Push Button Kitchen

Big Flavors from your Small Appliances

Slicing Onion
Perfect Caramelized Onions
Appliance: Rice Cooker - 4 to 8 cup capacity
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This recipe is part of the Gluten Free Collection
Perfect Caramelized Onions
   1 large onion (12 ounces by weight - about 1 1/2 cups)
   1 1/2 teaspoon canola, grape seed or peanut oil
   Pinch of salt

NOTE: Controlled temperature and evaporation over a long cooking time is the secret to perfectly caramelized onions. The whole cooking process, from beginning to end, will take between 50 and 90 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on factors like the size and shape of your rice cooker, the volume of onions, humidity and room temperature. Plan for at least an hour of cooking time.

Slice off the stem end of the onion, place cut side down on the cutting board and slice onion in half through the root. Peel off the skin and any thin or wilted outer layers then either slice or dice the onion, depending on your recipe or how you are planning to serve the cooked onions.

Add the onion to the inner bowl of your rice cooker, separating the layers as you do so. Add the oil and mix together gently but thoroughly, until all onion pieces have been coated. Your hands may work best for this. Stir in salt, cover and push Cook button. Use white rice setting, if applicable.

Cook, stirring every two to three minutes, until rice cooker switches to Keep Warm. At this point, the onions will be cooked, but only very lightly caramelized.

Stir onions, cover, and push the Cook button again. After two to three minutes, the machine will switch back to Keep Warm. Repeat this process of stirring and pushing the Cook button until the onions have reached your desired level of caramel color and flavor. As many as 10 or more times may be needed for the deepest caramel.

The test kitchen does NOT recommend taping or otherwise forcing the Cook button to remain in the always on position. Doing so will raise the cooking temperature too much, causing the onions to burn before the inside can caramelize. Low and slow is the key.

More from the PBK Test Kitchen:
   Caramelized Onion Tips and Tricks
   Full Caramelized Onion Article

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