• Click photo for a guide to caramelizing onions — the traditional way.

How to caramelize onions like a ninja

Warning: This contains tips to cut caramelizing time in half

Nothing beats the sweet flavor of caramelized onions, but the reward is not without a little effort. Truly caramelized onions that are dark brown and soft with a flavor as sweet as candy take around 45 minutes to make — sometimes longer. They also need to be watched closely.

Since not everyone has that kind of time, we found a short-cut. The trick to getting onions to caramelize more quickly is to add baking soda.

Are you curious about this time-saving trick? Read on to find out how it went in our test kitchen.

How to Select, Cut, Prepare & Store Onions

Onions are the third most consumed fresh vegetable in the Unites States and available in grocery stores all year long. Ranging in size from less than one-inch in diameter to over 4.5 inches in diameter, bulb onions can be yellow, red, or white in color.

  • fresh onions on grocery scale

How to Select

Dry bulb onions should be firm for their size and have little to no scent. Avoid bulbs with any cuts, bruises, or blemishes. When purchasing whole peeled onions, select ones with an outside layer that does not show signs of being dehydrated. Fresh-cut onions should be purchased before the expiration date.

How to Cut

With a few simple tips, and a little practice, these techniques for cutting an onion will save time, tears, and uneven cooking.

how to cut onion thumbnails

  • condiment onion platter

How to Prepare

A staple in the kitchen, onions can be prepared in a number of ways and can be found in almost every cuisine. Aside from the many ways onions are used raw, these are the four most common methods found in recipes:





  • beauty shot of storage onions

How to Store

Whole dry bulb onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air movement. Do not store onions in plastic! Lack of ventilation will reduce their storage life. Refrigeration is only necessary when trying to extend the shelf life of sweet or mild onion varieties with high water content, but be sure to use a low humidity setting, they must be kept dry.

Refrigerate whole peeled onions after purchasing.

Store cut onions in a sealed container for up to 7 days.

Always keep pre-cut onions refrigerated and use before the expiration date.

Onion and Rosemary Focaccia
Onion and Rosemary Focaccia

Check out a few recipes from Onions Etcetera The Essential Allium Cookbook!
"In this gorgeous book, onions finally get their star turn. The recipes will surprise and seduce you; you will want to cook every single one." - Ruth Reichl

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