This recipe for Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings makes what I personally consider to be the best ever onion rings. It’s adaptable because I love all kinds of onion rings: crispy, crunchy, and crispy crunchy (yes, there’s a difference between the three) and it’s good whichever way you make them.
Pictured above are the Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings in all of their panko breadcrumb-coated glory. Below are the Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings sans breadcrumbs, where the wet batter is allowed to shine. Same recipe, just with a twist! We love adaptability!
As you probably know already I love onions, so it tracks that I love onion rings, too. You wouldn’t know that sifting through my content tho: I hate making them almost as much as I love eating them. It’s just so damn messy! If only I could wear gloves.
Sidenote: have you tried my Onion Burgers recipe? It’s heavenly!
Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are helpful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings recipe:
- Vidalia onions: If you can’t find Vidalia onions look for sweet onions. If you can’t find sweet onions go with yellow. If you can only find white I recommend not making onion rings, but that’s up to you! Vidalia onions are sweet and mild, with white onions being the sharp, strong cousin.
- Self-rising flour, cornmeal: We combine these with some flavorings and it becomes our dry flour dredge and is mixed with club soda to become the wet batter as well. Self-rising flour is key to the lift in the batter. You’ll need to add baking soda and baking powder to any other flour you use. I recommend finely ground yellow cornmeal, self-rising if you can find it.
- Club soda: Most folks would use a mild flavored beer and you can do that too. Me, I avoid cooking with alcohol so club soda it is. It’ll react with the baking powder in the flour to create a nice lift for the batter.
- Paprika, seasoned salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sugar: Our seasonings. We mix them into the flour. The sugar is to bring out the onion’s natural sweetness. If you choose to make onion rings with white onion I suspect you’ll need more sugar for balance but I’m not sure.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Regular breadcrumbs will work here, but will make for a heavier, denser crust. I like the lightness that panko breadcrumbs have. You can skip the breadcrumbs altogether if you’d like Cripsy, airy onion rings. The batter alone will get you there.
- Oil: I generally use peanut oil. Use whatever high smoke point oil you have on hand.
How to Make Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings recipe:
- Prep the onions. Separate the onion slices into individual rings. You can take the extra step of removing the membrane between the slices, too. Y’know how sometimes when you bite into an onion ring it pulls the whole onion out of the ring? That’s the membrane being difficult. That doesn’t bother me much so I don’t take this step.
- Make the flour dredge. Grab three mixing bowls. In the first one whisk together the flour, cornmeal, paprika, seasoned salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Dust the onions in the flour mixture all over, making sure to get inside each ring. Shake off any excess flour and set the onions aside.
- Make the wet batter. Whisk the club soda into the flour dredge until completely combined. Lumps are fine, don’t worry about those. It’s almost time to fry, so place a large pot over medium-high heat and fill it halfway up with oil. We’re going for 360°F if you’re using a thermometer or deep fryer. Now, continue to the next step based on whether or not you’re using breadcrumbs.
- Breadcrumb me, baby! Dip the floured onion rings into the wet batter. Submerge them completely, then remove, allow the excess to drip back into the bowl, and transfer to a wire rack over a baking sheet. Once all of the onion rings have been dipped, fill a shallow bowl with breadcrumbs. Roll each onion ring in the breadcrumbs, pressing lightly to adhere. Gently drop the onion rings into the heated oil, and don’t crowd the pan: give them room to dance. Fry for 3 minutes on the first side, then flip. Continue frying and flipping until you have the color and texture you want, about 3-5 minutes longer. Drain on wire racks or paper towels: they’ll stay crisp regardless!
- No breadcrumbs for me, thanks. Dip the floured onion rings into the wet batter. Submerge them completely, then remove, allowing the excess to drip off, or for a thicker crust, you can turn the onion ring from side to side so the excess spreads along the ring. Gently drop the onion rings directly into the hot oil, and don’t crowd the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then flip. Continue frying until they’re a nice golden brown, about 2-3 minutes more.
What To Serve With Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings
I’m not sure what wouldn’t go well with these Crispy Crunchy Onion Rings. Here are some ideas to get you started:
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