Dehydrating onions is simple and one of the most practical things to dehydrate, especially if you grow your own onions or get them on sale at a great price. Of course it makes sense to have them in your food storage too. Canning or freezing onions changes the texture and taste, but dehydrating them then re-hydrating them when you're ready to cook is like having fresh onions. I can't tell that they have been dehydrated when I cook with re-hydrated onions. On top of that, they're super convenient and as I mentioned economical.
How to Dehydrate Onions Step by Step:
Wash and peel your onions.
Cut your onions in half.
Then cut them just small enough to fit into a food processor.
I can usually get about eight pieces out of a big onion.
Place the onions in a food processor. Pulse them until they are chopped. Do not just let the machine run or you'll wind up with onion juice.
Here they are chopped.
Place them on your dehydrating trays. Here I have my non-stick dehydrator sheets on my trays. These sheets come in handy for small pieces that might fall through the trays. You can find them here on Amazon.
Here is a closer look.
As you might have already guessed, I don't blanch my onions before I dehydrate them. I also am dehydrating chopped onions, not onion rings. Cutting the onions into rings is a popular way to dehydrate them, but it seems to be a bit more work, and since the only way my family likes cooked onions is chopped, I do what's easiest. You can blanch onions before you dehydrate them but it is not necessary; however, blanching onions will cut down on the smell of the dehydrating onions which can be quite potent. Instead of blanching I just start the process outside. Here you can see I have seven trays of a nine tray dehydrator filled. I started with a ten pound bag of onions.
Here you can see I have my Excalibur hooked up and ready to go.
Set the control for vegetable and let it start outside for about five hours. I usually start the dehydrator in the late afternoon then bring it inside to run the rest of night.
This is what the onion looks like dehydrated. The pink color is from the sugar in the onion. I put the onions in the freezer for two weeks to pasteurize them, then store them in Mason jars until needed. To re-hydrate onions place them in a pan and cover with water. Let them sit for about ten minutes. Pour off excess water and saute or brown as you would fresh onions.
Now, you have to clean your dehydrator and try to get the onion smell out! And you're waiting for me to tell you what the secret is! Right? The truth is it's a whole other blog post. So you'll have to wait a few days. I promise it's worth waiting for because it's so simple and easy!
Update: The secret is out! Go here to read all about it!