Onions are a tree bulb supplied in food preparation for the flavour they add to food. Their taste can range from savoury to warm to sweet.

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If a recipe simply calls for “onion”, it means a “Globe Onion”, which is the variety, yellow (aka brown) or white, that has become our unsung, workaday-hero onion because that its express taste and good storage abilities.

Roughly, there room two varieties of onions: storage onions and sweet onions. That type of distinction is very arbitrary, despite — you could just together easily course them on form or colour.

Storage onions — yellow or white onions — last fine in storage, and add a savoury keep in mind to dishes. Sweet onions — such as red, Spanish and Vidalia — add a touch of sweet to a dish.

When to buy onions, choose firm onions that space hefty for your size; don’t buy people that have sprouted, or that have actually mould patches. Onions need to be dry, no damp. The skin must be crackly and tight roughly the top.

Growing and harvesting onions

Onions space a member that Lily family.

Onion growers class onions based on how many hours the daylight are necessary to acquire them to form bulbs.

Onions type a bulb as soon as the temperature and also the number of daylight hours hit the right mix for castle which triggers their clock. Until that happens, onions usage the daylight to create a great deal of optimal growth before they kind bulbs (and the much more top growth, the bigger the bulb.) once the job reaches the right variety of hours because that that selection of onion, the onion will certainly stop creating top growth, and kind a pear instead. Consequently, growers have to pick the right kind of onion because that how much north or southern they are. See different entries top top Short-Day Onions, intermediary Day Onions, and Long-Day Onions.

The size of the pear that ultimately forms depends on the size of the “stalks”, and also the variety of them. There will be 1 ring in the onion because that every stalk that formed, and the bigger the stalk, the bigger each ring will certainly be.

Bulb formation will pause though throughout dry, very hot or very cold weather.

Onions are ready to pick when their tops have wilted, please over and dried out. After being pulled native the ground, lock are usually left on optimal of the soil in the garden for a work or two to dry, if the weather is cooperative. Onions then need to be “cured” before storing. Curing takes around two weeks in a warm, ventilated area; they are all set to store once the external skin is dry, and the necks are fully dry and tight.

Storage Onions

These onions room high in sulphur compounds and also lower in water, for this reason they keep better, yet have an ext zap come them. Usually finest cooked, to sweeten them. Will have 3 come 5% sugar content. Generally, the much more an onion renders you tear up, the much better it will store.

The the opposite to storage Onions is Sweet Onions; see different entry.

Yellow globe Onions (aka Brown Onions)

Yellow globe (aka Brown Onions) can be classed as storage onions, as they store well. These room the onions that civilization mean as soon as they simply say “yellow onions.” having a higher sulphur content 보다 White globe Onions, castle are more likely to make her eyes tear up. They generally have a somewhat longer storage life 보다 White world Onions. They additionally caramelize far better than the white ones, coming to be a richer brown. Their flavour also changes to sweet and mild as soon as carmelized. Inside the onions have a yellowish tinge. Sometimes, castle are dubbed “Brown Onions” in recommendation to your brown skin.

White globe Onions

White globe Onions are likewise classed as storage onions.

These are the onions that human being mean once they just say “white onions.” They have a tangier, less complicated taste 보다 yellow onions.

Cooking Tips



1 lb = 500 g = 4 – 5 tool onions = 3 large onions = 2 come 3 cup chopped, relying on how coarse you chop it.4 cups sliced onion = 1 pound / 500 g (peeled) = 2 cups after cooking1 very huge onion = 300 g / 10 oz = 2 cup coarsely chopped onion1 large onion = 5 oz = 150 g = 1 cup chopped onion1 medium onion (2 1/2 come 3 oz / 85 g) = 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped = 1 tablespoon onion powder1 little onion = 40 g come 70 g / 1 1/2 oz come 2 1/2 oz = 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped = 1 teaspoon onion flour = 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes1 very little onion = as much as 3 centimeter (1 inch) approx in diameter = up to 40 g / 1.4 oz in weight1 cup chopped onion = 5 oz = 150 g1 cup carefully diced onion = 8 oz = 225 g1/2 cup dried onion pieces (largish) = 1 tablespoon onion powder = 10 g / .35 oz1 cup dried minced onion = 120 g (4 oz)

Storage Hints

In fridge, store onions in a plastic bag because that 5 days. To save cooked onions, put in a sealed container in refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze.

Don’t keep chopped onion, either new or cooked, in a metal container or bowl together the onion have the right to discolour the metal.

Do not store chopped onion in oil, also in the fridge, for much longer than 3 come 5 days. The threat is botulism. Oil is no a preservative: in truth it provides the perfect oxygen-free environment in which any Clostridium botulinum spores existing can germinate.

Onion go not need to be blanched before freezing. Dice the onion, placed on a baking sheet and put in freezer. As soon as frozen, rest it up and also put into freezer bags.

For lengthy term storage, dry is possibly the best means to preserve onion. Check out our companion site, healthy and balanced Canning, because that our dedicated page on dry onion . Usage for seasoning in cook dishes.

To deserve to onion, a press canner should be provided as they are a low-acid food. A tested procedure was arisen only because that onions that 2 come 3 cm (1 inch) in diameter; the procedure does not apply to bigger onions, even cut up. The tested directions appear in the food preservation book, So simple to Preserve. For an online variation of this directions, see here (link valid as of July 2018). Drying yields a greater and an ext versatile product.

In a source cellar form environment, you can store most onions (not Sweet Onions) for at least 3 month — much longer under ideal conditions. Save out of bright light, together light can reason them to end up being bitter. Nothing store near potatoes, as the gas the potatoes provide off can shorten the onions’ warehouse life.

If onions sprout in warehouse at a time the year as soon as they can be planted out, and you have gardening space, rather of discarding them tree them because that a continual supply of totally free green onion stalks come snip. They can also be planted in containers.

History Notes

Onions have actually been grown due to the fact that at least 3000 BC in China. They space probably native to main Asia. The youngsters of Israel mentioned them as one of the points they missed about Egypt.

Onions were very much a part of roman inn diet, though later on the top classes witnessed them as peasant food. Romans presented them throughout Europe. Apicius includes them in his recipes, despite sparingly — leeks were viewed as much more acceptable come eat. Diocletian’s price controls (301 AD), i m sorry by the means failed, contained onions.

Onions were seen as “peasant” food throughout the center Ages.

Onions were presented to the brand-new World by the Spanish and also British colonists (though the natives currently knew strains the distantly connected wild onions.)

Literature & Lore

Shakespeare wrote around onions impact on the breath:

“And, many dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and also I do not doubt but to hear lock say, it is a sweet comedy. No much more words: away! go, away!” — Bottom. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Action IV, step 2. Shakespeare.

He likewise wrote around onion’s effect on the eyes:

“And if the boy have actually not a woman’s giftTo rain a shower head of commanded tearsAn onion will execute well for such a shiftWhich in a napkin gift close convey’dShall in in spite of enforce a watery eye.” — Shakespeare. The Taming that the Shrew, Prologue.

“Do not, native a foolish emotion of ‘gentility’, refuse yourselves onions, which friend like. You will not be a bit much more like united state if you never ever touch one more onion to her lives’ end.” — Tickletooth, Tabitha (pseud. ). The Dinner Question. London: Routledge, Warne and Routledge. 1860. Web page 16.

The irish writer Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745), in his poem “Verses made for women who cry apples”, created the following about onions:

“Come, monitor me by the smell,Here are fragile onions come sell;I promise to usage you well.They do the blood warmer,You’ll feed prefer a farmer;For this is every cook’s opinion,No savoury food without an onion;But, lest your kissing have to be spoiled,Your onions should be completely boiled:Or else you may spareYour mistress a share,The secret will never be known:She cannot discoverThe breath of she lover,But think it together sweet as her own.” <2>Verses for women that cry apples. Swift, Jonathan. Miscellanies: The Fourteenth Volume. 2nd Edition. London, England: Hitch, Davis, Dodsley and also Bowyer. 1751. Page 207.

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Ozark tradition organized that onion skins should always be burnt, no discarded:

The hulls or skin of specific vegetables, ~ above the other hand, are constantly burned, never disposed of in any other manner. I have known family members where the females made a an excellent show of conserving onion peelings, i m sorry were closely gathered up and also burned in the fireplace or the cookstove. One woman told me that world who throw onion peel the end on the soil are likely to suffer some jae won reverses, and also that she knew personal of a case in which carelessness in this matter led to a Civil war veteran to be deprived the his pension.” — Randolph, Vance. Ozark Superstitions. Columbia college Press, 1947. Chapter 4.

Language Notes

The English word “onion” to be “unyun” in center English, influenced both by the French “oignon” and the Latin “unio.”