Homesick Texan’s Onion Rings

June 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Side Dishes | 48 Comments
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Can I see a show of hands of how many of you LOVE onion rings? 

Can I see a show of hands of how many of you make them on a regular basis? 

That’s just what I thought.

I think I tried making them once about 20 years ago. With the mess involved both with the oil, the countertops and that stubborn batter that wouldn’t cling to the onions, I quickly decided they were best left to the experts and should only be ordered in restaurants.

Developing patience over those years, and the secret hope that onions were  somehow “different” these days, I opted to give ’em another try. As you can see by the picture, not perfect, but I also doubt it will be another 20 years before I make them again. And I probably won’t order them in restaurants again. This is not your typical thick beer-battered rings with the gigantic shell…you know the ones, they squirt oil and onion everywhere when you take a bite. These sport a more delicate breading that seems to magically cling to the onion. 

I found two recipes on two different blogs that just happened to be almost exactly the same  in method. Both used a double dip in buttermilk and flour but then differed slightly in seasonings. One used Cajun spice and the other Southwestern.  Not a surprise, I chose the Southwestern and went to work. 

I decided to use Crisco and my 2.5 quart saucepan. The Crisco part was fine, but I didn’t like the pseudo deep fat fryer method I was trying to create. Rings got lost, some getting cooked more than others, some knocking the batter off others…it was somewhat of a quarreling mess. Next time I’ll use a tall sided fry pan, just like I do when I make fried chicken and single layer those rings. I think this will make closer supervision a breeze and the onion rings won’t be in constant battle with each other.

The recipe and method come from one of my favorite blogs, Homesick Texan

Homesick Texan’s Onion Rings:
2 medium Texas 1015 sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch rings (I used Vidalia’s, but since have found those sweet Texas onions)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle or chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Oil for frying
Ketchup, such as chipotle ketchup, for serving

Place the onion slices in a large bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, chipotle powder and cumin. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide the flour mixture, placing half in a large food-safe plastic bag and the other half on a plate.

Heat up 2 inches of oil in a large pot or cast-iron skillet to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.

To batter the onions, remove them from the buttermilk, reserving the buttermilk in the bowl, and place them in the plastic-bag with the flour. Shake until coated. Working one-at-a time or in small batches, take the floured onions and dip back into the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour on a plate. Fry in the hot oil until light brown, for about 2 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with ketchup or your preferred dipping sauce.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Homesick Texan’s Onion Rings…It’s What’s for a Devilishly Good Treat.



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  1. To be honest, onion rings are something I rarely bother with at home–tooooo messy! That being said, I do love them and this recipe may tempt me.

  2. I LOVE onion rings – I’ve never made them at home though. If I try them, I’ll try frying them in my cast iron skillet.

    • That’s what I’m going to do next time Stephanie. That cast iron fries up anything like a pro.

  3. Mmmmm – you are speaking my language. Love onion rings. Don’t cook them. Dangerous!! LOL!!

    • btw – these little icons that pop up when we reply crack me up!

      • I agree, some of them are really funny and seem to match the comment.

    • I thought they were a big job for just the two of us, so please don’t ask that I cook them for 5 of us in August. 🙂

      • The menu is your choice! I’ll bet Neal will help if you ask nicely 😉 I’ll watch…and wash dishes if Bob will let me.

  4. I like the idea of onion rings — but it’s so hard to get them just perfect.

    • I doubt there will ever be a perfect onion ring made in this house … but they still taste mighty delicious. 🙂

  5. I admit I don’t fry at home, I’m afraid of burning the place down! These look fantastic tho. I may have to rethink my ban for the greater good.

    • Too funny. I’m the same way about flambé-ing. Refuse to set alcohol on fire in my house.

  6. Boy howdy, I love onion rings and always ate them at Sonic Drive In when I lived in Texas. I’ve tried making the beer batter rings (what a flipping mess!) and would love to try this recipe. I’m going to have to use Vidalias though . . . I loved 1015’s when I lived in Texas, but I don’t see them up here very often. I’d be curious to hear comparisons between Vidalia, Texas 1015, and Walla Walla Sweets . . .

    • Ha! Just saw your two years ago post . . . 😉

    • I finally found them at Whole Foods (1015’s) I had forgotten about Sonic rings. Used to get them in Kansas at Sonic, along with a limeade. Re: your comparison, I currently have Vidalia and Texas, I should slice them up and do a little taste test.

  7. I love onion rings and made them eons ago but it was such a mess that I haven’t made them again. I did come out of the experience with a new appreciation of why they cost a little bit more than fries when you order them out. I now have a Fry Daddy so maybe I should give them another try sometime. Yours look wonderful.

    • I don’t have a Fry Daddy … you don’t have any excuse not to make them. 🙂

  8. I still have my hand up – Yes. My name’s Andrea and I love onion rings. That said, I dare not make ’em at home. I hate frying – the mess it makes and all that oil leftover. I leave it to the pros or those willing to muck up their kitchen. It’s probably better for my waist that I show some restraint when it comes to fried goodies. But, I’d be delighted to try these gorgeous onion rings, if you happen to need a tester next time.

    Growing up my momma would make onion rings – sometimes she was more successful at keeping the batter on than others. When she was finished there were a lot of “burnt” parts left in the fryer. I’ll show her this recipe.

    • I hear ya Andrea. I only make my beloved fried chicken once a year. A delicious mess.

  9. I learned at the Curb Market in Atlanta that vidalia onions have a very short season, so was thrilled to know they were IN SEASON when we were there and had fabulous onion rings at the burger joint. I don’t know if I ever make them myself though – such a pain!

    • Aren’t Vidalia onions just the best. Yup, unless you have a deep fat fryer, onion rings have a bad reputation. 🙂

  10. These are my husband’s favorite! I may have to give these a go this Sunday – for Father’s Day!!!!! Beautiful!

    • I’ll be anxious to hear how they turn out.

  11. ha ha ha…yup, my hands were totally waving on the first question and back in my lap after the second. Our whole fam loves Onion Rings and I’m pretty sure that I NEED to make this version soon…sounds amazing!

    • I’ll be anxious to hear if you make them.

  12. Yup, I’m one of those who loves onion rings and never makes them at home, mainly because I would eat the whole batch myself. I’ve bookmarked your recipe just in case I get an uncontrollable urge. Dang, they look good.

    • They were good .. and especially with those sweet onions in season.

  13. I’ve been drooling over these since I saw them on Homesick Texan. Since going gluten free, I don’t get onions rings anymore, but this recipe might change that for me. I’ll try substituting a GF baking mix for the flour. Thanks for sharing!

    • I don’t know why a GF baking mix wouldn’t work. Let me know if you give it a try.

  14. We love onions rings but I’ve only tried making them once or twice at home. Yours look delicious!

  15. We don’t make them often either because, like Cathy said, we could eat the whole bunch. Your recipe sounds absolutely divine, especially with the spicy chipotle ketchup. We hardly ever even order them in restaurants anymore, as they want a lot of money (compared to French fries) for them. Go figure. Maybe they make a mess in their kitchen too. LOL

    • After having these Sam, I’ve decided I’m not fond of those huge big crusty restaurant rings. I’ve got a lot of vidalias stored in the basement, I’ve got to try these again.

      • Vidalias are my favorite. How do you store them and how long do they last in the basement? Hmmm – I’m going to wish we had a basement.

      • I don’t know Nancy .. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that they last for a month or longer.

  16. I ADORE onion rings but haven’t had them in FOREVER! These sound amazing.

    • Thanks Joanne. I’m going to try them again soon, while I still remember how easy and hopefully will get them perfect.

  17. hand is raised. moment of silence for my mom’s onion rings. your recipe lines up w/ hers.

    To me, once you tweak the recipe to your liking, the critical thing is the thickness of the onions. I prefer them very thin. Makes a big difference in my opinion.

    • I tried to keep these pretty thin … gotta try to make them again soon.

  18. No doubt you saw my hand shoot up with the first question and fall down on the second. I like the skinny crunchy ones…you did a pretty good job, I think.

    • Thanks Barbara! 🙂

  19. Oh wow, I could get full on those. I wouldn’t even need a burger. They look amazing.

  20. I adore onion rings – buttermilk, chipotle and all those wonderful spices. My mouth is watering! You’re right. I don’t think I’ve ever attempted to make them myself.

  21. I love onion rings but am too lazy to make them.

  22. I didn’t make them until I bought our deep fat fryer last year. I like the chipotle ketchup sauce, perfect for onion rings.

    • I agree Chris. I tried them with both plain and chipotle. Both were very good. I doubt I’ll buy a deep fat fryer, but you never know. 🙂

  23. Your photography is beautiful! make my old belly growl:)

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