directed towards the opening and facilitates air circulation. 
  • The temperature of the oven needs to be maintained at 1400F or 600C. If this temperature is maintained, then less heat will be required during the process of drying. 
  • Turn the onion-loaded trays frequently and keep checking if they have been dried. 
  • When the drying process begins, there are fewer chances of the onions getting scorched, but these might get burned easily when they are nearly dried.  
  • A little bit of extra heat can also destroy the flavor and nutritional value of the onions. 
  • Your dry onion flakes are ready! 

Now that you know how to make dehydrated onions, the question arises what to do with these dehydrated onions? 

Sun Dried Onions

Ways In Which Dehydrated Onions Can Be Used

Dry onions can be put for various purposes in the kitchen.

Here are some of the ways you can use dehydrated onions flakes, dry onion, onion powder, and dried and minced onion:

Add the dry onion directly to different foods 

Add dried flakes of onions and dehydrated onions that are minced to stews and simmering soups. They would reconstitute with liquid imparting an onion flavor to the soups or stews. 

Put onion powder into mixes containing dry herbs 

Powdered onion gets dissolved easily and imparts an onion flavor. Onion powder can be combined easily with the dried spices and herbs to make a shelf-stable mix like DIY blends of herbs, rub mixes, and taco seasonings.  

Rehydrated the already drying onions 

You can reconstitute the dehydrated onions for use as chopped onions for cooked and raw foods. For rehydrating the onions, you need to soak one part of the dried and minced onions in warm water in two parts until they are soft. It might take about 20 minutes. 

Dehydrated Onions
Onion

Dried Onion Recipe

Dried and dehydrated onions can be put to a variety of uses in the kitchen. For instance, you can put dried powder of onion to various cooking uses like it can be used as a spice rub, marinade ingredient, and even as roasted seasonings for vegetables.

Granulated and toasted onions work well with meatloaf and homemade seasonings for burgers. Green onions, when dried, can be used as an herb. They are known for their vegetative flavor. They can be thrown in during dumpling dough and go well with dumplings and chicken soup. 

Are your market-purchased onions slowly becoming soft? Don’t worry.

Dehydrated onions can last longer, and onions are mostly dehydrated for purposes of food storage. Turn the onions into dehydrated flakes of onions, onion powder, and minced and dried onions. 

Often asked questions include what type of food dehydrator must be used for dehydrating or drying onions. Well, for smaller batches of drying, a stackable food dehydrator would suffice. However, for larger batches, you must use an Excalibur dehydrator. 

Dehydrated Onions
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

It is advisable to opt for a dehydrator, microwave, or oven drying as drying onions outside might leave off a very foul smell, and the time taken is also longer. How long to dehydrate onions?

Well, it depends on the dehydrator and the size of the onion slices. But if a dehydrator is used, then generally 4-12 hours are enough for the onions to be crisp dry. Dehydrator drying is comparatively easier than you can run all your errands around the house as the onions do not need to be checked constantly. This makes a dehydrator a more lucrative option for drying than an oven or microwave. 

Therefore, if the onions at your place are turning bad, and you don’t want to waste all your money spent on buying them, why not put them to some other constructive uses? 

Why not turn them into minced onions or green onion flakes?

Why not dry them and use them for making spice or seasonings?

In that way, neither does your money get wasted, nor are you deprived of your perfect homemade seasonings. 

FAQs

  1. How healthy are dried onions?

    The dried onions are packed with fiber. These are an amazing source of sulfur compounds (healthy) just like garlic.

  2. What quantity of dried onion equals a fresh onion?

    One small fresh minced onion is equivalent to one tablespoon of dried onion, minced.

  3. Can you rehydrate dried onions?

    Yes, you can. To rehydrate the dehydrated onions, you need to soak them in water. Leave the onion in water for around 15 minutes and drain the water. The onions will now be a flavorful alternative to fresh onions.

  4. How much is the life of dried onions?

    The dehydrated onions can last for 10 years to 12 years if these are sealed in a can, with an oxygen absorber. Make sure the can is kept in a cool, dry place. When you open it, the average shelf life is six months to 12 months. 

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