Crisp and savory on the outside, sweet and silky on the inside, and hot all the way through, onion rings rank among the most addictive appetizers. To learn how to make them yourself, just follow these step-by-step directions.
French or American?
Classic onion rings are made from onions that have been sliced, separated into rings, dipped into a batter, and then deep fried. Sometimes onion rings are called "French fried onion rings." However, fried onion rings are not something you're likely to find while poking around Paris. While there's no clear consensus on where onion rings originated, they've become a quintessential American steakhouse and bar-grill specialty. They're often served as appetizers, or as side dishes and garnishes to meaty specialties such as steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Onions rings are also popular in Great Britain, Australia, and some parts of Asia.
Equipment for Onion Rings
Homemade onion rings don't require special equipment. A deep fryer is ideal, however, because it allows you to set and regulate an exact frying temperature. You can get by just fine with a large deep skillet and a frying thermometer.
Safety First when Frying Onion Rings
The cooking oil for frying onions reaches very high temperatures, which can start fires or cause burns if you aren't careful. Before you roll up your sleeves to make onion rings, review a few safety guidelines.
Which Onions to Use for Homemade Onion Rings?
You can use white or yellow onions to make onion rings. Keep in mind that white onions are generally more pungent than yellow onions. If you are a fan of sweet onions, consider Maui, Vidalia, or Walla Walla onions, which are usually available during the spring and summer. Outside of those seasons, try Oso Sweet or Rio Sweet onions; these yellow onions hail from South America and are available during fall and winter.
How to Make Onion Rings
This classic recipe for onion rings will serve six as an appetizer.
1. Gather the Ingredients
2. Cut the Onions
Using a chef's knife or sharp thin-blade knife, slice off the stem and root ends of each onion. Remove the peel. Slice each onion crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Separate the onions into rings.
3. Make the Batter
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, milk, egg, the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a whisk or rotary beater, beat until just smooth.
4. Batter and Fry the Onion Rings
Tip: You might need to stir the last few onion slices into the batter to coat them entirely.
Although onion rings can be savored solo, ketchup is a classic dipping sauce. Also try one of these gourmet dippers:
Tip: Extra chipotle chile peppers can be frozen. Place in freezer containers; cover with adobo sauce. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 2 months.