Beer-Battered Onion Rings

In the past, I have made these oven-fried onion ring. They use crushed saltines and potato chip to substitute for deep frying. While tasty, they just aren’t the same as genuine onion rings. So when I saw these onion rings on a new episode of Cook’s Country, I was excited to give them a try. The recipe solves some of my biggest complaints, when I take a small bite the entire onion comes out leaving just the hollowed ring of batter. Chris Kimball solves this by soaked the raw onions in a mixture of beer, malt vinegar, and salt. Not only are the rings are softened, but this technique also enhances their flavor.

Delicious battered onion rings; but a big mess

But these onion rings are not without their own set of problems. Without breading they stick too each other too easily, stripping away the batter in places. In the end, the results were mixed; some rings were 4-1/2 stars while others were barely 3-stars.

Issues:

  1. The batter is extremely runny, and without breading they stick very easily to one another while frying.
  2. While Chris Kimball says to fry them in small batches, his recommended size is still too big. The onion rings still stuck together. I think it is better to add the rings one at a time, and do not treat them as “batches” at all. Rather treat each ring individually, though it will take more vigilance. There will always be a ring going in or out.
  3. I made this recipe with 2 large onions and ended up with way more onions rings than we could possible eat. I’ve scaled back the recipe below to use only one large onion. If you are making for a crowd, the you can follow his original ingredient list.

Rating: 3-stars
Cost: $2.50.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Started: 1:00 PM.  Ready:  2:45 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here.  The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

1 large sweet onions (but can use regular yellow onions)
1-1/2 cups beer
1 teaspoons malt vinegar (or cider vinegar is unavailable)
Salt and pepper
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cups cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Peel your onion and slice 1/2″ thick. Place the onion slices (without separating into individual rounds) in a zip-lock bag with 1 cup beer, 1 teaspoons malt vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Pour oil into a Dutch oven set over medium-high burner. While oil is heating to 350-degrees, prepare mixture in a large bowl by whisking together flour, cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add 1/3 cup beer and continue whisking until there are just a few lumps remaining; adding a tablespoon of beer at a time until your obtain the proper consistency. You know you have the proper consistency when the batter that drips from the whisk leaves a bit of a trail as it falls back into the batter.
  3. Set an oven rack to the middle position, and pre-heat to 200-degrees.
  4. Drain onions and use paper towels to pat them dry. Separate onions into individual rounds, discarding any that are too small.
  5. Put 1/2 of rings in batter, and place them one-at-a-time into the hot oil. Do not treat them as “batches”, but rather you should try to fry each ring for 2-1/2 minutes per side.
  6. As you remove the rings, place them in a baking sheet lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and keep them warm in the 200-dergee oven.  Repeat with second set of onion rings, but wait until the oil reaches 350-degrees before you begin to fry again.

One Response to Beer-Battered Onion Rings

  1. Anna says:

    Thanks for scaling it down, that’s a help! Cooking for two is sometimes a challenge.

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