DIY Onion Powder


Introduction: DIY Onion Powder

About: I am a 35 year old theatrical electrician/lighting designer living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I get free time I like to make things ranging from cigar box amplifiers to stuffed Cthulhus...

Well maybe you are in a pickle like I was the other day.  I had just seen ectadie's instuctable for how to make cute owl cheese crackers.  Inspired I start gathering my ingredients and surprise surprise I had no onion powder.  Faced with this I Had three options as I saw them. First I could go to the store and buy some. *Shudder* That would involve getting out of my PJ's so it was off the table.  Second I could shake my fist at the sky and hope the crackers would still be tasty without onion powder.  I was getting ready to go this route when it hit me.  I was browsing instructables there had to be a way.  So I did a quick search and came up empty handed.  I thought the lack of a diy onion powder instructable was unacceptable.  I decided to rectify this and garbed my camera to document option three.  Make your own!  Now lets get started.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • Oven or Food Dehydrator
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Mandoline Slicer or Impressive knife skills
  • Kevlar Glove (not necessary if you have the aforementioned impressive knife skills.)
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cooling Rack or Aluminum Foil(it just takes a lot longer)
  • Spice Grinder or Blender or Food Processor or Mortal and Pestle
  • Jar(for storage)
Food Stuffs
  • Onion (One of the good things about making your own powder is you can choose the variety of onion you want for a unique flavor)

Step 2: Preheat Your Oven Grab Your Tools

Turn your oven on to 150°F (66°C) and if you are like me by the time you remember where you hid your mandoline slicer the oven should be good to go.

Step 3: The Cuttening

Now that you have all your tools let's get slicing. First cut the bottom and the top off your onion to make it easy to peel.  Peel the outer layer off then don your glove and get your partner in crime to take a picture.  Now that is out of the way it is time to use either your knife skills or your mandoline slicer to cut the onion into little .

Step 4: Spread and Bake

Spread your super thin onion slices out on the drying rack trying not to layer the slices.  Then place your rack on top of your baking sheet and put it into the oven.  Now it is time to find something else to do for the next 3-4 hours.  Hey I never said it would be quicker than going out to the store.  If you are going to surf the net and don't want to set a timer you can click here for my favorite online timer already set for you.

Step 5: Crush, Grind, and Enoy!

Well thanks to the power of instructables it has been 3.5 hours and our onions are all dry and crumbly.  You can tell your onions are done when they look like the picture below and break easily under pressure.  Now that your onions are ready to be powdered if you are like me the pieces are to big to go right into your grinder.  So place the large pieces into your Jar using your thumb make them smaller.  Once that is complete dump the pieces in your grinder and get to cranking.  Once you have your powder you can finally make those tasty crackers that started this adventure.  Any leftover powder should go in an air tight jar and can be treated just like you would any commercial onion powder. 

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and will never want for onion powder again.



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.





    I've had to keep an oven around 100 degrees Fahrenheit before, to make yogurt. The best way to do it was to preheat the oven, and when it was up to temperature, just use the incandescent light that's built into the oven to keep it at temperature and turn the actual oven off. I wonder if this would work, here.

    1 reply

    A cooler with a 75 watt bulb inside. We did this to incubate eggs a few times and make a small brooder for new hatches.

    Great! My hubby goes thru dried onion powder like it's going out of style. I'm wondering how economical your process is compared to the 2.62 ounce 5th Season jar from walmart that's only 50 cents. But if your's tastes better, this might be worth it costing more to make. I'm going to try it out & see if it tastes better & what the cost comparison is. Thanks for the fun lesson :)

    7 replies

    did you ever try to get your hubbied to eat fresh onion instead?

    My hubby is a huge baby about fresh onions. But he'll eat dried onion powder. If it's dried with any texture left he won't eat that either. So powdered is my go to for onions. He also used to hide peas in the couch according to him mom .

    The Walmart likely comes from China, and even though I respect the open markets they are using and learning, they are one of the highest pollution countries in the world. Mike Adams of natural news has a lab and test s raw materials before he dares use them for his projects and sales, and China is the worst. So if you have home grown onions or anything, that is probably your best bet. And don't forget onions are easy to grow as is garlic and potatoes and carrots, radishes, my onion plant had some damage to the stem, ( hail) it bent, and it grew mini onions at the damaged spots.

    I don't know how economical it is but it sure is tasty.. I am hoping this summer to build a solar food dehydrator which would probably help in the economic factor as I would not have to pay for the natural gas. I think part of what makes this cool other than the pointing and saying "I made that" is that if you pick onions with a different flavor profile like sweet or red you can get an onion powder that you could not get in the stores.

    Yes! A solar dehydrator is an excellent solution to the cost of energy to make this. I figured up the cost comparison between the ready-made powder I mentioned and the results from a sale-price 69cent 3 pound bag of yellow onion from Aldi and got 19 cents an oz for store-bought and about 14 cents an oz for home made so there is some savings, especially if you use solar and don't pay for electric or gas oven use. But overall, you can't put a price on having the flavor variety you mentioned and the "I made that" factor. Those are pretty priceless factors, which tip the scale even more towards home-made for my onion-powder-loving hubby. And, to Maxhuey's question, yes, my hubby eats raw onions by the ton too! I'm actually shocked he hasn't turned into an onion after 25 years of watching him consume pounds of onions per week! ;) I like the idea of making various powders for him for his b-day - he will love it! Thanks Tinker-P for the idea!

    If you make a solar dehydrator add a light bulb(s) ,incandescent type inside the unit. Depending on were you are humidity can easily settle on you product by morning, leading to off tastes/molds etc. 1 or 2 two light bulbs built into to the unit will drive off moisture and keep the process going overnight. The lamps can be like 25 watts or 1 50-75 watts. If the day start or ends badly your light bulbs will work nicely,

    Remember the Easy Bake Oven, they work with a light bulb and bake little cakes.

    Some restaurants get oil in 5 gallon "cans" which are square You could use two or 3 of them to make a body. I used two to make a jet stove .

    In all fairness though a 20 dollar cheapie for simple stuff, while no fun , is a good investment. But a good one, if you do a lot, is a better long term deal.

    A solar one is a good deal, and the lights give it "back up" for overcast days and overnight moisture protection.

    great instructable


    An electric coffee grinder works REAL fast and makes a super fine powder. I did this to make myself some ginger powder and it worked fantastic.

    9 replies

    Do you bake the ginger as well?
    Have you tried any other dried vegetables or condiments that might be powdered?

    No, I just had some ginger uncovered in the 'frig and it dried out, so I 'gingerly' cut it up into slices and then smaller pieces and put all into a coffee grinder and gave it a good grind until most was powdered. I strained it, put it in a glass jar and it was VERY potent and fragrant. I've meant to try it with other spices, but so far, the only one I've tried has been the ginger and some dried rosemary.

    that's right, I also once had a bit of ginger drying in the fridge (my fridge has an air circulating between the freezer and the fridge part, very efficient for drying). I'll try that another time, thanks!

    I threw out countless old dried out mushrooms and shrivelled parsley that was left in fridge while we prepped big holiday meals. One day I bought dried mushrooms for a special sauce ggggrrrr I realise how dumb I was. when I buy shrooms or too much parsley, I slice or chop lay on plate put on any free surface 3 -4 days later wallla dried mushrooms, and not 45 bucks a pound.

    If you dry thyme don't even destem it just clean stems of crud rinse lightly shake off and dry room temp is good a warmed tirned off oven is better. A real dehydrater of ANY kind is best (fastest). You can now rub the leaves off or make a bale put in a sealable bowl/can. If it is vac-able even better. Destem as you need it .

    I grow it all year (right now under some snow if I need it), use it on many things.

    Hold bundle in hand and roll it they all come off in a shower of great tastyness


    Sun dry your mushrooms for extra vitamin D! Here's the reference 

    Great tip, thanks (I didn't know that) :-)

    Isn't it an odd fact? This is the only food that I know of which has more vitamins preserved rather than fresh.

    There's raisins which are high in iron, yet fresh grapes are not. Something must happen in the enzyme reactions while drying to release the iron. Besides removing water.

    because you gave it a "treatment" a natural one , but a process!!