Cooking Tips – Substituting Dehydrated Onions For Fresh Onion
If a recipe gives you the choice of using dehydrated onion or fresh, it is usually better to use the fresh onion because it has a better flavor. However, dehydrated onion is a handy alternative to fresh onion because it keeps for so long.
Dehydrated onions are onions, which have been chopped, and then had their water content removed. They are not as pungent as fresh onions but they are convenient and good if you are traveling or camping.
To substitute dehydrated onions for fresh onions, you need to know that one small fresh onion is equal to one tablespoon of dehydrated onion. If you are making a soup, sauce, stew, meatloaf, crockpot recipe, or casserole, dehydrated onions will absorb the moisture and taste good in the finished recipe, so it is worth keeping a package of dehydrated onions on standby, in case you run out of fresh ones.
You can also rehydrate them in vermouth, sherry or another liquid to give them an extra special flavor if you want to make impressive thanksgiving recipes for example. Another handy tip is that you can find some really excellent gourmet recipes if you do a recipe search by ingredient.
These dried onions are also great if you are making a meal in a hurry and you do not want the mess or the tears, which fresh onions can cause. If you are making a dry recipe, rather than one with lots of liquid, it is better to use fresh onions because dried onion flakes are crispy and hard, rather than soft like fresh onions. Therefore, substituting dried onions for fresh ones can work well but it depends what kind of recipe you are making.
How to Dehydrate Your Own Onions
You can either buy dehydrated onions or make your own. Choose red, yellow, or white onions, depending on the end flavor you want. If you want to make your own, you will need a food dehydrator and two pounds of onions. Peel the onions, and then wash them in warm water. Cut each one into quarter inch thick, half-inch wide squares and arrange them an eighth of an inch apart in your food dehydrator.
Dehydrate the onions at 120 degrees F, or whichever temperature your food dehydrator instruction manual recommends, for about nine hours. To check the onions are totally dry, take a piece out of the food dehydrator and hit it with a rubber mallet or hammer. If it shatters like glass, it is fully dehydrated.
Transfer the dehydrated onions to a Ziploc bag and then put that bag in a paper bag. Cover that bag with one more paper bag and use the mallet to break the onion chunks into smaller pieces. You can make onion powder by grinding the flakes into a powder with a blender or a food processor. Keep your onion flakes or powder in an airtight container or in a Ziploc bag and add them to your favorite recipes.