Today we’re making dried onions in a dehydrator. Dried onions are super handy to have around because they don’t go bad and they’re ready to use in whatever meal you’re making. Drying onions is easy and requires no cooking/blanching. So here’s how to dehydrate onions.
I bought a sack of onions last fall because, well, they were cheap and I needed an onion and I thought I’d just store the sack in my food storage room and have an onion whenever I needed one which worked pretty well until this spring when they decided they were done being dormant and started growing. You know–you’ve probably had an onion or two start sprouting on you, haven’t you?
Well, when an onion starts to grow, it uses itself to feed its new growth, so pretty soon the onion part is all soft and squishy and not appetizing or worth using any more, so I thought I’d better get busy and take care of these before they all used themselves up. (And before they took over the food storage room.)
I picked a warmish day with a good breeze and gathered my supplies: cutting board, sharp knife (really, get a sharp knife, not like the one I have in the picture–it was NOT sharp), something to hold onion bits, and if you’re real sensitive some rubber gloves and sunglasses. You could also use some other means of cutting–whatever you like to cut your onions up with, but you don’t want them pureed, so a food processor is probably not your best option. Maybe some kind of manual food chopper would work.
Next, I took the whole operation outside. Believe me when I say that dehydrating onions is not an inside job–I know from experience. This is where the breeze comes in handy. I can chop onions outside and hardly even cry. By the time I had about a third of the sack chopped (all the growing ones plus any that felt softish) I was running out of time to get this project done for the day, so I stopped chopping and took my 9×13 pan full of onion bits to my dehydrator which was also outside. You can put your dehydrator in a garage, shed, porch, anywhere but in the house–trust me on this one. Some dehydrating things smell really nice like herbs, jerky, fruit leathers . . . mmmmmm. Onions are not like that. They need to dry out of the house.
I spread the onions on the trays and dried at 125 degrees for about 8 hours, then forgot about them and left the whole setup outside overnight and woke up the next morning sick and didn’t bring them in until the following afternoon. Here they are in all their glory–dehydrated onions:
Don’t look like much, do they? They do a bit of shrinking when they dry and that whole 9×13 pan loosely filled two pint jars.
Lovely, aren’t they? The onions are super dry, so no worries about them going bad. Store them in airtight containers like mason jars or buckets with good sealing lids. For longer term storage use some mylar bags and oxygen absorbers and you’ll have onion when you need it whether you have an onion or not :)