Onion rings are finicky, no question about it. Too often, the entire onion either comes out of its fried batter shell in one bite, or the onion is cut so thin that the ring ends up being all batter. The real secret to creating the perfect onion ring lies in the frying temperature. We fry these babies at 400°F to break down the onion, ensuring it isn’t raw and crunchy. We use vodka in our batter because its high-alcohol percentage aids in the reduction of gluten formation, yielding a tender yet crisp melt-in-your-mouth exterior. The alcohol rapidly evaporates once it hits the fryer oil, and since vodka is a neutral spirit, these magic rings have no boozy aftertaste. (In other words, feel free to use bottom-shelf booze.) There are a million ways to flavor and spice these guys; if you want, pick out your favorite dry rub and, upon removing your rings from the fryer, generously dust with your seasoning of choice.–Samuel Monsour and Richard Chudy
LC Greasy Fingers Note
Pardon our manners—rather, our lack thereof—but we’ve got greasy fingers from snatching these homemade onion rings straight from the brown paper bag and nibbling the shatteringly crisp crust from the tender onion encased within. No time to talk. Or to type.
Homemade Onion Rings Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup cold vodka
- 4 cups mild vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying
- 4 large Vidalia onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings (or sliced thinner, if you prefer)
- Seasoned salt or spice rub (optional)
- 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, cornstarch, and baking powder.
- 2. In a separate bowl, stir together the water and vodka. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir to combine. You want it to be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Add more water or equal parts flour and cornstarch as needed.
- 3. Pour the oil in a wide, deep-sided pot and clip a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Wait until the oil registers 400°F (204°C). While you wait, grab a scissors and cut open a couple brown paper bags and place them on a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 4. Meanwhile, add the onion rings to the batter and stir to coat.
- 5. When the oil reaches 400°F, carefully plop a few onion rings in the oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion rings from the oil and place them on the cut-open brown paper bag to drain. Sprinkle the onion rings with salt (or dry seasoning of your choice) while they’e still warm. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making sure the oil returns to 400°F (204°C) before you add each batch.
- 6. The onion rings won’t store well, so eat ‘em up. Smash the onion rings in your mouth, top a burger with them, or give some to your favorite neighbor Christmas morning.
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