onion rings

a thousand years ago, DW when pregnant suffered Preeclampsia - and salt was enemy #1

to alleviate her cravings, I did ‘home made’ onion rings. zero salt.
we ate them, but frankly it was a bomb…

I order them when “out” - about 95% are terrible…
50+ years later, still trying to make really good onion rings…

so any experts on home making “deep fried” onion rings?
onion type?
batter stuff?
any ‘do not do’ advice?

I have to admit I like breaded or dredged onion rings over the battered type, but both are good.

For batter, I think Kenji’s is great. It can be made with club soda if you don’t want beer. Also I’ve made onion rings without the freezing step and they’re not as good. Freezing really helps with making them softer. They’re sweeter and more flavorful with that step, and yes, removing that papery layer helps get the breading or batter on.

For dredged I go with buttermilk and seasoned flour. Tossing them in a paper bag makes it so much easier to get them all coated.

However, I saw this recently and it sounds like a really interesting method:

I prefer beer battered… and keeping it simple.

1 white onion
45 grams flour
45 grams corn starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup beer

If you like them softer (I don’t), soak onion slices 30 minutes in beer with salt and pepper.

What kind?
There are battered ones, breaded ones, the super thin kind (straws?), and then others.

I like the breaded ones and the super thin ones best; the battered ones tend to be oily/soggy more often than not. I have not made the breaded ones at home yet.

I also like (and make) Indian ones with a chickpea flour batter, which taste different.
— v1: chickpea flour batter with water and dry spices (salt, chilli powder, turmeric, optional cumin and coriander powders)
— v2: dry “batter” with the same stuff tossed with the onion but no additional water.

Hot oil (check with a tester piece) → fry → drain on paper towels or newspaper → eat.

If the oil isn’t hot enough, they’ll soak up oil.

If you don’t have something more than plain flour, they will likely also not be as crisp. Tempura batter uses egg and ice water.

Given your salt constraint, you might like the Indian ones, a bit of other flavor will compensate for the lack of salt.

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veddy interestink ideas . . .

the flour / cornstarch approach I’ve used for ‘other’ stuff - sounds like a good approach to onion rings.

DW’s salt issue is like mucho decades ago - not a current constraint.

methinks my preferred thang is “battered” vs “coated” - but iffin it works, I’ll change in a heartbeat!

any inclination as to the onion type? white/yellow/sweet/ . . . .

Family recipe for onion rings, using standard yellow onions (i.e., not white onions, not “sweet”/vidalia onions). The key to these is patience, allowing to dry a bit between and after coatings.

45 – 75 minutes prep. 3 minutes cook per batch (about 10 – 15 minutes to serve 2)

1 medium onion per 2 people

1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. water (covers 1 medium onion, increase as needed, equal parts milk & water) in medium bowl

2/3 c. flour, more as needed for larger batches

1 egg
2/3 c. milk

oil for deep frying

salt to taste

Step 1: Slice onion and soak in milk/water mix for 30 – 60 minutes

Step 2: Set up wire racks over waxed paper, to hold rings as they dry between steps. Place flour in gallon container with lid or gallon zip bag. Drain & discard milk/water. Separate onion slices into rings and drop into flour, shake to coat. Place coated rings on wire racks to dry, about 10 minutes (depends on humidity). Keep flour for 2nd coat.

Step 3: Mix 1 egg & 2/3 c. milk in medium bowl. Dip coated rings in egg mix, a few at at time, use fork to remove & drop again in flour & shake to coat. Place on rack again to partially dry.

Step 4: Heat 1-2 inches oil in deep pan or preheat deep fat fryer to 375 degrees. Drop rings in small batches into hot oil, cook for 3 minutes, stir/turning frequently with slotted spoon. (1 medium onion cooked in 3 batches in my 3 quart pot.) Drain on paper towels. Serve promptly. If necessary, cooked batches may be kept warm in bun warmer or on cookie sheet in 300 degree oven Salt to taste.


I dip in flour, then milk/egg mix followed by breadcrumbs. Then deep fry. I season the flour or breadcrumb mixture with whatever I am in the mood for.

I like using white onion. Sometimes I use Walla Walla’s but the white ones have more of a bite to them that I like. I have made the food lab ones mentioned above. They are good but I like the onion to be something I can bite into. I cut them pretty thick. Probably just under 1/2".

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" . . . dry before . . . "
found that an excellent technique for ‘double dipped’ most anything.

right now the onion ring project is on hold - our local markets have - quite literally for decades - offered soft-to-rotten onion about this time of year…
can’t find a decent one.