How do I caramelize onions?

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7 Comments

pierino March 20, 2012
Long and slow yes, but I don't agree with the lid part. If you preparing onions for say a traditional French onion soup you really do need to stand there and stir with a wooden spoon as they sweat down. But if all you are doing is throwing some on a hamburger use whatever method you like.
 
CrashKate March 20, 2012
In addition to cooking them long and slow, don't forget to keep the lid on!
 
ChompingTheBigApple March 20, 2012
If you are needing a *slightly* faster way to caramelize onions, Serious Eats did an amazing Food Lab where they break down the process and figure out a quicker way to do it: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/01/the-food-lab-real-french-onion-dip-homemade-super-bowl-recipe.html. There's not quite as much urgency to be right beside the pan the whole time with this version, either.
 

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ReneePussman March 20, 2012
The best way to caramelize onions is by slicing them thin and slowly hooking them over medium low heat. Caramelizing 2-4 onions should take approximately 30-45 minutes. Just make sure not to cook them too long or you'll be left with onion jam. Not that that's a bad thing.
 
Sam1148 March 19, 2012
A slight pinch of baking soda can help the carmalization process. If you use sweet onions, it's not needed, but with some late winter onions which can be pungent and acidic it can help sweeten them and remove some of the 'bite'.
 
Mr_Vittles March 19, 2012
Hot pan. Butter or oil, your choice. Thinly slice onion with the grain. Add to pan. Salt, heavy pinch. Toss or stir with spatula. When you see they begin to stick to the pan, add two or three ice cubes. Continue to toss/ stir and adding ice when sticking until the onions are a golden brown. This can take a long time, but if you use high heat, and do not leave the pan, it can take 10-12 minutes.
 
Greenstuff March 19, 2012
Sliice them really thin and cook them for a long time over low heat, giving them an occasional stir. Adding a little sugar speeds up the process but isn't necessary.
 
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