Onions are thinly sliced and coated in a crispy batter before being fried to perfection. This recipe is easy to follow and results in onion rings that are sure to please. Serve them as an appetizer or side dish, or pack them up for a delicious snack on the go. In this post, you'll learn exactly how to make perfect onion rings from scratch!
There’s been an ongoing battle in many kitchens when it comes to attempting to make the perfect crispy onion rings.
Almost everybody likes to have super delicious and golden crispy fried onion rings just like from the restaurants. Homemade onion rings seem to be one of those things that are either a hit or miss when it comes to crunchiness and crispiness.
In this post, I'll cover a few simple tricks and also my recipe for making delicious crispy and crunchy restaurant style onion rings right at home!
I know many an onion ring lover who has been through the roof with excitement to make their own only to be disappointed when there comes out soggy, floppy, or just plain greasy.
Being the onion ring fan that I am, I became tired of fighting against the dreaded soggy onion rings! Below are a few tips that I find help to make a huge difference when making onion rings.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! ❤️ If you give it a try, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section at the bottom of the page or share a pic of your om noms on Instagram and tag @dishesanddustbunnies! ❤️
What is Onion Ring Batter Made of?
Onion ring batter is made from a combination of flour, baking powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. These dry ingredients are combined with ice cold water to make the batter. Before battering the sliced onion rings, they're dredged in cornstarch to help the batter stick.
How to Make Homemade Onion Rings From Scratch – Overview
You can find the full recipe details, including ingredient amounts and the full instructions, at the bottom of this post, but first, here's a quick overview of how to make deliciously crispy homemade onion rings!
Begin by soaking the sliced onion rings in ice cold water. Using cold ingredients are one of the secrets to perfectly crisp onion rings!
Preheat your deep fryer (or large pot of oil in the stove) to 375°F. Remove the onions from the ice water and thoroughly dry them with paper towels. It's fine if there is a little moisture, but try to remove as much of it as possible. Toss the onion ring slices in a dry mixing bowl with 3 tbsps cornstarch.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cayenne, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for the batter. Combine the 1 ¾ cup ice water with the dry flour mixture using a whisk. Depending on how thick you want your batter to be, use more or less water. I prefer thicker batters so that they stay together!
Place the bowl of mixed batter over top of another large mixing bowl filled with the ice. This is important in making sure your batter stays at the proper cold temperature as you work.
Dip onion rings into the cold batter mixture. Make sure they're well coated on all sides.
After battering your onion rings, you can try this optional step: dip or roll them in panko bread crumbs for a crunchier texture!
Next, place each ring in the oil and fry for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until golden, turning halfway through if necessary.
When the rings have cooked, remove them from the oil with a mesh basket or strainer and lay them on a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain. It's critical to maintain the crispness of the onion rings this way. Continue dipping and frying until all of the batter and onions have been cooked and set aside to drain.
Serve immediately as a side with burgers or any of your other favorites foods. Onion rings are great with my homemade Zesty Onion Ring Dipping sauce!
Can I bake the onion rings instead of frying them?
For this recipe, I recommend frying as it produces the best results. If you try to bake this recipe instead of frying as recommended, the batter will slip off on the baking sheet while it cooks.
Please keep your eyes peeled as I'm planning on creating a special no fail baked version of crispy homemade onion rings soon!
How to make onion rings without a deep fryer
If you don't have a deep fryer, you can cook yout onion rings in a large, heavy bottom pot with at least 3 inches of oil on the stove. Make sure that your oil is preheated to 375°F before frying!
What kind of onion is best for onion rings?
There are lots of different types of onions that you could use for onion rings, but the best kind is a sweet onion. Sweet onions have a lower water content than other kinds of onions, which means they'll get nice and crispy when they're fried.
If you can't find a sweet onion, you can also use a white onion. Just be sure to slice it thinly so it will cook evenly.
How to cut the onion:
How thick should I slice the onion for onion rings?
How thick you slice the onion is entirely up to you and your preferences. If you like thicker onion rings, then slice the onion a little bit thicker. Conversely, if you prefer thinner onion rings, then slice the onion a bit thinner. There really is no “right” answer when it comes to thickness, so go with whatever you like best!
Now that we've gone over how thick to slice the onion, let's talk about how to actually make these delicious things!
How to get extra crispy onion rings:
If you're looking for onion rings that are extra crispy, there are a few things you can do to make sure they turn out that way. First, it's important to use a good quality oil for frying. Canola oil is a great choice because it has a high smoke point, which means it won't burn as easily as some other oils.
Be sure to fry your onion rings at a high temperature so that they'll get nice and crispy. MMMMmmmm! 😋
Make sure the onion rings are well coated in a batter or breading. Another tip is to make sure your batter is nice and thick. This will help them hold onto that crispy coating once they hit the hot oil. A thinner batter will result in onion rings that are more likely to be soggy.
Finally, it's important to not crowd the pan when frying. Give the onion rings plenty of room to move around so they can get nice and crispy on all sides.
How to keep batter from falling off onion rings:
To keep your batter from falling off of your onion rings, make sure to coat them evenly and thoroughly. If it's not hot enough, the batter will start to absorb into the onion and won't be as crispy.
For extra crispy onion rings, you can try double dipping them. First, dip them in a coating of flour or cornstarch, then dip them in the batter. This creates a barrier between the onion and the batter so that less oil is absorbed for a crispier result.
Another way to achieve ultra crispy results is to bake your onion rings. This requires a bit more work as you have to coat the onion rings in bread crumbs or panko, but it's worth it for that extra crunch.
Also, if you're using a dipping sauce, make sure it's not too thick or the batter will fall off. A thinned out BBQ sauce, ketchup or my homemade zesty sauce works well.
Tips for Crispy Onion Rings
1. Make sure the batter is cold.
I find that making sure the batter is ice-cold helps make it stick to the onion rings while frying.
Once the rings hit the hot oil the contrast of cold from the batter tends to keep them stuck to the onion ring – and makes them crisp.
2. Make sure your oil is the proper temperature.
When frying onion rings, I find that the most effective temperature is at 375°F.
When you fry anything, it’s best to use a candy or deep-fry thermometer that is attached to the side of your pot/frying vessel. Using a thermometer is much more accurate than just guessing if the temperature is right. Having the thermometer attached to the side of your cooking vessel while frying also helps you make sure that the proper temperature remains consistent, and you can adjust it if you need to.
If the temperature becomes too low while you're cooking, the rings will soak up A LOT of oil and you don't want that to happen.
3. Chill the onion slices in ice cold water.
Before coating your onion rings in the batter many people find that it works best chill your onion slices in ice cold water for at least 10 minutes.
Make sure that when you take the onions out of the ice water, you also dry them off thoroughly using paper towels.
4. Coat the onion rings in cornstarch before dipping into the batter.
This little extra bit of cornstarch on the surface of the onion rings is the “glue” that holds onto the batter.
5. Don’t lay the finished onion rings directly on paper towel!
When your onion rings have finished cooking it’s important to avoid placing them directly on top of paper towel to drain. If you do this, the onion rings will soak up whatever oil ends up on the paper towel.
What I do to prevent these soggy atrocities (lol!) is place some paper towels on a cookie sheet and then lay a wire cooling rack or cooking rack over top on a baking sheet. Then as my onion rings finished cooking I place them on top of the metal rack so they can drain. This way those delicious crispy onion rings won’t sit in the oil and become soggy.
Can I Freeze Battered Onion Rings?
Although battered onion rings are best fresh, you can freeze them for up to 2 months. If freezing, make sure to fry them and cool them first. Flash freeze them by laying the onion rings on a single layer on a baking sheet, then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Next, simply pop them in a freezer-proof bag or container and make sure they're well sealed. When you're ready to eat them, bake for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack over a baking sheet in a preheated 375°F oven.
Frozen onion rings will be good in the freezer for about 3 months.
Storage and Reheat Instructions
Homemade onion rings are best eaten soon after frying however if you do have any leftovers, you can store them in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that while in storage, the onion rings will become soggy and lose their crispness. You can refresh their crispness in how they're reheated.
It's best to reheat your onion rings in the oven in order to make them crispy again. Bake them for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack over a baking sheet in a preheated 375°F oven.
What to Serve with Onion Rings:
Onion rings are great served as a side dish along with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, and steak. They also make a delicious appetizer!
Ranch dressing, ketchup, and BBQ sauce are all popular dipping sauces for onion rings.
- 4 large Vidalia or sweet onions, thinly sliced into rings and placed into ice water for at least 10 minutes
- 3 tbsps cornstarch
- 3 tbsps cornstarch (to coat the sliced onions, before battering)
- 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 ¼ cup ice cold water (adjust this amount depending on how thick you want your batter)
- Optional for variation: Panko breadcrumbs or other breadcrumbs
Other Items needed:
- Large mixing bowl filled 1/4 full of ice. (once batter is mixed, the bowl is placed into the larger bowl filled with ice – this will help keep your batter cold as you work)
- Oil for frying – about 2″ high in large a pot – you can also use a deep fryer if you have it
- Candy thermometer or deep fry thermometer – to clip to the side of your pan with the oil
- Large cookie sheet lined with paper towel with a metal rack over it. This will be used to drain any excess oil once the onion rings are cooked.
- Preheat your deep fryer (or large pot of oil in the stove) to 375°F.
- While waiting for the oil to heat up, remove the onions from the ice cold water and thoroughly dry them using paper towels. It's ok if there's a little moisture but try to get as much of it removed as you can.
- In a dry mixing bowl, toss the onion slices with the 3 tbsps of cornstarch. Be sure all onions are well coated.
Prepare the Onion Ring Batter
- Using a whisk, combine dry ingredients for the batter in a medium mixing bowl; flour, cayenne, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Using the whisk, combine the 1 ¼ cup ice cold water with the dry batter ingredients. Adjust the amount of water used depending on how thick you'd like your batter. I find thicker is best so the batter sticks!
- Place the bowl of mixed batter over the large mixing bowl with the ice. This is important in making sure your batter stays at the proper cold temperature as you work.
Cook the Onion Rings
- Before frying, make sure your oil has reached 375°F.
- Take about a handful of onions at a time and dip them into the cold batter mixture. Make sure that they are well coated all over.
OPTIONAL for variation: if you'd like your onion rings breaded in addition to the batter, quickly dip them in panko bread crumbs after battering
- Drop each ring into the oil to cook. Try to avoid having them touch each other in the beginning stages of the cooking or they'll all stick together!
- Cook the rings for about 2-3 minutes or until golden, flip them part way through if necessary.
- Once the rings have finished cooking remove them from the oil using a mesh basket or strainer and lay them onto the wire rack over a baking sheet to drain. This is important to maintain the crispness of the onion rings.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT lay the onion rings on paper towel as this will make them greasy and lose their crispness. While frying the remaining onion rings, you can keep the finished pieces in the oven to warm (at 200°F) while on the wire rack.
- Continue the batter dipping and frying process until all the batter and onions have been cooked and set on the rack to drain.
Serve immediately as a side with burgers or any of your other favorite foods. Onion rings are great with my homemade Zesty Onion Ring Dipping sauce!
To prevent the onion rings from sticking to the bottom of the fry basket while cooking:
When frying, sometimes your fish will sink to the basket's bottom and adhere to it!
Tip #1: When dropping your onion rings into the deep fryer, hold it in the oil with your fingertips for a couple of seconds to fry them lightly, then allow them to fall in. This will allow the batter a chance to fry for a little before sinking down and becoming trapped on the basket's bottom.
Tip #2: Make sure the fry basket is fully immersed in oil before adding the onion rings to the oil. If you put a piece of freshly battered onion rings in the fry basket and then submerge it, they'll stick to it.
- Category: Side
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: American