Monday, July 13, 2015

What's That Smell??

Now that my onions have cured properly, it’s that time to figure out how I would like to save them.

I sorted through my onions and determined I’m going to save about ½ of my onions for storage, ¼ for freezing and canning (marmalade and caramelized), and the remaining ¼ will be dehydrated.

This weekend, Bulldog Man and I decided to start dehydrating the onions.  Warning, before cutting a large quantity of onions, please make sure to wear gloves, and eye protection.   Also don’t dehydrate onions inside your home!!!!

I’m here to tell you, do not dehydrate onions inside your home, the smell is overpowering and it will stay for days. We started with 8, which is the amount that would fill the dehydrator.  
I brushed the remaining soil off each onion, chopped the ends, and peeled away the outer skin.  Then I handed each onion off to Bulldog Man to slice thinly on my Mandolin. 

After slicing, we pulled apart the sliced pieces and laid them out on each dehydrating tray. 

Using an extension cord, we plugged in the dehydrator and sat it outside on top of the gas stove (a future project….we will touch basis on this in a future post) to start the dehydration process. 

The dehydration process took approximately 12 to 14 hours.  OMG…….
Talk about ode de onion smell………………..

You could smell onions for miles.  While working outside in the garden and on other projects, you would have thought onion rings were cooking…..Very strong onion rings!!! 

After the onions finished dehydrating, we placed them in quart canning jar and vacuum canned each jar, for using in future meals throughout the year. 

I processed one jar of dehydrated onion pieces through a coffee bean grinder and made onion powder (spice) for using on roasts, or in meals where you would like the flavor of the onion but not the onion.  

** An electronic tool is not necessary to make onion powder.  A mortar and pestle will do the same. 

***To remove the onion smell from your hands wash them with salt and warm water.  Or soak hands in either lemon juice or vinegar for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, then wash normally.

Have you ever made onion powder yourself before?


  1. I have never dried onions or made onion powder, but I really appreciate the heads up of doing it outside. When we canned 9 lbs. of garlic the house smelled pretty strong for a while, but then we brought the peaches home so the garlic had competition. Once the garlic jars were washed well and put in the pantry, the peach smell won out and we were glad. Thanks for the tutorial, Sandy.


    1. Fern, and Frank,

      You're welcome!! Onions and garlic are very over powering when cut in masses or being prepared for canning inside your home. The smell sticks around for a long while.

      I just love the smell of fresh peaches!!! I'm coming over to your house, lol.....

  2. Well, maybe it will keep off the vampires, they don't like garlic so perhaps onions work as well. ;-)

    I eat a lot of dehydrated onions. I cook with them. Just adding a handful to rice or beans, or potatoes, really livens up the meal. I get mine in big pails though, I never tried making them myself.

    1. Harry,

      Either vampires, or bats!!!!

      I've never ordered large pails of onions, always bought them from the grocery store or grew my own onions.

  3. hey Sweet Sandy - something i do that i learned from you a while ago is to take onions that have good roots on them, cut them 2/3 of the way and use that part for eating and then planting the 1/3 part with the roots on them - you get green onions in less than a week - woohoo! so thanks for that! i do it with beets and also celery - works like a charm!

    and yes, i do dehydrate onions and make my own onion powder even though we have years of the powder stocked...but i only make a bit for certain uses because we have so much stocked. i prefer to try and store my onions in our cold room for as long as i can after harvest and only normally dehydrate them when they are about to go off. thanks for a great tutorial and i always call my green onions that i re-grow "Sweet Sandy Onions" - teeheee.

    sending a bunch of love your way! your friend,

    1. Hey Sweet Kymber,

      I've learned about the planting process as well!!

      My onions are stored in my kitchen in a cold dark place. We have actual a/c vents at the bottom of each cabinet on the floor, this keeps them nice and cool. :-) and freeze my toes!!! LOL.....................

      Sending hugs and love your way.

  4. We dehydrated a bunch a few years back. My son loves em but this year has been so wet the ones I planted rotted in the ground.

    You're right though they do stink :)

    1. PP,

      Dehydrating onions take a while, and boy are they smelly, lol......
      Your son loves onions, I bet he's real healthy too. They say onions are good for the body. :-)

  5. I've never dehydrated onions, we rarely can get them to grow here. It's seems to be too humid and they rot in the ground before they every mature. I find that same problem with most root veggies. I have raised beds made, but haven't had the time to really spend on them, making sure they have plenty of water, etc. Always too much on the plate! I read your posts and I think you're busier than I am! How do you find the time?!

    1. Izzy,

      I've noticed I have the same issues with certain vegetables here too!!!

      There's never enough time in the day to get everything done. I try to make time by prioritizing..............sometimes this works. I find the secret is getting a good night sleep, then I have the energy to work my hiney off the rest of the day :-)

  6. Yup, onions and garlic are both, erm, strong smelling, when dehydrated. There's a reason my dehydrator has a permanent place in the garage! I gotta pick up a little cheapy coffee grinder, we've been using the dehydrated onions as is, but we use more powder than actual onion.....and I want to try doing the same with the garlic this year.

  7. Ruth,

    You may find some in-expensive ones at Walmart. I've used my coffee grinder to grind up many items to make spices. We actually have two in house. One for coffee, and the other for everything else.

  8. These are going to taste so good this winter. By then you will be over the smell. Do you think this is something you would do again?

  9. Ah, yes. I learned about the dangers of dehydrating onions inside the hard way. The only good thing about it was that I did it in the back office and could close the door. But that smell lingered for months! However, I don't have a sheltered spot outside, so I just try to dehydrate enough for two years.

  10. Sandy, I applaud you, I don't think I could do this!