Onions are a tree bulb offered in food preparation for the flavour they include to food. Your taste can variety from savoury to hot to sweet.

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If a recipe just calls for “onion”, it means a “Globe Onion”, which is the variety, yellow (aka brown) or white, that has end up being our unsung, workaday-hero onion for its pronounced taste and great storage abilities.

Roughly, there space two species of onions: warehouse onions and sweet onions. That kind of distinction is an extremely arbitrary, though — you could just together easily class them on form or colour.

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

When purchase onions, select firm onions that room hefty for your size; don’t buy persons that have actually sprouted, or that have mould patches. Onions should be dry, not damp. The skin need to be crackly and also tight about the top.

Growing and also harvesting onions

Onions are a member the Lily family.

Onion growers class onions based on how countless hours of daylight are necessary to get them to form bulbs.

Onions kind a bulb when the temperature and also the number of daylight hrs hit the right combination for lock which triggers your clock. Till that happens, onions usage the daylight to develop a good deal of peak growth prior to they form bulbs (and the an ext top growth, the bigger the bulb.) when the work reaches the right number of hours because that that range of onion, the onion will stop developing top growth, and kind a bulb instead. Consequently, growers need to pick the right kind of onion for how much north or southern they are. See separate entries on Short-Day Onions, intermediary Day Onions, and also Long-Day Onions.

The dimension of the bulb that at some point forms depends on the size of the “stalks”, and also the variety of them. There will certainly be 1 ring in the onion because that every stalk that formed, and the bigger the stalk, the larger each ring will certainly be.

Bulb development will pause though during dry, an extremely hot or an extremely cold weather.

Onions are ready to pick once their tops have actually wilted, collapse over and also dried out. After being pulled native the ground, they are generally left on optimal of the soil in the garden for a job or two to dry, if the weather is cooperative. Onions then must be “cured” before storing. Curing takes about two main in a warm, ventilated area; castle are prepared to store when the external skin is dry, and also the necks are completely dry and also tight.

Storage Onions

These onions room high in sulphur compounds and also lower in water, for this reason they save better, but have an ext zap come them. Usually ideal cooked, come sweeten them. Will have 3 to 5% street content. Generally, the more an onion makes you tear up, the better it will store.

The the opposite to warehouse Onions is Sweet Onions; see separate entry.

Yellow globe Onions (aka Brown Onions)

Yellow globe (aka Brown Onions) deserve to be classed as storage onions, together they save well. These space the onions that civilization mean when they just say “yellow onions.” having actually a higher sulphur content 보다 White globe Onions, castle are much more likely come make her eyes tear up. They usually have a somewhat much longer storage life than White world Onions. They additionally caramelize better than the white ones, ending up being a richer brown. Your flavour likewise changes come sweet and mild when carmelized. Within the onions have a yellowish tinge. Sometimes, castle are dubbed “Brown Onions” in reference to your brown skin.

White globe Onions

White globe Onions are likewise classed as storage onions.

These space the onions that world mean once they simply say “white onions.” They have actually a tangier, less facility taste than yellow onions.

Cooking Tips



1 lb = 500 g = 4 – 5 tool onions = 3 huge onions = 2 come 3 cups chopped, depending upon how coarse you chop it.4 cups sliced onion = 1 pound / 500 g (peeled) = 2 cups after cooking1 very large onion = 300 g / 10 oz = 2 cups coarsely chopped onion1 large onion = 5 oz = 150 g = 1 cup chopped onion1 tool onion (2 1/2 come 3 oz / 85 g) = 1/2 come 2/3 cup chopped = 1 tablespoon onion powder1 little onion = 40 g come 70 g / 1 1/2 oz to 2 1/2 oz = 1/4 come 1/3 cup chopped = 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes1 very little onion = as much as 3 cm (1 inch) approx in diameter = approximately 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 piece (largish) = 1 tablespoon onion flour = 10 g / .35 oz1 cup dried minced onion = 120 g (4 oz)

Storage Hints

In fridge, save onions in a plastic bag for 5 days. To keep cooked onions, put in a sealed container in refrigerator for approximately 5 days, or freeze.

Don’t save chopped onion, either fresh or cooked, in a metal container or bowl together the onion deserve to discolour the metal.

Do not keep chopped onion in oil, also in the fridge, for much longer than 3 come 5 days. The risk is botulism. Oil is not a preservative: in truth it offers the perfect oxygen-free setting in which any Clostridium botulinum spores present can germinate.

Onion does not have to be blanched before freezing. Dice the onion, placed on a baking sheet and also put in freezer. When frozen, rest it up and put into freezer bags.

For long term storage, drying is probably the best way to maintain onion. Check out our companion site, healthy Canning, because that our devoted page on dry onion . Use for seasoning in cooked dishes.

To deserve to onion, a pressure canner have to be offered as they space a low-acid food. A tested process was arisen only for onions that 2 come 3 cm (1 inch) in diameter; the process does not apply to larger onions, even reduced up. The experiment directions appear in the food preservation book, So simple to Preserve. Because that an online variation of these directions, see right here (link valid together of July 2018). Drying returns a greater and an ext versatile product.

In a source cellar form environment, you deserve to store most onions (not Sweet Onions) because that at the very least 3 month — much longer under best conditions. Save out of shining light, as light can cause them to come to be bitter. Don’t store near potatoes, together the gas the potatoes give off deserve to shorten the onions’ warehouse life.

If onions sprout in warehouse at a time the year once they have the right to be planted out, and also you have actually gardening space, rather of discarding them tree them because that a consistent supply of free green onion stalks come snip. Castle can additionally be planted in containers.

History Notes

Onions have been grown since at least 3000 BC in China. They are probably indigenous to main Asia. The kids of Israel discussed them as among the points they missed around Egypt.

Onions were an extremely much a component of roman diet, though afterwards the top classes saw them together peasant food. Romans introduced them throughout Europe. Apicius contains them in his recipes, despite sparingly — leeks were checked out as an ext acceptable to eat. Diocletian’s price controls (301 AD), which by the means failed, had onions.

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

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

Literature & Lore

Shakespeare wrote about onions impact on the breath:

“And, many dear actors, eat no onions no one garlic, for we room to utter sweet breath; and also I do not doubt yet to hear castle say, it is a sweet comedy. No an ext words: away! go, away!” — Bottom. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Action IV, scene 2. Shakespeare.

He also wrote about onion’s result on the eyes:

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

“Do not, indigenous a foolish feeling of ‘gentility’, refuse yourselves onions, which girlfriend like. You will not be a bit an ext like us if you never touch another onion to her lives’ end.” — Tickletooth, Tabitha (pseud. ). The Dinner Question. London: Routledge, Warne and also Routledge. 1860. Web page 16.

The irish writer Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745), in his city “Verses produced women that cry apples”, created the following around onions:

“Come, monitor me through the smell,Here are breakable onions come sell;I promise to use you well.They make the blood warmer,You’ll feed favor a farmer;For this is every cook’s opinion,No savoury dish without an onion;But, lest her kissing should be spoiled,Your onions should be extensively boiled:Or rather you may spareYour mistress a share,The an enig will never ever be known:She can not discoverThe breath of she lover,But think it as sweet together her own.” <2>Verses because that women who cry apples. Swift, Jonathan. Miscellanies: The Fourteenth Volume. Second Edition. London, England: Hitch, Davis, Dodsley and also Bowyer. 1751. Web page 207.

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Ozark tradition held that onion skins should always be burnt, not discarded:

The hulls or skins of particular vegetables, on the various other hand, are constantly burned, never ever disposed that in any kind of other manner. I have known families where the ladies made a an excellent show of saving onion peelings, i m sorry were closely gathered up and burned in the fireplace or the cookstove. One woman told me that people who litter onion peel the end on the soil are most likely to endure some jae won reverses, and that she knew personally of a situation in i beg your pardon carelessness in this matter caused a Civil battle veteran to it is in deprived of his pension.” — Randolph, Vance. Ozark Superstitions. Columbia college Press, 1947. Thing 4.

Language Notes

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