Home Global It’s almost too easy to make hot, fresh, fried onion rings

It’s almost too easy to make hot, fresh, fried onion rings

It’s almost too easy to make hot, fresh, fried onion rings


You probably have an onion in your kitchen. You could give your onion a more wonderful fate.

Onion Rings (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

I believe that you can fry.

Perhaps your family didn’t fry on a regular basis. Maybe the idea of cooking in boiling oil scares you. Hear me.

RELATED: “Stroganachos” are a sheet pan twist on two classics — and an easy dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes

Frying is a simple task once you have mastered the basics. The payoff is that there are few other culinary feats that are more impressive than bringing a plate of hot, crisp, freshly fried food to the table, whether said food is chicken or churros. And in the pantheon of fried foods, few will ever outdo onion rings.

Onion rings are so much better than french fries, and french fries are great. They’re definitely far too good to only enjoy when you go out. I’ve relied on Rachael Ray’s wickedly easy “Spicy O-nuts” from her “Cooking ‘Round the Clock” for almost two decades now, and they’ve never let me down.

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The secret is the always winning combination of pancake mix and beer, resulting in gorgeously puffy rings that disappear from the table in an instant. It is balanced by the spices and has a wonderful crunch. Don’t worry. There is probably an onion in your kitchen. You could bestow a more wonderful fate on it.

Recipe: Spicy Sweet Onion Rings
Inspired by Rachael Ray’s “Cooking ‘Round the Clock”


  • 1 16-ounce bottle vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion
  • 2 cups complete pancake mix
  • 1 cup beer (If you imbibe, drink the rest while you cook. )
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking. )
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cover a large plate or pan with paper bags or paper towels. Heat 12 inch vegetable oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. If you have a food thermometer, it should read 375deg. You can check if the oil is crackling to determine if it is ready.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the onion into thick slices and separate the rings.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the pancake mix and spices. Mix in the beer.
  4. Working with about 5 or 6 onion slices at a time, dip and coat them in the batter. For about four minutes, fry them in the batter until they are golden brown.
  5. With a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, remove the onion rings to the plate to drain. Salt generously.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the rings. Serve immediately

A few tips to ensure success:

  • Make sure your oil is really hot and ready so your rings don’t get sludgy.
  • Don’t crowd the pan — you want to keep the oil nice and hot and give your rings room to bobble.
  • Like a new car leaving the lot, onion rings depreciate quickly. You shouldn’t make these when there are a lot of dishes you need to watch or guests who take a slow route to the dinner table.
  • Make sure the oil is completely cooled before discarding.

More restaurant classics to make at home:

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Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of “A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles. “

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