Caramelise Onions In Half The Time

Soft, sweet, browned onions go great on burgers, among other dishes. But the time and know-how required are why dishes like French onion soup aren't often made at home. Here's how to get from raw to caramelised in just 20 minutes.

Task-minded food wizard J. Kenji Lopez-Alt wanted to make his own French onion dip something bad, but didn't want to wait over a stove while watching as onions slowly, slowly lose their moisture and begin their Maillard reaction. When they're done, the onions are sweeter, softer, and just plain tasty, but you've also probably spoiled your appetite snacking during the wait.

Lopez-Alt suggests helping along your onions with three modifiers: adding sugar to the pan before cooking, spiking the onions with a very tiny bit of baking soda, and cooking at higher heat with water on-hand to deglaze the pan. Now you're making mind-bending burger toppings, starting a batch of soup or revelatory homemade dip, and learning a bit of kitchen thermodynamics while you're at it.

The Food Lab: A Better Way to Caramelize Onions (Plus, French Onion Dip!) [Serious Eats]


    Geeez. Just do it the normal way. Brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Takes 20 min max. Tastes the real deal also.

    Did some of these with beer for Australia Day bbq. They were awesome. :)

    Fry the onions with a big blob of BBQ sauce, hoisin or sweet chili depending on your taste.

    Saw french cooking show on SBS last week, restaurant science guy showed in real time that adding SALT to onions makes them 'more brown' in the same amount of time than no SALT. no head to head with sugar though (my personal choice)

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