The great carmelized onion conspiracy.

I KNEW IT. I knew that those SOBs in the cookbooks were lying to me about how long it takes to caramelize onions.  Treacherous buggers.

Also, Slate?

In truth, the best time to caramelize onions is yesterday. Often enough, you need to have them ready before you can start on the rest of the dish. Thus the recipe-writers’ impulse to deceive. Browning onions is slow work, and it comes first. So get a pan going after dinner, and they’ll be ready when you need them. Or throw the onions in a crock pot and go to bed. In recipe time, that’s hours and hours. In your time, the time that matters, it’s less than five minutes.

This paragraph gets your site a free benefit-of-the-doubt from me.  Use it wisely.


  • BJ54 says:

    Caramelized? And you do NOT have to add sugar. Onions have plenty. And it does not take overnight, but you DO have to stand over them. Watched my mother do it a thousand times. I can do it, too, if I want. Slate lies again!

  • Darkcloud says:

    You need a heavy bottomed pan, lots of butter, low heat, constant stirring and time. Sometimes I add a bit of brown sugar…

  • Kenneth Hite says:

    If you find yourself caught out, and need to have something within margin of error for caramelized onions in a hurry, dose them with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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