How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions add a savoury and sweet element to any dish. Burgers, dips, casseroles and so many other foods taste so much better with caramelized onions. It’s a slow process that may take up to 45 minutes but it’s worth it.

Here are some helpful tips:

 

  • Slice the onions into 1/4 inch rings. If they are thinner they will burn faster.

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  • Don’t use a non-stick pan.You want those golden caramelized bits that add so much flavour. Use a stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet.

  • Cook on low-medium heat. You want the sugars in the onions to caramelize evenly. You don’t want to burn them.

  • Don’t crowd the pan. You want all the onions to be in direct contact with the hot pan.

  • Use just enough oil or butter to coat the onions. If you want to use butter, add some oil to it since butter burns quickly.This is called sweating the onions. The onions start to break down and the moisture in the cells start to evaporate.

  • Stir and scrape every 5 minutes! This will help the moisture to evaporate faster and it incorporates the golden bits on the bottom of the pan.

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  • Once the onions are almost as brown as you want them, add some water or other cooking liquid to deglaze the pan and mix the brown bits into your onions.

  • Salt the onions.

 

You can refrigerate the caramelized onions and use them as needed.

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