How to Brown & Caramelize Onions
Ah, those lovely sweet & salty onions that gloriously top burgers and steaks. There are a couple ways to get there: browning & caramelization. Culinary sticklers may cry foul, because I’m also not sure if this is an actual distinction or if I just pulled this from thin air. (Probably the latter.)
Browning is a relatively quick process that uses a high-temp oil and medium-high heat to color the edges of onion.
How to Brown Onions
Heat some high-temp oil (such as canola) on medium-high. When the oil begins to smoke, add sliced onions. Stir often, to avoid burning, for about 15 minutes.
Caramelizing is the slower process of sautéing onions in olive oil on medium to medium-low heat over a period of about an hour until the onions are completely browned. If you’ve got the time, go for caramelization. In terms of flavor, I think it’s clearly superior to browning. The result is softer, sweeter, and saltier.
How To Caramelize Onions
Heat a wide pan or Dutch oven on medium-high. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add sliced onions.