Storing Onions and Potatoes

I’ve read that storing onions and potatoes close together can reduce the storage longevity of both, due to the incompatible gasses given off by each resulting in faster spoilage.

Has anyone experienced this?

If this is true, how far apart, or how separate should one store their onions and potatoes? Different shelf? Different cabinet altogether?

I find this to be true.

I keep potatoes in the pantry closet - dark and cool- and try to allow them not to be crowded.

I keep onions , garlic and shallots in a terracotta container with ventilation made for this purpose. It resides on the counter. Onions last quite some time in this container.

I keep both in the same refrigerator compartment, because that’s what Mom always did. They don’t spoil. I never heard the gas theory until I was middle-aged.

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I just recently read that storing an apple with potatoes kept them from sprouting for a longer time. I’ll be trying this when our endless kitchen is finished.

So do you keep your onions in the same pantry closet, or somewhere else?

I keep the onions on the kitchen counter.

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My mom grew up on a farm and she told me potatoes should be stored alone in an open, non-plastic bag, kept in a dark, cool place. Same with onions, except for fresh ones. Those go in the fridge.

I refrigerated potatoes (russets, Yukon Golds) a couple of times and didn’t like the cooked results. My mom had said my fridge was so cold it affected the starches/sugars, and upped the sweetness in my potatoes. YMMV on that particular flavor. I love the result when it comes to corn on the cob but not in a baked potato.

I’ve noticed grocery stores are keeping most potatoes colder and colder – I look for the spuds they keep out of the chilled areas. It may be that the smaller, fresher potatoes (little red boilers, fingerlings) need the refrigeration, though.


This admonition has always frustrated me. Are we supposed to store potatoes, like cigars, in a Humidor? There IS NO dark and cool space in our house.

For years now, we’ve bought potatoes, eaten as many as we can, and thrown out the rest after they develop tubors and get soft.

I’ve also found potatoes in the fridge seem too sweet.


I have a specialized bin that I keep in the basement where it’s cool and dark:

Potatoes in the top, onions in a drawer underneath.

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I store them together on the counter. But its hard to tell whether they go bad faster for me, because it usually takes weeks for them to go bad, and I usually eat them before they go bad.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
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