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Mistakes Everyone Makes when Cooking Onion Rings

The Daily Meal asks:

Onion Rings on Slate with Limes and Raita Dipping Sauce
The Best Onion Rings

- Why is oil temperature important when cooking onion rings, and what’s the best temperature to use?- What types of onions are best for onion rings, and why?- What kinds of batters are best for onion rings?- What’s the best way to season onion rings, and why?- Are there any sides or dips that go well with onion rings?- What kind of mistakes are most common when making onion rings?

1. Oil temperature is very important when frying anything. For example, for French fries, chicken  cutlets, etc...its more about moderating the temperature as well the kind of oil. I personally love cooking and frying in olive oil. It may not have the highest smoking point, but it is the most tasteful. Granted also the most expensive.

The best temperature to fry onion rings is 375F. For 2 -4 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot that you're frying in, as the rings won't cook evenly, and could create a soggy ring. Also, remove the onion rings at the same time, adding uncooked rings, cold (or room temperature)- will bring down the oil temperature. This ensures the oil stays at the same temperature while you're frying. Make sure the oil comes back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Having a thermometer is a handy tool to have to ensure proper, even and perfect rings every time.

2. The Best onions for frying are sweet Vidalia onions, because as the name says, they are sweet not bitter.

3. There are as many recipes for onion ring batter out there as there are chefs! Beer batters, Buttermilk, and a combination of cornstarch, smoked paprika, salt and pepper is a sure fire way to always get it right.

Pro Tip*:

After slicing the onion into rounds, toss them in cornstarch, this trick will help the batter stick to the onions preventing them from dripping off in the oil while frying.

4. Best Seasonings: Paprika, Salt & Pepper are a must for seasoning your onion rings. Feeling daring? Add your favorite curry spice, garlic, and a pinch of mustard powder for an exotic twist! Your friends will love you for it!

Try my Indian Spice Onion Rings with Cilantro Mint Yogurt Raita*. Click here*.

5. Sides and Dips for onion rings. Of course everyone loves ketchup and ranch. But, how about a delicious Indian Raita or a Mediterranean version of yogurt dip with chives, garlic and mint? Adding a hint of the same seasoning you used in your onion ring batter to the raita or yogurt dip will enhance your rings to new delicious heights!

6. The most common mistakes in frying onion rings are: Rushing! From the flame being too high, making the oil too hot & causing the onion rings to burn. Take your time, make sure to go through all the steps in the recipe. Make sure to coat the rings in cornstarch prior to battering them, & avoid overcrowding.

Pro Tip 2:* Make sure to place cooked rings on paper towels or even a grocery store paper bag (cut open) to soak up the residual oil.

Pro Tip 3:* - hit the rings with sea salt right out of the fryer. Enjoy!

Chef Elizabeth Mehditach has appeared on Food Network, "Battle of the Decades", Hulu's "Baker's Dozen", & Roku's "Not Like Mama". She is the founder of LĒZA, a catering company specializing in Re-imagined Mediterranean Food, Pastry and Lifestyle.

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