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Perfect Caramelized Onions

A building block to good flavor and the foundation of many stews and sauces involves caramelizing onions. It’s not difficult to do, but it does require a bit of patience as it takes at least an hour depending on the number of onions you’re doing.
Course Basics
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Fat, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 serving


  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 16 onions medium (peeled with just the tops trimmed off)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Add the oil to a large heavy bottomed pot, holding the root part of the onion use a mandolin to slice the onions straight into the pot, discarding the root. When you're done slicing, add the salt and stir.
  • Cover the pot with a lid, and then turn the burner on to medium-low heat. Cook covered until the onions have mostly broken down and are a pale brown sludge (about 45-60 minutes). Be sure to stir the pot periodically, checking to make sure the onions aren't burning. If they are, turn down the heat and add a bit of water.
  • Once the onions have gotten to this stage, remove the lid and continue cooking until there isn't water vapor coming up from the onions (another 45-60 minutes). You'll want to stir the onions every few minutes to make sure they're not burning.
  • Once most of the moisture has burned off, you'll need to constantly stir the onions, scraping up the bottom of the pot with a silicone spatula to keep the onions from burning. Fry the onions until they are very glossy and are the color of coffee with milk.
  • If the onions start burning to the bottom of the pan before they reach this stage, deglaze the pan with a bit of water, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Once your onions are fully caramelized, turn off the heat and allow them to cool. To store them for later use, fill a clean ice cube tray and freeze them. Once the onions are frozen you can remove them from the tray and place them in a Ziploc bag.