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Thread: How big is a medium onion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    How big is a medium onion

    I was trying to find out how big a medium onion really is. There such a big size difference between the smallest and largest of onions. I found on Living Cookbook - under the ingredient raw onion that
    • Small Onion - 59.25g
    • Medium Onion - 122.25g
    • Large Onion - 122.25g
    • 1 cup - 160g

    You will note that the large onion mass (g) is the same as the medium onion which I don’t believe is correct.

    Then I found this reference on this website -

    Super Colossal 4-1/2" and Up Yellow, Red, and White
    Colossal 3-3/4" and Up Yellow, Red, and White
    Large/Jumbo 3" and Up Yellow, Red, and White
    Medium 2" to 3-1/4" Yellow, Red, and White
    Pre-Pack 1-3/4" to 3" Yellow and White
    Small 1" to 2-1/4" Yellow, Red, and White
    Boiler 1" to 1-7/8" Yellow and White
    Creamer Under 1" Yellow and White

    Then I found this information on the website -

    Small onion = 4 ounces by weight or about ˝ cup chopped
    Medium onion = 8 ounces, or about 1 cup chopped
    Large onion = 12 ounces, or about 1˝ cups chopped
    Jumbo onion = 16 ounces, or about 2 cups chopped

    Now I find myself wanting to find the answer to the onion sizing for small, medium and large onions. The information on the Salon site doesn’t seem right as 8oz = 225g which seems a lot! It also says about that a medium onions is about 1 cup chopped…Living Cookbook says 1 cup = 160g...there is a big difference here. The onions USA site does the sizes in diameter which is not that helpful. I live in New Zealand and we have the Food Standard Australia and New Zealand website (, however everything is measured per 100g, so size does not come into it.

    Can anyone out there solve this problem for me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chico, CA
    I use the measures from Cooks Illustrated as I test recipes for them and use their recipes a lot. Please note that the weights given are for whole raw onions with peel etc.
    small: 2" 4oz. 1/2 cup chopped=113.398 grams
    medium: 2˝" to 3" 8 oz. 1 cup chopped=226.796
    large: 4" 1 Lb. 2 cups chopped=453.592
    The nutrition information is usually given for a medium onion at 160 grams. That makes sense as you would not include the peel and core when using the onion, hence the lower weight. It is helpful to have the size and cups amounts as some recipes will say e.g., 1 large, others 2 cups chopped, so these figures are useful for conversion purposes to know how many onions to buy or to convert from one size to another (I usually only have large onions on hand).
    Last edited by Cubangirl; 06-21-2010 at 12:23 AM.


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