How to Caramelise Onion

3 minutes, 16 seconds Read

You probably already have all the ingredients you need in your pantry.

The caramelized onions are a delicious addition to any dish. This ingredient will elevate your cooking to the next level. You’ll learn how to make delicious caramelized onions using your stovetop easily.

Marina Delio from Yummy Mummy Kitchen shared her secrets to caramelizing onions.

We went to a burger restaurant one evening when my daughter was 3. My little gourmand requested caramelized onions when the server asked her if she wanted a kid’s burger plain. Our server was surprised, but when you stop to think about it, there is so much to love about caramelized onion. Even if your three. Once cooked, the onions release their spicy notes and tear-inducing gases and only leave sweetness.

The process takes a long time, but it’s straightforward. It will take about an hour to make, but it is worth the effort. Most likely, you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. You only need a couple of onions, some butter or olive oils, and vinegar.

Can you caramelize onions with oil or butter?

Use either butter or oil to caramelize onions, but the best combination is both! Olive oil is my favorite cooking fat because it tolerates heat well. Butter adds a rich, nutty flavor to the caramelized onion. The oil helps stabilize the butter, which is less heat resistant. You should use oil if you only have one fat to work with, especially if this is your first time to caramelize onions.

Do you caramelize onions on low or high heat?

Caramelizing onions is best done at low heat. When your onions turn golden and soften, reduce the heat to medium-low or low. Sugars in onions need time and gentle heat for them to caramelize. Cooking them on high heat will result in burnt onions.

How long does it take to caramelize onions?

The exact time will depend on your stove and how many onions are being caramelized.

How to caramelize onions on your stovetop


  • Yellow, white, or red onions
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil or butter unsalted (or, ideally, both)
  • Salt is a pinch
  • Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar can be substituted for one tablespoon

Select Your Onions

I use primarily yellow onions, but you can also use white or purple. You can caramelize as many onions as you want. Two to three onions are enough for a large pan. Remember that the onions cook down a lot and that leftovers can be refrigerated.

Slice your Onion

Remove the root and stem ends of the onion. Next, cut the onion in half and into thin slices. It should naturally separate the onion into half rings.

Melt Butter on a Skillet

Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of fat in a large skillet on medium heat. Both butter and olive oil work. I use both butter and olive oil because the butter gives a rich flavor, while the oil can withstand higher temperatures without burning.

Add the Onions with a pinch of salt.

Salt will not only season the onions but will also pull some moisture out and speed up the process.

Slowly cook the onions. Do not rush. Tongs make it easy to turn onions at the beginning of the process. Don’t worry about the exact timing. Just turn or stir them until they are evenly softened and browned.

Continue to stir the onions as they turn from white to golden brown. Reduce the heat as they start to soften.


If the onions are stuck to the bottom, you can deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is my favorite because it complements onions so well. Deglazing will not only remove tasty, sticky bits but will also add flavor to your caramelized onion.

Continue to stir the onions until you reach the desired color. Enjoy immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.


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