When canning pickled red onions, make a pickling brine with vinegar, water, pickling salt, and spices. Add onions to the brine and boil for 5 minutes. Ladle the onions into hot canning jars, covering them with the brine, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process the pint jars in a water bath canner for 10-20 minutes per elevation.
How to Pickle Red Onions for Refrigerator Pickles
Pickling makes red onions last longer and tones down the sharpness of fresh onions. Pickled onions are great for those who find raw onion too overpowering. Follow this method to make refrigerator-pickled onions:
- Gather your ingredients. You will need 4 cups of 5% acidity red wine vinegar, one clove of garlic, and 3 pounds of fresh onion bulbs. You can use red, white, or yellow onions.
- Wash the onions thoroughly under cool running water and cut off the top and stem ends. Remove the papery, leathery outer skin.
- Using a sharp knife or mandoline, chop the onions into ¼ inch slices. Separate the slices to form neat rings.
- Prepare the pickling liquid by combining 4 cups of red vinegar with 4 cups of water and a clove of garlic in a large pot and bringing it to a boil. You may add any desired spices, such as mustard seeds, allspice, bay leaves, or pickling salt.
- Transfer your sliced red onions and submerge them in the brine. Wait for the mixture to resume a rolling boil. Using medium heat, simmer the mixture for 5 minutes at 180°F. Turn off your stove.
- Allow the onions to cool at room temperature before transferring them into sterilized Mason jars with tight-fitting lids. Store the jars in a refrigerator and keep them refrigerated for up to three months.
Are Pickled Red Onions Shelf Stable?
Quick pickled red onions have a shelf life of 2-3 weeks. During this time, they have a crunchy texture and rich flavor but must remain in the refrigerator. The acidity from vinegar temporarily prevents the rapid germination of botulinum spores and other bacteria.
According to the University of California, canning makes pickled foods shelf-stable for long-term storage. Water bath canning pickled onions will extend their shelf life to 12-18 months and allow you to store them at room temperature.Print
Is It Safe to Can Pickled Onions?
Pickling lowers the pH of red onions, giving them an acidity level on par with high-acid fruits. The highly acidic environment and a canner’s hot temperatures make them safe for water bath canning.
How Long Does Pickling Red Onions Take?
Canning pickled onions takes 24 or 48 hours, including the prep and cooling time. Refrigerator pickles that aren’t water bath canned take 1-2 hours to prepare.
What are the Benefits of Pickling Red Onions?
- Convenience – Having pickled red onions enables you to make recipes with onions without the hassle of rushing to the grocery store.
- Cost-effective – Pickling red onions lowers food costs due to preventing waste.
- Longer shelf life – Pickling extends the shelf life of onions from 3-5 days to 2-3 weeks.
- Nutrition – Pickled red onions are an excellent source of B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants.
- Versatility – Pickled red onions are a wonderful condiment for tacos and look great on charcuterie boards!
Can You Pressure Can Red Onions?
Yes – you can pressure can red onions. Red onion is a low-acid vegetable with a high botulism risk. If you don’t pickle the onions, they must be pressure canned. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends processing vegetables in the extra-high temperatures of a pressure canner.
How Long Can Pickled Red Onions Be Stored?
Pickled red onions can last 2-3 weeks in your refrigerator. The USDA states that canned low-acid vegetables can last 2-5 years, but it is best to consume canned, pickled vegetables within one year for the best texture, nutrition, and flavor. While it’s safe to use canned goods with the seals intact after the best-by-date, their quality may not be as good.