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EASY caramelized onion recipe - foodfiend - 11-18-2014

Just came across this today, and I can't wait until I can buy yellow onions to try it (the reason not to use sweet onions is given after the recipe).

I just hate caramelizing onions (it takes soooo long and I usually end up trying to multi-task and burning them), but love the flavor.

Dorothy’s Crock-Pot Caramelized Onions

6 large regular yellow onions (3-4 pounds)
2-3 tablespoons good quality olive oil

Peel onions and cut them into thin slices; you should have about 6 cups (exact amount is not crucial, though). Mist the inside of the ceramic insert for the slow cooker, place onions in cooker and drizzle the oil over the slices. Cover and cook on high 10-12 hours, until the onions caramelize. They will have a deep brown color.

Leftover caramelized onions may be refrigerated, covered, up to a week or two. They may be frozen up to 6 months.

Makes 3 cups.

Portion out the caramelized onions into little freezable containers, label them and freeze for future use. I usually have 1 opened container in the refrigerator, and the onions find their way into many things as I’m cooking during the week. When I use those up, I can just reach for another small container from the freezer and I’m ready to go again.
You may use butter instead of olive oil. I skew to olive oil for health reasons, but butter is what you would use if you were doing them in a skillet.

Sweet vs. regular onions (also called storage onions)

You will get best results in this recipe by using regular onions, according to Kim Reddin, director of Public and Industry Relations for the National Onion Association.

She says: Sweet onions (examples: Vidalia, Texas 1015, Walla Walla, Imperial Sweets, Oso Sweet onions, Maui Sweets) are higher in water content than cooking/storage onions available this time of year from the U.S. Most yellow storage onions are lower in water content and higher in sugar content. This means two things:

Because storage onions have a higher percentage of solids and less water (in comparison to sweet/mild onions), they are ideal for long cooking. Storage onions (available September-April) hold up better under long periods of heat and will produce a higher yield.
When you eat raw storage onions, you will taste the sulfur compounds that give them that strong onion flavor; however, when you apply heat to them, the sulfur compounds dissipate, allowing the sugars to become caramelized. Our palate doesn’t perceive the high sugar content until heat is applied. When heat is applied to sweet/mild onions, often the sugars evaporate in the water shed during the heat process, leaving a “weak” onion flavor.

Re: EASY caramelized onion recipe - cjs - 11-18-2014

Vicci, I have done them in a slow cooker and while it does work, I do like to have a little color which I didn't get. But it does work. (especially when you are building/selling/moving.................

Re: EASY caramelized onion recipe - foodfiend - 11-18-2014

Then I wonder if it would be possible to lightly brown them after the crockpot part was done. I do like the browned color, but mine have tended toward black.

Re: EASY caramelized onion recipe - cjs - 11-18-2014

Sure, that's what I had to do.

Re: EASY caramelized onion recipe - karyn - 11-18-2014

I agree, I haven't found crockpot caramelized onions to be as caramelized as I like. My favorite method is to use a large cast iron skillet on my gas grill set to the lowest possible setting. They don't take a lot of attention, and when they're getting close I shut off the grill and leave the lid down while the grill and onions cool. They come out really well for me that way.

Re: EASY caramelized onion recipe - Roxanne 21 - 11-19-2014

I use the crock pot method when I make onion soup. I add a couple of teaspoons of sugar and they caramelize beautifully.