Perfectly Caramelized Onions

Among their many uses, caramelized onions can make a delicious soup.
Among their many uses, caramelized onions can make a delicious soup.

Caramelized onions can serve as a savory, sweet complement to a variety of foods, like steak, burgers or pizza. They also make for excellent onion soup. Here’s how you can cook a panful today while avoiding some common errors.

1. Slice your onions. You may think they need to be a sweet onions, but actually any kind of onion (brown, white, red, etc.) contains sufficient sugar for caramelization. First, remove the ends of the onions and their skins. Then cut them in half and slice to the desired thinness. Keep in mind they will shrink while cooking and may dry out if you slice them overly thin.

2. Use a 10- or 12-inch skillet or sauté pan. The bigger the pan, the more onions you can cook, but Bon Appétit warns that you shouldn’t try to jam in more than two large onions. They will produce steam and water when heated, and that can slow down the caramelization. If you don’t mind waiting, however, you can caramelize up to three or four at once.

3. Heat butter, oil or a mixture of both in the pan over medium high heat. Two or three tablespoons will do the job, but you can adjust to your own taste: use minimal butter and oil if you prefer softer onions, or pour in more if you like them a bit fried.

4. Add onions and lower the heat to medium or medium low. Brown the onions, checking on them and stirring every five to 10 minutes.

5. After 35-40 minutes, begin testing the onions for flavor. Watch their color. You should wait for them to reach a deep brown, but don’t let them burn.

6. Season the onions with salt and pepper. If you like, you can also deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, wine or beer for added flavor.

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One Comment

  1. esta es muy rica en mi casa mi madre la reparaba y la comíamos con carnes de distintas maneras y sopas de cebolla riquísima,con trozos de pan tostado.