The proper way on how to caramelize onions is something many cooks don’t do enough of. It is a simple cooking technique that can maximize the flavor of onions and enhance the taste of your meals. It can be executed quickly with just a few ingredients and day-to-day kitchen utensils. In fact, you just need to have an onion lying around in your kitchen. Take a minute to learn how to caramelize onions and get other great cooking tips.
Choosing the Best Onions
It is a popular misconception that only sweet onions are best for caramelizing. This is not necessarily true. You can use any type of onions because these vegetables contain natural sugars. The same thing goes for onion rings. Caramelizing is the process that releases these sugars to give onions a sweet, roasted flavor. If the onions are not sweet enough for your taste, you can always add a pinch of sugar.
How to Caramelize Onions
- 1 Medium onion
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
- Grab a piece of onion and cut off the tops. Slice onions lengthwise in half and peel, discarding the outermost layers.
- Take one half of the onion and place it on a clean kitchen surface with the flat side facing down. Slice further into half rings. You can also mince the onion if you will be using it to cook a certain dish. Do the same with the other half.
- Add oil into a pan and warm it up over medium-high heat. Once hot, throw in the onion.
- Cook the onions until their color become darker and they start sticking to the bottom of the pan. To keep onions from sticking too much to the pan, dash them with a little water occasionally.
- Continue to stir the onions until they achieve the flavor and color you prefer. Remove from heat or continue cooking to make the dish that you want.
Tips on How to Caramelize Onions
Many cooks often ask how thick onion slices should be. The thickness of slices is determined by personal preference and cooking time. Thinner slices cook in almost half the time it takes for thick slices. Ultimately, cooking time will depend on the taste, texture and color you want. Minced onions cooks quicker.
Another common question is whether it is better to use butter or cooking oil. Many would agree that caramelized onions with butter taste better. If you’re learning how to caramelize onions and want to use butter, Ghee is a good option. If you prefer cooking oil, the best option is any oil that has medium to high smoking point.
Caramelized onions have rich texture and a sweet taste that you can use to garnish many meals. You can add them to lean burgers, homemade pizza, meat dishes and seafood. They also taste great in sandwiches, wraps and soup. You can even use this as a starting point to make your favorite dishes.