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Browning Onions

 
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Browning Onions Reply with quote

I made a batch of Chicken Vindaloo a couple nights ago which required browning 3 large onions to dark browness -- like for French Onion Soup, only darker.

I did it in a large saute pan with some oil, but it took forever and the line between dark brown and burnt is about 1 minute.

Anyone ever tried browning a large batch in the oven in a roasting pan, with minimal oil?

I'm thinking 300 -- or should I crank it up to 400 or so?

What's happening is that the sugars in the onions get carmelized, but not burnt. I want to reduce the amount of oil, too.

Thought I'd throw this out there for any suggestions you might have to offer.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 999
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.......... it took forever
ah-yup. roger that; confirmed in spades.

....browning in the oven
nope. not tried that, but sounds like a reasonable thing.
I'd go with your 300'F guess - certainly not more than 350'

what happens is - from my observations... - onions have a fair amount of water. you heat, cook, boil, toil and trouble but then suddenly all the water is gone and they go from "translucent" to "burnt" in nearly a flash.

low and slow may be the ticket!
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SirShazar



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you constantly stir the onions in the oven, you're gonna have dry, burnt tips. What I suggest you try if you don't mind the extra pot and a lot of oil, is to first deep fry the onions for about a minute, and than saute them in the pan to caramelize.

It seemed to work pretty well for me when making home fries.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought of deep-frying, but it's such a hassle and mess. You're right about the browned tips, though.

I think I'll combine both your suggestions and try a batch at 300, stirring every 15 minutes, for an hour...or more. At least with such a slow heat I won't have to watch it like a hawk.

Here's the recipe: http://www.recipe-ideas.co.uk/recipes-6/Chicken%20Vindaloo.htm. Came out great! (I skipped the potatoes, though)
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Browning Onions Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
I made a batch of Chicken Vindaloo a couple nights ago which required browning 3 large onions to dark browness -- like for French Onion Soup, only darker.

I did it in a large saute pan with some oil, but it took forever and the line between dark brown and burnt is about 1 minute.

Anyone ever tried browning a large batch in the oven in a roasting pan, with minimal oil?

I'm thinking 300 -- or should I crank it up to 400 or so?

What's happening is that the sugars in the onions get carmelized, but not burnt. I want to reduce the amount of oil, too.

Thought I'd throw this out there for any suggestions you might have to offer.


When browning large batches of anything, you must do it in smaller portions. Too much moisture is released and you end up boiling your food.

The only way I've been able to get around that, to some degree, is to use a large tin-lined copper fry pan. Man, what that does to mushrooms is outright amazing.

Biggles
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IDontUse
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the onions staying in the soup? or is it for flavor/color. A common method for some soups, such as Consomme, is an Oignon Brulee. You can simply put a half onion in a saute pan or grill on high heat with no oil until it gets a dark brown, somewhat black color on one side.
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alexzeevy



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree that you should keep the heat on the low side. My trick is to always use a non-stick pan and to add a little sugar right about half way through cooking. It works like a kickstart for the onions to caramelise. Strangely enough, it seems to me that caramelization takes longer when there's a lot of oil.

Cheers!
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celdd
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: browning onions Reply with quote

I recently discovered that the crock pot (slow cooker) does a good job.

For mine, the basic Rival standard size pot, I just peel and slice 6 onions and put in the pot with a little salt. Let cook on low overnight. No water or oil needed.

In the morning you have carmelized onions to use for whatever you like.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: browning onions Reply with quote

celdd wrote:
I recently discovered that the crock pot (slow cooker) does a good job.

For mine, the basic Rival standard size pot, I just peel and slice 6 onions and put in the pot with a little salt. Let cook on low overnight. No water or oil needed.

In the morning you have carmelized onions to use for whatever you like.


Brilliant! (now if I only had a crock pot...)
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celdd
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Browning onions Reply with quote

The crockpot I have is the very cheapest one, like this: http://www.amazon.com/Crock-2dPot-Slow-Cooker-Black-qt-2e-29/dp/B0012US88I/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1268604758&sr=8-23

I got it for $20 a year or two ago at Target or Big Lots or something.

By the way, the cut up onions pretty much fill the crockpot up to the top. When cooked, they reduce to fill a one-quart Ball jar.
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