• Onion rings are a classic accompaniment to burgers and steaks, but they can be tricky to cook right. The onions can turn out tough and stringy or the batter can be greasy and limp. We wanted crisp, toothsome onion rings coated in a crunchy, well-seasoned batter. Here’s what we discovered: shopping list
  • Test Kitchen Discoveries shopping list
  • After trying a dozen different batters, we found we preferred a buttermilk and flour batter lightened with cornstarch. It fries up crisp, light, and delicate. shopping list
  • For the cleanest flavor, fry the rings in either peanut or vegetable oil. And keep the heat high--fry at 400 degrees and don’t let the temperature dip below 375 degrees. If the oil temperature dips too low, the onions’ batter will absorb the oil and the rings will be greasy. shopping list
  • Use sweet yellow onions for a bright but not too sharp flavor. shopping list
  • Boost the heat of the chili powder with a hefty shot of cayenne pepper. shopping list
  • A little sugar intensifies the flavor of both the onion and the spices. As an added bonus, it intensifies the browning of the batter. shopping list

How to make it

  • Hot and spicy as well as crispy, these onion rings are addictive. They partner perfectly with steaks. Use a deep-fry thermometer to moniter the temperature of the oil.
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions , sliced into 1/4-inch rounds and separated into rings
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
  • 2. Place buttermilk in medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornstarch, spices, sugar, salt, and pepper together in another bowl.
  • 3. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, dip one-third of onion rings in buttermilk and shake off excess liquid. Dredge rings in flour mixture, shake off excess, and place on large plate. When oil reaches proper temperature, scatter battered onions in single layer in oil and cook, stirring gently, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes (oil temperature should not dip below 375 degrees). Using tongs, transfer onions to prepared baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven.
  • 4. Repeat battering and frying process with remaining two batches of onions, making sure oil temperature returns to 400 degrees before adding each batch. Serve.

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