Here’s a quick and easy way to tell whether a food blog or website is lying to you: does it claim that you can caramelize onions in under half an hour? If so, take everything else it says with a handful of salt.
Caramelized onions are amazing, but they take time. If you try to make them in the 10 to 15 minutes that so many sites claim you can, you’ll end up with onions that are either still raw or that are burned on the edges. Obviously neither is the goal.
While they take a long time, proper caramelized onions are easy to make. Just get them going first, and by the time you’re done with the rest of what you’re cooking, you’ll have a pan of sweet, delicious, properly caramelized onions.
By the way, have I ever mentioned that I love antique cast iron? It’s still easy to pick up at thrift stores even in hipster-filled California, and all but the very worst pieces are easy to restore. (Just skip the modern, rough-textured stuff, like that by Lodge — the good-quality pieces are beautifully smooth inside, and with some seasoning, they become perfectly non-stick.)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- Trim and peel the onion, then cut into thin (approximately 1/8”) slices.
- Melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a wide, flat pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion slices and a generous pinch of salt.
- Cook the onions over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until they achieve your desired color. This can range anywhere from 40 to 60+ minutes depending on the temperature and how dark and caramelized you want them.