How To Make Onion Rings From Scratch

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This version has a very simple, very light tempura style batter. It’s about the simplest batter possible, and I can guarantee that if you cook at all, you’ve already got everything you need in the cupboard.

UPDATE: I’ve also done beer batter onion rings. That one’s a slightly tastier version, but a bit harder to do.

Ingredients

080412-191928_Lg1 large onion per 2 servings
1 cup flour
1 large egg
1 cup ice water
salt
pepper

Directions

While preparing the onions and batter, set your cooking fat on medium heat to warm up. I prefer beef tallow, but would use lard or olive pomace oil in a pinch. Vegetable oil — corn, soybean, etc. — has too low a smokepoint and turns rancid too easily. Plus it’s not reusable.

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While that’s heating up, peel the onion (or onions) and slice into wide rings.

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The best onions to use are very large diameter and wider than they are tall. This gives you more large rings than small ones.

When you get to the end with the root, stick a paring knife in at an angle toward the center …

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… and spin it around until you get the whole root out.

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Pop out the center pieces of each slice that are either not round, or too small to make good onion rings.

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Some onions hold on really strong between the layers. If you have one of these, you need to break the layers loose before trying to separate the rings or they’ll all break. Place the ring between your palms, squeeze in enough to make it a little bit oval, and roll it back and forth a few times.

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Once it’s loosened up, pop the rings apart, starting from the inside.

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Once it’s all separated, one onion makes a surprisingly large pile of rings. I completely underestimated the size of the bowl I’d need to hold it all.

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Now mix up the batter — that’s the flour, egg and water — according to the directions in the flounder tempura posting, and salt and pepper. Set your onions and batter up next to the hot fat.

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Using metal or high-temperature plastic tongs, dip the rings one at a time into the batter. Make sure each ring is covered all the way around. This batter is very thin, so let the batter drip off for a second before putting it in the fat.

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Don’t crowd the pan. Work in batches or they’ll all stick together.

TIP: Use two sets of tongs for this, one to dip the rings and put them in the fat, and the other to turn them over and take them out. You’ll keep the batter cleaner and you won’t get raw batter back onto cooked rings.

Flip the rings over once when they start to show a golden color just above the level of the fat. The second side will be done a little quicker. Don’t set a timer and walk away, this is not an exact process. You need to check frequently so you don’t burn them.

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Serve with the spicy dipping sauce and the buttermilk ranch dressing.

And that’s it.

Onion Rings

Onion Rings

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion per 2 servings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ice water
  • salt & pepper
  • oil for frying (tallow, lard or olive pomace)

Instructions

Peel the onions, slice into wide discs, and separate the rings.

Beat the egg together with the ice water. Add the flour and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and mix it gently, just enough to get most of the lumps out.

Fill a heavy-bottomed pot at least an inch deep with your cooking fat and heat it to just below its smoke point. Working in small batches, dip the rings in the batter, let them drip off briefly, then place them in the hot fat. Don't crowd them or they'll stick together.

Turn them over when the edges start to brown, about a minute or two. Cook another minute on the other side, then remove to a plate covered with paper towels.

Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with ranch dressing, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.

Comments

  1. Tracey Smith says:

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    x

  2. I love onion rings! Thanks for the great guide.

  3. YUM! Your onion rings look delicious!

    Thanks!

    Pat

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  5. Stephanie says:

    I love onion rings! Will have to give this a try sometime. But I have to control how many I eat. We did onion rings a few months ago, and I think I ate about a whole onion’s worth. My nursing baby hated me for days!

  6. Those look scrumptious and they even look “Light” on the picture -great job, thanks! Onion rings bring me back…ate them ALL the time at a Big Boy restaurant when I was a teen.

  7. Stephanie: I showed amazing self control. I only ate half and put the rest in the fridge for the next day.

    Then I had them while I was watching TV that night. :-/

    jj: You’re right about them being relatively light. There’s a much higher onion-to-batter ratio, which is why I go with sweet onions. You’re definitely tasting the onion, not the batter.

  8. You have a beautiful site and these onion rings look wonderful. Thanks for all the fine photos and easy directions.

    Thanks also for leaving a comment on my site with your URL so I could find your blog.

  9. RatFink says:

    The batter will stick a lot better if you first dust the onions in flour first.

  10. RatFink, I’ll have to give that a try next time. Should be easy to just toss a handful of flour into the bowl and toss before I start dipping them.

  11. Foodaholic says:

    Thank you so much. I really needed a good recipe and instructions for onion rings. I LOVE onion rings, but they are rarely available on restaurant menus when I go out.

  12. Foodaholic, you returned the favor with that lotus blossom cookie recipe. I’ll have to look for one of those molds next time I’m able to get downtown.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If you put a light coating of flour on your onions before you batter them it helps the batter stick to them better.

    I used to be in the onion ring industry.

  14. There’s an onion ring industry? Wow, I never would have thought of that. I’ll bet they have a great annual convention.

  15. Finally, I can make my own onion rings. When I was living in South America, there’s was a point when I craved them so bad I almost flew back to the states. Fortunately the TGIF’s killed the graving for the short term. Now I can just make’em me’self! Thanks!

  16. Andrew, that totally surprises me. There’s something that they don’t fry in South America? Amazing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    PHOTOSHOPPED ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  18. Ummm … what’s photoshopped?

  19. Twilight says:

    Would Canola Oil be alright for the Onion Rings? And Do you know of a way to make the batter a little bit thicker? The best onion rings I’ve had are almost equal in taste of the batter and onions, the onions being slightly more stronger flavoured.

    Love the recipe.

    Twilight

  20. Twilight, a couple people suggested coating the onions with flour before dipping in the batter. That would cause more batter to stick. I’m experimenting with other batters, but haven’t found a thicker one that I like yet.

    As for canola oil, it has nearly as high a smoke point as beef tallow, but make sure you’re not using hydrogenated. See here for much more than you ever wanted to know about cooking with oils and fats.

  21. Twilight says:

    Thanks for the info Drew, its very much appreciated.

    Good luck with the experimenting, hope you post the batter you like.

    Twilight

  22. Anonymous says:

    awesome recipe, just found it through StumbleUpon, subscribed to your rss, keep the recpipes coming!

  23. Onion Bhaji recipe says:

    Love it. I can never get them looking this good, but these look good enough to eat :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Peanut and saffron oil have a very high smoke point; I’m sure they would be acceptable to use as well.

    And the key to un-greasy food from deep fat frying is to use lots of oil and high heat; the less heat the food takes away from the hot oil, the faster it will cook and the less greasy your food will be. To keep the heat of your oil constant through cooking, use as much as you reasonably can.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Doh. I meant safflower oil, not saffron. If such a thing could ever exist, it would probably be way to expensive to even look at.

  26. Thanks for the tip about using plenty of oil, that’s absolutely right. And yes, saffron oil would be ridiculously expensive. Of course now I’m really curious to see if it could be made.

  27. twopeasinapod says:

    Pretty awesome recipe, thanks Drew! Is there a way these could be baked instead of fried just to be a little healthier? I ask before trying it because I’ve tried some bad ideas in the past; eggplant does NOT make good french fries…

    Thanks!

  28. I can’t WAIT to make these for my boyfriend and myself! I love onions, but onion rings are the only way he’ll eat them. These look fantastic.

  29. Etna, I don’t know that baking would work with this recipe. The batter is really thin, and I suspect it would all run off before it cooked. Several people suggested dredging the onions in flower before dipping in the batter, and that might help.

    I’m working on a recipe for a thicker batter. Next time I try it I’ll bake a few, see how it comes out.

    Twopeas, let me know how it comes out.

  30. These onion rings look so delicious! Thanks for the instructions, I’ll be sure to try it sometime soon.

  31. Scary Mommy says:

    Stumbled Upon you and so glad I did— YUM!!!!

  32. FoodRenegade says:

    I’ve never been much for cooking fried foods because they always seemed so… complicated. (Although I’ve loved eating them.) I need to find a good source of lard, as all I can find is hydrogenated.

    Cheers,
    KristenM

  33. Kristin, around here I’ve had better luck finding beef tallow than lard. It’s better for frying, so that’s been good for the onion rings. If I ever find good lard I’m going to save it for pie crusts and a couple of bread recipes I want to try.

  34. Lulu, U.K. says:

    I just made these for lunch, they are brilliant! I’ve never successfully done it before in spite of trying but they were so delicious and crispy. Thanks!

  35. Lulum U.K. says:

    p.s. worked fine with sunflower oil. I just turned the hob up and down throughout so it didnt overheat

  36. Lulu, that’s great! I’ll trade ten comments saying something looked good for one saying they actually made it. Even if it doesn’t come out right on the first try. But yours did, so … bonus.

    PS: When did the stovetop become a “hob”? I saw that on all the appliance sites when I went researching something last week, but I’d never heard it before that.

  37. Anonymous says:

    what do u use the ice water for?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the recipe, we are living in a 3rd world country as missionaries and miss food from home! Passing by a little stand of onions I replied to my husband, "we could try making onion rings!" we had no recipe, but found yours and its great!!

  39. Anon, maybe you can start a new trend. Introduce the locals to onion rings and within a year you'll be able to find them at roadside food stands.

  40. 100thIdiot says:

    @Anonymouse, the water is for making the batter. That had me for a second too.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have made this recipe twice, and each time it comes out looking exactly like the picture! Oh, the anticipation! Great recipe, the best I have had!

  42. hellacollege says:

    im a college kid and my housemates and i impulse bought a deep fryer yesterday at Target for 20 bucks. just made these and they were DELICIOUS. thank you so much. way better than top ramen

  43. 100thIdiot says:

    @hellacollege, anything you cook yourself at home should always turn out better than the shop bought version. This is because they use the cheapest possible ingredients and the cheapest possible manufacturing process. When you see 'specially seleted', that really means 'we bought the cheapest we could find'!

    Even premium stuff like Ben and Jerrys icecream cant compare. If the icecream I make simply and easily at home scores 10/10, then B&J's would score a miserable 4!

    If you like food have a go at making it yourself, it should always turn out better than shop bought!

  44. well lets just say i wish i had you at my house to cook the onion rings. can’t come in my house for a while though. tried to make the onion rings and now when i come home it smells like burnt onions (which it is) and it makes your eyes water. just have no talent in cooking since it took me four years to make a sunny side up egg.

  45. Wow! THese onions rings look delicious! =D I’m salivating… Want them right this instant! *How come in restaurants the onions in the batter seem “mashed”?

  46. If you mean Burger King, they use minced onions, extruded through a ring-shaped mold and breaded.

  47. Zach. C says:

    “Loved the batter”
    what i personally like is the simplicity of it. You can easily alter the batter to suet any need, simply by adding a dash or two of seasoning (like lemon, or garlic salt).
    With this you can easily apply it to allot other items, like potatoes, fish, hotdogs/meat (needed to be thickened a little first), OR my personal favorite Squid (calamari).

  48. Zach, that’s not fair. My wife hates calamari, so I only get it when we go out.

  49. sharmaine says:

    it tasted like my batter was missing something

  50. Sharmaine, most people don’t want much in the way of flavor from the batter. But next time, add some salt and pepper if it needs a little something extra.

  51. Spicy, Delicious & Crispy Onion Rings Lovely to Eat

  52. Do you have a recipe for the onion rings that are kind of mush inside them rather than in rings?

  53. Lauren, those are machine made. You could probably do something like it, but if you’re talking about the kind they have at Burger King, they extrude them from a high-pressure die.

  54. Thanks for the recipe. I used vidalias. I did add some paprika and garlic powder to the batter. I also added a little bit of bread crumbs. Came out nice and crispy. And with my mandolin I was able to slice them to perfection. Thanks again, so many places these days either don’t carry onion rings, or they serve the fast food type that just don’t cut it.

  55. veryatlantic says:

    I get it. The glass of ice water is to mix a scotch as a reward if the onion rings turn out.

  56. SydtheStarWarskid says:

    i tried this with my dad and they tasted like donuts o-o but they were awesome! we used milk instead on water and he splashed a cup of beer in there of who-knowes-what-reason but they turned out great with out hamburgers!

  57. Thanks it was really useful, I’m going to cook mine right now!

  58. Justine says:

    Do you need fat can you use canola oil instead?

    • I avoid most vegetable oils except olive oil. (Peanut and avocado are good too, but too expensive for me to use every day.) Most of them are bad for you> and canola is one of the worst. You can read all about canola here, but here’s the short version:

      Canola is refined from rapeseed, which is toxic to humans and almost entirely made from genetically modified seeds. It has a high smoke point, but exceed it by just a little and it goes rancid very abruptly, ruining the flavor and — for what it’s worth — becoming carcinogenic.

      If I don’t have tallow or lard handy, I’ll use olive pomace oil.

  59. Kassidy says:

    WOW! Those are phenomonal! I just made them with my cousin as a snack and I must say they were veryy delishh!

  60. Nurulaqilah says:

    What if you want to make onion rings with Panko breadcrumb? My sister tried it (from another recipe) and the breadcrumbs keep falling off the onion rings once it is fried.

    • You’ll want to dip them in the batter, dredge in the Panko, then let them sit for 5-10 minutes for the bread crumbs to absorb some of the batter. Lots of people do this anyway, even when using a recipe just like the one above.

  61. I just used your recipe and made the best onion rings that I ever have made! Thank you so much!!!! I even thought of how this recipe, altered a tad, would make really yummy funnel cake batter. (omitting the s&p and adding some sugar). Thanks again! I am posting this recipe on my Facebook. So good, gotta share it! :)

  62. miguel ramos says:

    Googled onion rings and this was the 1st and last I needed! Thank for a great recipe! my inlaws loved this and I am a hit because of it!

  63. conny blezer says:

    het bakken ging goed eerst krokant maar daarna werden ze allemaal zacht wat doe ik fout

    • Het klinkt als de olie was niet warm genoeg. Met de hete olie, stoom die uit te houden van de olie uit. Cool olie zal genieten binnen.

  64. I made them with my dad. They are great. Unfortunately we had some weird onions, so our onion rings were mostly like onion horseshoes. Thanks.

  65. I tried this an it did not turn out like this at all. I used your exact measurements an the batter was thick, not thin. I cooked them like you said, but they aren’t flaky or crispy at all, even if they are the right color. Any explanations?
    -Katie

    • Katie, my first thought is you might have over-beat the flour. I know that over-kneading can make bread tough and chewy, I suspect you may have done something similar.

  66. Or Efrima says:

    My family and I were trying to make onion rings for a long time now…I decided to take things into my own hands and hunt down the perfect recipe.
    Most previous recipes my family tried failed..
    I found yours and tried it…It was a huge success! They came out perfect and delicious!
    Thanks a lot!
    This one’s here to stay :)
    We’re going to explore over time and try to adjust the batter to get different tastes…Oh, and we used regular Olive Oil ^^

  67. I am actually making these right now. I added an 1/8 th of a cup more flour to the batter and pre floured the onions. Seems to be working alot better then the original recipe.

  68. I made these awesome onions rings today and they turned out AMAZING! Thank you for the great recipe and extremely helpful layout with all the photos and stuff.
    Thank you so much :)
    Nicole xx

  69. I just finished eating my onion rings, thanks for the recipe.. My son loved it too… :)

  70. Yummy!!!

  71. I love union rings. So I’m going to try these one tonight for dinner

Trackbacks

  1. […] exactly the Russian dressing recipe, except with added horseradish. You can also check out the recipe for onion rings. The recipes for the chili sauce and Dijon mustard will be coming […]

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