Onion rings seem like such a simple thing, yet so many onion rings are pedestrian at best. A great onion ring perfectly combines the earthy flavor of the onion with a seasoned coating, the soft texture of the cooked onion with the crunchy breading. I find that very few onion rings live up to that promise. Luckily, the perfect onion ring can easily be created at home in your own kitchen.
With humble ingredients and a deep pot or deep fryer, you can create the most delicious onion rings I have ever tasted. You can adjust the seasoning to your liking, use beer to replace the sparkling water if you prefer, and make the crisp and delicious onion ring of your dreams.
No matter how many times I make these onion rings, the family just can’t seem to get enough of them. Burger night seems to be requested even more frequently than before in the hopes that I’ll make a batch of these onion rings to serve alongside. Once you’ve made a batch of these golden, crunchy onion rings, you’ll wonder how you could possibly have burger night without them!
- 2 extra-large yellow onions (weighing about a pound each)
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 1 large egg
- 4-6 cups frying oil (or more as needed for your chosen frying vessel)
- salt to season the hot onion rings
- Slice the onions crosswise into ½ to ¾ inch thick slices. Separate each slice into individual rings. Place the rings in a large bowl before sprinkling with 1 cup of flour. Gently toss the rings to coat with the flour without breaking. Allow the rings to rest in the flour for at least 30 minutes. This process will help to dry the exterior surface of the onion and allow the batter to adhere firmly to the onion.
- When you are ready to prepare the onion rings, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Set cooling rack over a baking sheet. This will provide a perfect resting place for the onion rings as you fry successive batches. Line a small tray or baking pan with a clean tea towel. The small tray will provide you with a safe and efficient way to transfer the cooked onion rings to the oven and the towel will absorb any excess oil.
- Begin heating your frying oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a deep pot that will allow for the oil to expand as the onions rings are fried. Take care to not overfill the pot with oil as it will expand as the rings are fried.
- As the oil and oven come up to temperature, mix the batter. In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups of flour, cornstarch, seasonings, buttermilk, sparkling water (or beer), and egg. Whisk until smooth. The batter should resemble a thin pancake batter.
- Add several rings to the batter, turning them to coat completely. Transfer the battered onion rings to the hot oil, taking care not to splash the oil out of the vessel and without overcrowding. Move the onion rings slightly to ensure that they do not stick to each other or the sides of the pan. Fry each batch for 3-4 minutes, turning at least once to ensure that they are an even golden brown.
- Remove the onion rings from the hot oil carefully to the towel lined pan. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to the wire rack in the warm oven. Repeat the process until all of the rings have been fried and seasoned. Serve hot.