Have you ever made a jar of pickled onions and wondered if they'd go bad? Or maybe you've been gifted a jar of pickled onions and aren't sure how long they'll last. Do pickled onions go bad? This question has undoubtedly crossed the mind of many an onion lover. The answer, interestingly enough, is both yes and no. This blog post will answer the age-old question: do pickled onions go bad? Let's explore this further, including how to tell if they have gone bad and how to store them properly.
- Under the right storage conditions, pickled onions will last for several months. The taste and texture may deteriorate after that period, so it's best to consume them quickly.
- If the pickling liquid becomes cloudy, or if the onions develop mold, bacteria, or other signs of spoilage, you should discard them.
- As for the actual storage, you can keep pickled onions in the fridge for up to 3 months. But if you want them to last even longer, you can store them in the freezer for up to six months.
Why I always have pickled onions in my fridge?
A day without pickled onion is like a day without sunshine. At least, that's how I feel. I love pickled onions. I put them on everything from salads to tacos to burgers. I even eat them straight out of the jar as a snack.
And because they are amazing and last forever! Seriously, these things have a shelf life of like… years. I'm not even kidding. If you keep your store-bought pickled onions in a cool, dark place (like your fridge), they could easily last you 6 months to a year. But of course, like with anything else, there is a chance that they can go bad.
There are three reasons I always have extra pickled onions on hand:
1 They make food mouth-watering good, literally.
Acid is the one that stimulates your appetite the most. A few slices of pickled onions can turn an ordinary dish into something special. We learned that out of 5 tastes.
Why is that? When you eat something sour, your body produces more saliva to balance out the flavor. And the more saliva you have in your mouth, the more you taste the flavors of the food.
So, in a way, you could say that pickled onions are little flavor boosters. You will find that many restaurants use it as one of their "secret" ingredients to make you want to eat more.
2 They add zing and crunch to just about anything.
We love the contrast in our food, which is why we're such big fans of pickled onions. Their sharp, vinegary flavor pairs perfectly with so many things: salads, tacos, burgers, you name it. Plus, they're a great way to add some extra zing (and crunch) to your meal.
Pickled onions are usually sharply acidic and tangy, in contrast to the sweetness of most onions. Due to the pickling process, they are often crunchier than fresh onions. Additionally, pickled onions often have a bright pink or red hue, contrasting with the usual fresh white, yellow, or brown onions. Finally, the pickling process usually leaves pickled onions with a softer texture than fresh onions.
3 The possibilities are limitless.
The possibilities are limitless with pickled onions, you can add them to tacos, nachos, burgers, salads, and the list goes on.
There are so many recipes out there that call for pickled onions because they just make food taste better. If you're looking to add a little something extra to your dish, pickled onions are the way to go.
Do pickled onions go bad?
Pickled onions are a popular condiment and topping for many dishes. They add a sharp, tangy flavor to food and can brighten up even the dullest of dishes. But what happens when you have a jar of pickled onions sitting in your fridge for a while? Do pickled onions go bad?
The answer is… it depends. Commercially produced pickled onions will last for months on the shelf. On the other hand, you can keep pickled onions in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks if you make them yourself (check the recipe here).
However, the taste and texture of pickled onions can change over time. The good news is that they will still be safe to eat, even if they don't taste as great as they once did.
So, if you're looking for a way to add some zing to your meals, don't be afraid to give pickled onions a try. They may just become your new favorite condiment.
How to store pickled onions?
You can buy store-bought pickled onions or make your pickled onions at home. Either way, it's essential to know how to store pickled onions, so they don't go bad.
Always check the "best-before" date on the label if you buy store-bought pickled onions.
There are several ways to store pickled onions so they last long past the best-before date.
You can store pickled onions in the fridge. This is the best way to keep them fresh and prolong their shelf life. Always store pickled onions in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Vinegar and water preserve pickled onions. However, the pickled onions will lose their crunchiness over time and become softer. This creates a vinegar-rich environment that is not conducive to bacteria growth.
2 In the countertops
Store pickled onions in a cool, dark place like your countertops. A pantry is also a good option.
Keeping pickled onions in a cool, dark place will prolong their shelf life. Once opened, they will last for several weeks in the fridge. Unopened pickled onions can last up to 2 months on your countertops. But if you notice the onions start to change color or develop a slimy texture, it's time to toss them out.
3 Away from sunlight
When storing pickled onions, it's important to keep them away from sunlight. Sunlight can cause the onions to change color and develop a slimy texture. So be sure to store them in a cool, dark place like your pantry or countertops.
Can you freeze pickled onions?
You can freeze pickled onions, but they won't taste as good when thawed. The freezing process will make them mushy. If you still want to freeze them, put them in an airtight container in the freezer, and they should keep for up to 6 months.
When ready to use them, thaw them in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes, and drain any excess liquid before using. You can then add them to salads, wraps, or sandwiches.
Remember: Freezing pickled onions will lose their crunchiness and firm texture. If you are planning on freezing pickled onions, it is best to do so within 2-3 days after making them.
Follow these steps when freezing your pickled onions properly:
Divide the onions into manageable portions. You don't want to thaw an entire batch at once if you only need a few onions.
Place the onions in freezer-safe containers or bags. Be sure to leave some headspace in the container, about ½ inch (1 cm)
Label the containers or bags with the name and date. You can use this to determine how long they've been in the freezer.
Place the containers or bags in the freezer. Pickled onions will last for 6-12 months in the freezer. After that, they may start to lose their flavor.
Do I need to refrigerate pickled onions?
It is typically best to store pickled onions in a cool, dark place, and they don't require refrigeration. Why is that? If the onions have been properly picked in vinegar, there is no need to refrigerate them. The vinegar acts as a preservative that prevents the growth of bacteria that would otherwise cause the onions to spoil.
However, if you're not sure about the quality of your pickled onions, it's always better to err on the side of caution and refrigerate them. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container so they don't absorb unwanted flavors from your fridge.
Note: Over time, the acidity of the vinegar can break down the structure of the onion, causing it to become mushy. Refrigeration helps slow down this process, keeping the onion crisp and crunchy for longer.
How long do pickled onions last?
Commercially produced pickled onions have a much longer shelf life and can be stored unopened in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 1 year. Once opened, they will last for 3 to 4 months in the fridge.
How long do homemade pickled onions last
For homemade quick pickled onions, store them in a clean, sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I like them best during the first 2 weeks. Over time, the pickling liquid can break down the onions, making them softer and less crisp. If you notice this happening, it's best to toss them and create a new batch.
That said, if you love your pickled onions and don't mind a little texture change, they'll still be safe to eat after 3 weeks. Just sniff them before using them to ensure they're still good.
What's the purpose of pickling?
Pickling is a way to preserve food that dates back thousands of years. The pickling process involves soaking the food in an acidic solution, which prevents the growth of bacteria and extends the shelf life of the food.
While pickled onions will technically never go "bad," they will definitely lose their flavor and texture over time. Use pickled onions within six months of opening the jar for the best flavor. After that, they'll still be safe to eat but won't taste as good.
Why does acidity make our mouths water?
The first reason acidity makes our mouths water is that it is a natural defense mechanism.
When we consume sour foods, our brain signals the release of saliva in response to the acidic pH levels in the food. The sourer the food, the more saliva has produced as a way to help "dilute" the acidity. This is why you may have noticed that your mouth waters when you eat pickled onions, for example. The vinegar used to pickle the onions is quite acidic and therefore triggers the release of saliva.
Note: Another reason acidity makes our mouths water is that we become conditioned to sour food where our brain turns off the waterworks. When we consume acidic foods, our brain signals our salivary glands to produce more saliva to protect our teeth from the corrosive acid. The more saliva produced, the more we have to swallow, and the sourer our mouths become.
How can you tell if pickled onions are bad?
If your pickled onions have been stored for over a couple of months, it's a good idea to check them before using them. Look for any signs of spoilage, such as mold or discoloration. If the onions seem fine, give them a sniff. Bad pickled onions are easily identifiable by their obvious signs.
- Check the onions. Pickled onions should be crisp and firm, not mushy or slimy.
- Inspect the liquid. It should be clear and free of any sediment.
- Look for mold. Any mold growing on the onions or in the jar is a sign that they have gone bad.
- Smell the onions. They should smell fresh, not sour or funky.
- Taste a small piece of onion. The onions are no longer good to eat if it's sour or off.
If these signs are present, it's best to throw out the onions and start over. Better safe than sorry!
What do you eat pickled onions with?
If you ever had pickled onions as a garnish on your fish and chips in England or a topping on your burger in the States, you already know how delicious they are.
But what do you do with the rest of the jar? Here are some ideas.
1 Add them to salads for a zesty crunch.
Why add to salad? Pickled onions are a great way to add a zesty crunch to salads. They can brighten up any dish and are especially good in summer salads.
2 Add them to sandwiches and wraps.
Pickled onions are a great way to add flavor to sandwiches and wraps. They can help balance out the flavors of other ingredients and add a nice crunch and extra zing.
3 Use them as a garnish on burgers, tacos, and other dishes.
4 Add them to dips and spreads.
Pickled onions are a great way to add flavor to dips and spreads. They can help balance out the flavors of other ingredients and add a nice crunch.
5 Use them as a pizza topping, on their own, or with some other vegetables.
Pickled onions are a great way to add flavor to the pizza. They can help balance out the flavors of other ingredients and add a nice crunch.
There are endless ways to enjoy pickled onions. So next time you're looking for a way to add extra flavor to your meal, reach for a jar of pickled onions. They're sure to become a new favorite.