There is more to making caramelized onions than just plopping them in a pan without strategy and technique. Onions need to be sliced, but not too thinly. You should also use a combination of butter and oil since butter alone will cause your onions to burn.
The trick is to not overcrowd the pan; otherwise, they will steam rather than caramelize. Patience is a virtue—you need to let the process unfold and that takes time! Stir the ingredients infrequently, every 7–10 minutes so the sugars have time to break down. This will yield the gooey, browned onions you crave!
Once you have achieved the right texture, make sure to deglaze the pan with a little liquid such as broth or wine so the onions get 100 percent of the flavor. You’ll be a caramelization sensei in no time at all!
How to Make Caramelized Onions Recipe
- 4 cups onions, loosely-packed, sliced, any kind
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup wine, stock, balsamic vinegar or water
- Cut the top and bottom off of each onion. Slice the onions lengthwise.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and coat with oil. Sauté slowly, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Cook 30–40 minutes, depending on how large the onions are and how dark you like them.
- Deglaze the pan with your choice of liquid to add the flavor to the onions and lightly salt to taste.
If you opt to use balsamic vinegar, the longer it has aged, the better and smoother it will taste!