Best Cooking Time - Techniques - Methods - Flavors

How to Cook Onions

onions Onions belong to the lily family. The bulb part is dried so that it can be stored and is called a dry onion as opposed to the green part called a green onion. Here we will deal with dry onions also called storage onions. They come in different colors and sizes, and for the most part they can be used interchangeably. Some types of onions such as the Bermuda, Vidalia, Walla Walla, Maui, Sweet Imperial, and Texas Spring Sweet are lower in sulfur and are used when a milder, sweeter onion taste is desired.

Onion Cooking Method

Cook until desired tenderness or until the thickest part pierces easily with thin knife

Raw Sliced thin or chopped
Simmer whole 15 - 20 min.
Oven Roasted whole 400 F 40 min. turn after 20 min. then every 10 min. till done
Steam whole 20 - 25 min.; pearl onions 15 min.;
Deep Fried

For Onion Rings 350 F 5 min. till golden brown

Skillet saute: sliced or chopped onion 4 - 5 min at high heat till browned (not burned)
sweat: slices or pieces barely sizzle till translucent 10 min.
caramelize: use medium high heat 5 min. to soften then medium heat 30 - 40 min. until caramelized soft and browned. Can be covered during part of cooking time. Scrape browned bits (fond) from bottom of the skillet into the onions with wooden spoon (added water or wine can help loosen it.) Can be covered during part of cooking time.


1 lb. 6 - 10 min.


medium hot fire: cut into 3/4 in. rounds and cook 15 min. (toothpicks can help hold rings together)

Pressure Cook

whole 2 - 3 min.

Cooking times for Onions

Test for Doneness: Depends on use.

Onion Tips And Techniques

To peal pearl or boiling onions you need to blanch them first. Onions vary in intensity of flavor to such a degree that the results of a recipe can be totally different depending on the onions used. Think about a raw onion in a salad or on a sandwich. How thick it is cut and how much should be used is more up to the onion than the recipe. So cut and smell and taste the onions you are using, and adjust the amount depending on the result that you want. This is less true of cooked onions because their flavor moderates, but it is still worth considering.

To reduce tears when cutting lots of onions, chill the onions first, or try cutting them under and exhaust fan.



Flavors That Go

Common ingredients used in onion recipes include:

brown sugar
cayenne pepper
celery stalks
chicken broth
chicken stock
chili powder
Dijon mustard
dried oregano
dried thyme
fresh lime juice
garlic cloves
garlic powder
grated Parmesan cheese
ground beef
ground cumin
heavy cream
lemon juice
olive oil
red bell pepper
sesame oil
sour cream
soy sauce
vinegars (balsamic – red wine – cider)
Worcestershire sauce

Classic Onion Recipes:

Caramelized Onions
Creamed Onions
Baked Onions
Roasted Onion Halves
Onion Rings
French Onion Soup
Onion Soups




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