How to Make Onion Powder in 5 Easy Steps
Once you’ve used up the last of your onion, you may be left wondering what to do with all those brown, papery layers left behind. While you could simply throw them out, it’s much better to repurpose them into something that will allow you to enjoy their flavor time and again.
Onion powder is a great way to extend the life of your favorite vegetable by giving you an easy way to bring its taste into any dish you like. Read on to learn how to make onion powder in five easy steps.
Step 1: Gather all ingredients
An onion (peeled), oven, non-stick spray, and a food processor. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once preheated, bake your onion for 2 hours on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. At this point, you should be able to remove all of the skin from your onion. Place it into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Enjoy!
The possibilities are endless when you know how to make onion powder! Use it as a seasoning on meat or vegetables, or even in baked goods. It’s easy to store and lasts for months at room temperature. This recipe makes about 1/4 cup of onion powder, but can easily be doubled or tripled if needed. Enjoy!
Step 2: Grind them into a fine paste
Place onions in a food processor or high-speed blender and run until they’re reduced to a fine paste. Add some water if needed, but don’t overdo it you want these bits as dry as possible when you add them to your dehydrator. (You can also do this step by hand with a mortar and pestle.)
Step 3: Dehydrate them: Spread onion powder onto mesh screens or paper towels on baking sheets, then place in an oven set to 140 degrees F (60 C) for 24 hours. (You can also use your dehydrator at its lowest setting.)
Step 4: Grind again: Remove from oven and let cool completely before transferring powder into a clean food processor or coffee grinder. Run the machine until the powder is super fine. Store in an airtight container.
Step 1: Cut off their tops Start by cutting off each end of each onion, using a sharp knife or kitchen shears to remove both ends at once. Then cut off about an inch from each side.
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The idea is to remove as much of the papery skin as possible without losing any of that precious onion flesh beneath it. (For more detailed instructions on how to cut onions, check out our guide here.)
Step 2: Peel them Place your onions flat-side down on a cutting board and peel away their papery outer layers with your hands or a paring knife. If you want to get really fancy, you can also use a vegetable peeler. Just be sure not to include any of those dark inner layers they’re bitter!
Step 3: Chop them up Once you’ve peeled away all that papery stuff, chop your onions into uniform pieces so they cook evenly later on. You can either mince them with a chef’s knife or pulse them in a food processor until they’re finely chopped but not pureed. It’s totally up to you!
Step 4: Cook them over low heat It’s time to actually cook your onions now. To start, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped onions and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.
After 10 minutes, sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking until onions are soft and translucent. This will take another 20-30 minutes depending on how thinly you sliced them.
Step 5: Deglaze Remove cooked onions from heat and pour in red wine vinegar, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Let the mixture simmer for one minute before removing it from heat completely. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or jar; discard cooked bits left behind in the strainer.
Now you have homemade onion powder ready to use in recipes! Store leftover powder in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Here are a few ways to put it to good use: In salad dressings: Mix equal parts of dried onion powder and balsamic vinegar together in a small jar. Shake well before adding to vinaigrettes or salads.
On steaks: Rub steak with dried onion powder prior to grilling for extra flavor. On popcorn: Sprinkle dehydrated onions on top of freshly popped corn kernels right after they come out of the microwave – delicious! We hope you enjoyed learning how to make onion powder.
Step 3: Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking tray
Spread out all of your sliced onions evenly on a baking tray. You can use two pans for larger batches if you need to, but make sure that they’re spread out so that none of them overlap. Let them sit and dry at room temperature overnight.
The drying time will vary depending on how much moisture is left in your onions; generally speaking, though, it should take about 8 hours or so. (If you’re doing a large batch as I did here, it might take up to 12 hours.)
If you’re planning to grind these into powder after the fact, then just be aware that wet onions will clump together when ground, which isn’t ideal. So try to get as much water out of them as possible before grinding.
If you don’t plan on grinding them into powder afterward, then there’s no need to worry about clumping! Just let them dry completely at room temperature before moving on.
The last thing you want to do is eat onion powder, because of its strong flavor. But if you’re looking for an easy way to add some onion flavor without having chunks of onion in your food, then you’ll love onion powder.
It’s also great for using as a dry rub on meat or poultry before grilling or roasting it. You can even use it as a seasoning in soups and stews.
There are many ways to use onion powder and once you try it, I’m sure that you will find plenty more uses for it as well! Of course, there are different ways to make onion powder. One of my favorite methods is with my dehydrator.
Not only does it make making homemade dried onions easy, but I’ve had success with drying other herbs and spices too. In fact, all you need to get started is a small dehydrator (or just set your oven at a low temperature) and some fresh onions.
Here’s how to make onion powder with a dehydrator: 1. Slice up your onions: Remove any dirt from your onions and slice them into very thin slices. If you have a mandolin slicer, that works best since it makes uniform slices quickly.
2. Spread out evenly on trays: Spread out all of your sliced onions evenly on one or two baking trays covered with parchment paper or plastic wrap so they don’t stick together while they dry out in the dehydrator later.
3. The last thing you want to do is eat onion powder, because of its strong flavor. But if you’re looking for an easy way to add some onion flavor without having chunks of onion in your food, then you’ll love onion powder. It’s also great for using as a dry rub on meat or poultry before grilling or roasting it. You can even use it as a seasoning in soups and stews.
Step 4: Leave it overnight to dry
Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it overnight. Check up on it every so often, but do not disturb it. When you see that there’s no moisture left, then you can package it and label it! If your onion powder is chunky or coarse, use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to make it as fine as possible.
You may even want to sift it through a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of any larger chunks. It should be light yellow to tan when finished. Store in an airtight container for 2–3 months, depending on how humid your storage area is.
It will last longer if stored away from heat and light sources. Your homemade onion powder will have a better flavor than store-bought, which tends to have a stale aftertaste. Plus, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your food when you make it yourself. Enjoy!
Step 5: Store and enjoy your homemade onion powder
Pour it into an airtight container (with a shaker top if you have one) and keep it in a cool, dark place. Since onion powder has such a long shelf life, feel free to experiment with different varieties of dried onions.
Although they don’t have quite as long of a shelf life as onion powder, dried onions are still good for up to two years. You can also use your homemade onion powder in recipes that call for fresh or powdered garlic.
A 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder is equivalent to about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced onion, so start by adding half that amount when substituting for fresh or powdered garlic in a recipe. Enjoy!
When cooking with onion powder, try using 1⁄2 teaspoon instead of 1 full teaspoon. As you become more familiar with how it tastes in certain dishes, you can begin to cut back on your measurements accordingly.
When storing your homemade onion powder, be sure to leave some room at the top of your jar—it tends to expand slightly as it absorbs moisture from surrounding ingredients and releases its own moisture back into them over time.
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If you have a very tightly sealed container, your powder may clump together and harden due to excess moisture. If that happens, just break up any clumps with a fork or small spoon before adding them to recipes. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in trying other varieties of dried onions, feel free to experiment with yellow onions, shallots, or leeks (white part only). To make these types of powders, follow steps 2 through 4 above.
Keep in mind that white parts are usually less pungent than their green counterparts so keep your measurements consistent between these two onion varieties when substituting one for another. Enjoy!
You can also use fresh or dried garlic if you don’t have any fresh onions on hand. The flavor will be different, but it should still work well in most recipes.
When cooking with garlic powder, try using 1⁄4 teaspoon instead of 1 full teaspoon. As you become more familiar with how it tastes in certain dishes, you can begin to cut back on your measurements accordingly.
If you’re not sure how much fresh or dried onion or garlic to use when substituting for onion powder in a recipe, try adding a small amount and taste as you go along.
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If it seems like too much onion or garlic, start by cutting back by half and then slowly work your way up from there until you reach a flavor that works for you. Enjoy!