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Caramelised onions

January 22, 2012





A great recipe to provide  a versatile accompaniment or basis for many dishes and applications.. from a simple pizza or hot dog topping, to an element or ingredient for a refined fine dining dish.

The key is being patient with them during the cooking process.. with a slow, gentle cooking approach you will achieve a soft, caramelised sweetness to the onions. If it’s left til the last minute and you try to rush it on a high heat, the onions will not be cooked correctly and more than likely end up representing something that looks like it was left on the BBQ for too long.. Once cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a few days so just be organised and make well in advance, job done 😉


  • 1kg white or Spanish onions
  • 200g butter


  • Peel and cut onions in half
  • Slice the onion as finely as you can, so a sharp knife is essential.. if the sharpest knife you have is no sharper than your cutlery then maybe it’s time to think about investing in a new one… 😉
  • Place butter then the onions in a pan and put on a low heat
  • Cook gently with a lid on for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Onions are full of water so this will help draw out the water and break the onions down to  a smaller quantity more rapidly
  • Remove lid and continue to cook for 1-1.5 hrs, stirring every 10 mins minimum until the onions appear nicely caramelised and are sweet to taste
  • Drain off butter which can be used again for cooking other things, or great mixed in mashed potato for example
  • Now your caramelised onions are ready





Chef’s tip..

This technique works well with other onion varieties too including various white or red onions and shallot varieties also.

Happy cooking all!


"herdy gurdy.. herdy gurdy..!"














From → Recipes

  1. Great posts! I didn’t realize that caramelized onions was so easy, I remember my father always making sauteed onions for our hot dogs, slathered in bbq sauce and ketchup as they cooked which was always delish. Loving reading your recipes, keep it up!

    • thanks megalagom for the encouragement! Sounds like great memories with your Father’s hot dogs especially like the sound of the BBQ sauce bit!

  2. Added you to my blogroll links by the way! 🙂

  3. It’s definitely all about the slow cooking. I’ve had a few unsuccessful attempts in the past, and then one day I had time to kill and so left them going for about 2 hours. They came out perfect. Some people say add brown sugar as well or is that to sweeten them quicker if you run out of time?

    • Hi Mark, nice to see you here, thanks for the comment.

      Yep, brown sugar is usually added as you say, if you run out of time. It gives a slightly artificial flavour/sweetness compared to the real deal but can get you out a tight spot if need be 😉

  4. Wow, 1 hour of stirring every 10 minutes… If using a smaller quantity will it still take as long?

    • its not so bad if you are in the kitchen doing other jobs. You know how time flies when cooking! In my last professional kitchen we had a gadget called a thermomix which you could cook in and it stirs itself, freeing up your own time. That is a great solution to not manually stirring every 10 mins. Would love one in my home kitchen but at approx £600 or $800 + NZ dollar, not the cheapest option to do your onions in!

      If using a smaller quantity it may shave off 10 mins or so of time but same principle applies, one of those jobs you cant rush to get the best results 🙂

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