Deep Fried Onion Rings
It’s always difficult to decide whether to get Deep Fried Onion Rings or Deep Fried French Fries (get a combo). Proper beer-battered and vodka onion rings, with a substantial crisp crust covering a sweet, tender, thick ring of onion, are one of life’s three greatest pleasures. Here’s how to get perfectly deep fried onion rings.
Freezing the onions breaks down their cell structure and makes removing the inner membrane of each ring simple. This ensures that the rings are tender and the onion does not pull out of the batter as you bite.
A mixture of flour and cornstarch mixed with vodka and beer limits gluten formation, making for a crisper crust.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Onion Selection
You can use white or yellow onions to make onion rings. Keep in mind that white onions are generally more pungent than yellow onions. If you are a fan of sweet onions, consider Maui, Vidalia, or Walla Walla onions, which are usually available during the spring and summer.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – How to Cut
Peel the Onion and slice the stem off.
Place the onion on its side. Cut a small slice on the bottom to create a flat surface to keep the onion in place.
Cut into 1/2 inch slices. A mandoline slicer helps to ensure even slices.
Separate the slices into rings.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Freeze
Separate the onion rounds into individual rings. Place in a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and put them in the freezer until completely frozen, at least 1 hour (they can stay in the freezer for up to 1 month).
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Unfreeze
When ready to fry, remove the onion rings from the freezer bag, transfer to a bowl, and thaw under tepid running water.
Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels and dry the rings thoroughly. Carefully peel off the inner papery membrane from each ring and discard (the rings will be very floppy). Set aside.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Oil Temp
An oil temperature between 365°-375° is perfect for deep fried onion rings.
Canola oil or Vegetable oil are the best to use for deep frying.
Preheat the oil to 375°F in a large wok or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and paprika in a medium bowl and whisk together. Combine the beer and vodka in a small bowl.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Coating
Slowly add the beer mixture to the flour mixture, whisking constantly until the batter has texture of thick paint (you may not need all of the beer). The batter should leave a trail if you drip it back into the bowl off the whisk. Do not over mix; a few small lumps are OK.
Dip one onion ring in the batter, making sure that all surfaces are coated, lift it out, letting the excess batter drip off, and add it to the hot oil by slowly lowering it in with your fingers until just one side is sticking out, then dropping it in. Repeat until half of the rings are in the oil.
Fry, flipping the rings halfway through cooking, until they are deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer the rings to a large mixing bowl lined with paper towels and toss while sprinkling salt over them.
The fried rings can be placed on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet and kept hot in a 200°F oven while you fry the remaining rings. Serve the rings immediately.
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Ingredients
2 large onions, cut into 1⁄2-inch rounds
2 quarts peanut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup light-flavored beer (such as PBR or Budweiser), ice-cold
1/4 cup 80-proof vodka
Deep Fried Onion Rings – Pro Tips
The Role of Beer in Beer Batter
The carbonation in beer provides lift while the batter is deep frying in oil, which makes it light and airy.
It also adds acidity to the batter which limits the amount of gluten that can develop when the beer is combined with the flour. Limiting gluten in the batter prevents it from becoming tough, and also makes it crispier
How to Keep the Batter From Falling Off
Lightly coating each onion ring in cornstarch is the best way to ensure that the batter stays on the onion ring and that you have extra crispy results:
Cornstarch provides a textured surface around the onion ring which allows it to grip and hold on to the batter so that it doesn’t slide right off.
If also prevents gluten from developing, which yields crispier results. Additionally, it absorbs moisture, which also makes them extra crispy.