Fact: If there are onion rings on the appetizer menu, I’m ordering ’em.
There ain’t no better way to kick off a meal than with circular onions wearing a crispy suit of armor. Don’t try to tell me different. They’re like the noble knights of appetizers, and that’s why I always order a basket when I’m out to eat. Plus, they meet all the criteria of the perfect appetizer: light, deep-fried, and handheld.
Even though I’m a huge supporter of the onion ring, I seldom make them at home. This is predominately due to my laziness, and because I’ve been holding out for just the right recipe.
By a glorious act of fate, I encountered an enticing recipe for Beer Battered Onion Rings on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. They were picture-perfect and caught my eye in an instant. But since I almost always make my own original recipes, it was going to take more than a pretty picture for me to make someone else’s. What sealed the deal was Tracey’s rave reviews. I trust Tracey, so I knew I had to give these rings a go.
I was not led astray. These beautiful Beer Battered Onion Rings are so incredibly crispy that no restaurant rings could ever rival them. The incomparably light and golden brown breading is one that could only be achieved by a beer-based batter. You can even see the little pockets of airiness.
The fresh, juicy onion beneath that crunchy shell is the ideal tender yet still crisp texture that yields to your bite without being soggy. These ain’t no limp, floppy rings; they hold up to your grip from the sturdy onion to that awesome crispy breading. It is honest-to-goodness textural perfection.
Now, you might think that making such perfect, restaurant-style rings at home would be a ton of work, but you’d be wrong. All you have to do is soak the onions in a beer marinade, dunk ’em in a one-bowl batter, and fry ’em up. Plus you don’t have to break out the deep fryer; these babies are done stove-top in a dutch oven or frying pan. Now that’s the ultimate onion ring recipe!
For delicious, perfect-every-time onion rings that beat out all the restaurants, this is the recipe to try.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Find other awesome appetizers of my Appetizer Recipes page.
- Two onions doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes a ton of onion rings!
- Sauce is optional; the rings are delicious with or without.
- The beer cooks out, so these are safe for all ages!
Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Adapted from Cook’s Country, June/July 2009
- 2 big, fat vidalia onions, peeled
- 3 cups beer, divided
- 2 teaspoons malt or cider vinegar
- peanut vegetable, or canola oil, for frying
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
For the sauce
Sauce by The Smart Cookie Cook
- 6 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 4 tsp. horseradish
- Cut the onions into 1/2-inch-thick rounds – you don’t have to separate the slices into layers yet. Add the onion rounds, 2 cups of the beer, the vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a medium casserole dish and cover with lid. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours (don’t let them go beyond 2 hours, they’ll soften too much).
- Make the sauce: whisk together all sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until well-combined. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
- Add enough oil to a large Dutch oven or deep frying pan to come to a depth of about 2 inches. Bring to medium-high heat.
- Preheat oven to 200 F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of the remaining beer just until incorporated (the batter may be lumpy). Add the remaining beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the consistency is right – when you lift the whisk, the batter should fall in a steady stream and briefly leave a trail across the surface and then disappear.
- Remove the onions from the refrigerator and drain the liquid from the bag. Separate the onion rounds into individual rings. Pat the onions dry with paper towels. Add about a third of the rings to the batter and turn to coat completely. Do a test ring: when you drop it in the oil, it should sizzle. If not, the oil’s not hot enough yet.
- Transfer the rings to the oil one at a time, cooking about 5-6 in each batch, and letting excess batter drip off before dropping them in. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion rings are golden brown and crisp, flipping once halfway through. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt, then move the baking sheet to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining onions and serve with dip.