Caramelized Onions

If you just need a few onions for a quick burger topping, it’s no big deal and you can probably do so fairly quickly, but when you’re caramelizing onions in a larger amount, it takes time. Lots of time. That is if you want the best onions with a deep rich flavor and just the perfect, tender bite.

Of course, I never mess with a small amount of caramelized onions; if a recipe calls for a few, I tend to do a bag (three to four pounds) because having some caramelized onions in the freezer is an amazing thing.

It occurred to me that it might be helpful to have a page that points to the different ways I’ve tried caramelizing onions, because some of the recipes are imbedded in a larger post and might be hard to find. Note that all these onions were beautifully caramelized: the fault is with the photographer!!

Caramelized Onions CrockpotCaramelized Onions, Slow Cooker: Great method with a couple of drawbacks: a bit of uneven caramelization, a need to find your own timing towards the end and the smell. So easy and hands off, I’d do it again.

French Onion Soup4 xCaramelized Onions in the Oven: Stolen straight up from Cook’s Illustrated, this is much easier than the stove-top method. The onions were gorgeous, but I had to adjust the time after a near miss!

onion 8 xCaramelized Onions, Stovetop: This is a tried and true method for deeply caramelizing onions, but it is labor intensive, no doubt about it, and requires a lot of watchfulness.

A few of my favorite recipes made from caramelized onions – and believe me, they make the whole caramelization thing worth it!:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you one way to save yourself a ton of time and get perfectly sliced onions. Use a kitchen slicer – and once you have one, you’ll likely find a million uses for one. Mine ran around $30.00 and I literally sliced my onions in minutes.

A food processor, a mandoline or by hand all work, too, although all have their drawbacks and all are a bit more difficult to get that perfect cut.

Of course I’ll keep you updated on any other caramelized onion methods I find – how about you? What’s your favorite way to make Caramelized Onions and why, and do you have any bit of kitchen wisdom?


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #31 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

Of course, I can’t miss bringing this to Fiesta Friday #112, hosted by Angie and cohosted this week by Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine. Wow, 112 consecutive weeks!

29 thoughts on “Caramelized Onions”

  1. I don’t eat burgers (veggie ones – yes) but I loooooooooooove caramelized onions!! I love it so much that I usually is it as a side dish

  2. Omg this post couldn’t have come at a better time!!! I’m planning to make a tagine that calls for a bunch of caramelized onions, but have been putting it off because of the fuss. The slow cooker idea is genius!

  3. I totally get that, if you’re going to take the time to caramelise onions, then do it big style! Really interesting to read your versions and thoughts – so, which do you favour the most? Stove top?

    1. I love having a slicer – mine’s cheap and a little rickety but for the amount I use it is just fine. I really like to cook a roast now and then & slice it for sandwiches or French dips for one!

    1. All kinds of recipes like sticky toffee pudding will often call for a bit of baking soda. Since dates are dried and you generally want them soft and gooey for recipes, the baking soda helps. At least that’s my understanding. 🙂

  4. The only tip I can think of is adding bit of baking soda to help then onions caramelize faster. I read that on a blog a while back but I cannot remember who’s but it worked wonderfully. Never thought of using a slow cooker though…NICE!

    1. Thanks, Tony! What a great idea. I’ve used baking soda before to help with dried beans and of course, when cooking with dates, but never thought about onions! I’m trying it next time!

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