Various Types of Onions and When to Use Them

Do you know about the different onions and what they are best used for? Most people do not but this article will help. All onions are not exactly the same which is the reason it is irritating when some recipe calls for “an onion”. It is bad to use a red onion when the recipe calls for a yellow one as all onions will cook about the same way. But using the best onion for the recipe adds a depth of flavor to meals that others will not.

Various types of onions

These are the various types of onions, they include:

Yellow onions

This is called the “gold standard” of onions and normally is the cheapest one on the market. If you are using a recipe that does not specify the type of onion to use, then a yellow onion is the best one to use. These onions are especially hardy and their flavor is spicy and complex. They have more sulfur than other varieties of onions so that they are much more pungent, hard to eat raw, and likely to make you tear up when preparing. These yellow onions keep for a long time and are best used for dishes that cook for a long time over low heat such as soups – like French onion, risotto, sauces, and stews.

Red or purple onions

For the majority of the year, you will find red storage onions at the grocery store. During the summer months, you will find fresh red onions that are much milder and lack a bit of the flavor that one expects from an onion. If you believe the taste of raw red onions too sharp for you, just soak these onions for about ½ to 1 hour in water. These onions are best for sandwiches, salads, burgers, salsas, and pickling. 

White Onions

One of the main kinds of onions, white ones is the least common. You are able to cook white onions like you would yellow onions and they have a slightly shorter storage life from yellow onions. They should not be kept in the fridge. These are best used in Mexican food, pasta salads, white sauces, raw in salads, in chili as well as potato salads.