Check out how we used our flat top griddle to make easy Caramelized Onions. You combine oil and salt with the onions to get a sweet caramel flavor that makes you forget all those onion tears.
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When you slowly caramelize the onions the sweetness from the sugars comes through. I always thought it was the craziest thing how caramelizing onions completely changes the taste of the raw onion. All it needs is a bit of time, some oil, and a little pinch of salt.
We used one yellow onion, salt, and olive oil. So easy to do.
Head down to the bottom of the post to see the exact measurements.
I have found it helps the caramelization to oil and salt the onions before putting them on the griddle.
1. Prep Time – Peel the onion and slice to your desired thickness, I did about ⅛th of an inch. Place in a bowl and add the oil and mix, then add the salt and coat the onion slices.
2. Caramelizing Onions – Patience is key here and using low heat to sweat the onions. Once you see the color change start flipping every 1 – 2 minutes until you reach your preferred level of caramelization.
3. Wait or Serve – The flat top grill is great to have the caramelized onions wait while you do the rest of the meal. You can simply put them to the side with no heat on to keep them warm.
Or lucky you, serve and enjoy!
The recipe card has more detailed instructions and quantities.
I have found that low heat is key to the caramelization of the onions. It allows the onion slices to sweat. Once they get translucent, it is time to start flipping.
Substituting the yellow onion can be done with red onion, white onion, or sweet onion.
Onions are so versatile, so you can highlight their sweetness from earthy to spicy.
- Earthy taste– Thyme is a great candidate.
- Classic spices – Sometimes it is great to use just salt, pepper, and garlic with a bit of butter.
- Sweet and spicy – You can have some fun with this. For just a little zing, add a pinch of crushed red pepper and you can build the heat from there.
Your patience, a cutting board, a good knife, a flat top griddle or pan, and griddle spatulas.
Storage / Leftover / Rewarm
- Storage: You can keep them in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
- Leftovers: Make some extras for the next day or to bring some magic to a Wednesday dinner.
Put some on a frozen pizza towards the end of its cook, for a tasty addition.
- Rewarm: It is so easy. You may need a bit of oil or butter when you warm them up on the griddle or in the skillet. Mix them on medium-low heat for a few minutes until hot again.
Yes. It may however take a bit longer to sweat than caramelize the onions.
I enjoy using both. I prefer to use olive oil, normally. When I use butter, it is to bring more sweetness and creaminess.
Looking for other tasty side dishes? Try these:
Here are some dishes you can add the caramelized onions too:
What is your favorite onion to caramelize and what do you pair it with?
Let us know in the comments, below.
- Cutting board
- 2 Griddle Spatulas
- BBQ tongs
- Griddle scraper (Optional)
- 8 oz. yellow onion (1 medium onion)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the griddle on low for 5 minutes.
- Peel the yellow onion and cut it in half. Then cut the halves into ⅛th inch slices or your preferred thickness.
- Place the onion slices in a bowl, add the oil then mix. Now, add the salt to coat the yellow onion slices.
- I use just one side of our 36-inch griddle. You can turn the other burners off. It is perfect for keeping the caramelized onions warm for later. Just place the sliced yellow onion on the griddle.
- I like to sweat the onion slices for about 3 – 5 minutes. You may need to mix them a bit.
- Once the onion slices start to become translucent, it is time to start mixing them about every 1 – 2 minutes.NOTE: Move your bigger pieces to the hot area of the griddle to caramelize more evenly.
- About 10 minutes in, you should have the beginning of a nice caramelization. Make sure to keep an eye on them and mix them as needed. It took another 5 minutes to get to our preferred level of caramelization.NOTE: If you are adding them to another dish move them over to the burner-off side, once the caramelization starts. This will allow them to finish caramelizing slower while you finish the main course.
- These caramelized onions are perfectly savory and sweet all by themself. Just place them in a bowl to serve and enjoy.
- Now make that grilled chicken, burger, or maybe a steak to put them on. Just keep an eye on the onions as they slowly finish over on the side.
- Once your main dish is done simply add the caramelized onions onto it and maybe a few on the side too. Enjoy!