Now that we know which onion is the right type to caramelize and now that we know how to slice an onion, let’s put the two together. It is time to learn how to caramelize an onion! I have to admit I am not a huge onion lover. In fact up until about a year ago I tried avoiding putting onions in anything I made. If a recipe called for an onion I would only put in part of one, not the entire onion no matter what. I have since learned they are a good flavor base, when they are cooked the taste mellows, and some I like better then others. If I was going to teach my Little Chefs to try everything I had to do it myself. I had to cook according to the recipe and then adjust later if we decided we didn’t like something. I needed to stretch myself so that my Little Chefs would not have the same food aversions that I may or may not have. They needed to be given the opportunity to decide for themselves after tasting what they may or may not like…keeping in mind that each time we eat they still need to try everything whether it is new or not.
How To Caramelize An Onion
- Thinly slice your yellow onion.
- Add some butter or oil to a skillet or a saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers it is hot enough to add your onions.
- Stir until you just begin to see a little brown on the edges of the onions. This should take 5-10 minutes, but watch if your heat is too high it will cook faster.
- Lower your heat to medium-low and stir frequently for 30-40 minutes. The onions should change color from translucent to brown. They will be very soft and noodle like. (Kids know just what that means.) If your onions are cooking too quickly or sticking to the pan lower the heat a little bit and add a tablespoon of water. We also added one teaspoon of water as Martha suggested. Keep adding water to deglaze your pan as needed.
Serve caramelized onions on a freshly grilled burger, over a steak, on a flat bread pizza, in a dip…the possibilities are endless. Did you know it was that simple? Sure it takes a bit of time, but it really is simple to do.
- Caramelize an onion and discover the sweet taste it transforms into. If you don’t get it right try again. Onions are cheap!