Onion Rings in a light, crunchy beer batter are soooo good. I will take an onion ring over a french fry every time. Well, almost every time. If there’s a chocolate milkshake involved, then I’m all about dipping those fries. But, I digress.
Onion rings are my favorite fast food guilty pleasure, bar none. If they’re on the menu, they’re on my order. I just can’t help myself! I love the crunch of the exterior and the soft onion inside, the salt on the coating with the sweet of the onion, they’re just perfect. My own little idea of cosmic balance. The problem is, I just don’t love fast food, so it used to be a challenge to get my onion ring fix. Until I learned how insanely easy they are to make at home. I kid you not, I can have a batch of these babies ready in less time than it takes to bake frozen French fries. It’s as easy as mix, slice, dip, fry and crunch.
The components are simple. You’ve got a batter, and if you can make pancakes, you’ve got this covered. Of course, you need to slice a couple of onions up into rings. Again, have knife, no problem. The two need to come together, that’s where the dipping comes in. I learned this culinary skill at a really young age, the first time some wonderful soul gave me Oreos and a glass of milk. (Pretty sure it was my Dad, but digressing again. It’s one of those days, friends.) Last item on the list is frying oil. A big pot, some oil, and a few minutes, and you’re there.
- Beer – I use a beer batter because it tastes good and it makes a light batter with great crunch. Pretty much any lager or IPA type of beer will work great. Use what’s in your fridge. If you cannot, or prefer to avoid, cooking with any kind of alcohol, seltzer will do the job. While beer adds flavor in both yeast and sweetness, its real job is to provide lift and lightness from the carbonation. Seltzer can offer that and make your onion rings just as crispy.
- Onions – I use regular, standard yellow onions for my beer battered onion rings. I don’t often cook with red onion, so it’s not what’s in my pantry when the craving for these hits. Sweet onions like Vidalias and Walla Wallas have a higher water content, and may leave your onion rings soggy as they cook.
- Frying Oil – You’ll need to heat your frying oil to 375F. Make sure to pick a neutral-flavored oil with a high enough smoke point for frying. Vegetable, peanut, or safflower oil are all great choices. Of course, be aware of any food allergies when you make your oil choice.
Making Beer Battered Onion Rings
- Mixing the batter – This batter is very similar to a pancake batter, and the same rules apply. Combine your dry ingredients first, and give them a good whisk to mix. Then add your beer, and whisk until there’s no lumps. Don’t overmix or you will stir out the carbonation from the beer and leave your batter flat.
- Slicing onions – You want your onions to be sliced into rings that are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Uniform thickness will help your onion rings cook evenly, but don’t get crazy about it. No need for a ruler here. You’ll want to cut off the top of the onion, remove the outer skin, and then slice the onion whole in order to get rings. Once you have slices, you can pop the rings apart. I don’t use the innermost rings for this dish because they’re too small. Save those for another recipe, or for putting into a salad.
- Dipping the onion rings – Once you have your batter and your sliced onions, dip the rings into the batter to cover them completely. For me, the most successful method has been to use a skewer. Loop the onion on the end of the skewer, drop it into the batter and squish it around (yep, that’s totally a culinary technique right there – squishing) a bit to get the entire thing all coated. Then you can use the skewer to pick the coated ring back up. Let a bit of the excess batter drip off, and then lower it straight into the oil.
- Deep Frying – These onion rings fry for 3-4 minutes, and you’ll want to flip them over halfway through the cooking time to get them brown and crispy on both sides. It’s important to fry in batches so that you don’t crowd your pot. Too many in at once will clump together, and that’s not pretty. It will also lower the temperature of the oil below 375F, and cold oil leads to greasy, soggy food no matter what you’re deep frying. While we’re talking about oil temperature, it really is important to keep that temp up in the deep-fry range. Try to give the oil a chance to come back up to temperature before you start frying the next batch. It should only take a minute or two between rounds. If you’re not using an oil thermometer, you should be. There’s just no other way to know if you’re at the right temperature to get the result you want. I’ve had this one for years, and it works great.
Now, let’s make some onion rings!
Crunchy Beer Battered Onion RingsCourse: Lunch, Dinner, SnacksCuisine: American
Beer Battered Onion Rings – crispy, crunchy and delicious!
3 yellow onions
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
12 oz beer
Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Heat 2 inches of frying oil in a Dutch oven to 375F.
- Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add beer and whisk until smooth with no lumps.
- Peel and slice onions into 1/4-1/2 inch thick rings. Separate rings.
- Working in batches, dip onion rings into batter and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden, turning them over halfway through.
- Drain on paper towels or a rack and salt to taste.
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