When it comes to cooking, there is a “trick” for almost anything you can think of, including how to make the ideal chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate cake that will live long in people’s memories, as well as how to cook a steak to the ideal doneness and roast the ideal chicken. However, there are very few culinary shortcuts that will allow you to get perfectly caramelized onions. You’re in luck because we know a method that can help your onions caramelize beautifully, but it may not be the kind of culinary tip that you were expecting to hear.
It is essential to have an understanding of the chemical reactions that take place when a hard, solid, and pungent onion is heated until it transforms into a sweet, caramelized, and molten mass. When onions are caramelized, two distinct but connected chemical processes take place, as described by Serious Eats. The initial step in caramelization is what gives the process its moniker. This takes place when heat is applied to sugar, which causes the sugar to “split down into hundreds of new molecules.” The Maillard reaction is the second one, and it takes place when a protein and sugar are heated together. This results in the formation of new taste molecules and texture molecules.
We’ve got the answers for you if you’re curious about how long it takes for something like this to occur and whether or not there’s a method to speed up the process if you’re pressed for time.
Onions That Have Been Caramelized Cannot Be Hurried.
Tom Scocca, a writer for Slate, investigates the claim that there is a faster way to make caramelized onions in an article he wrote and published on the website titled “Layers of Deceit.” He points to a page that states, “soft, dark onions in five minutes,” which he then reads aloud. According to Scocca, “That is not the case. Another untruth: onions can be caramelized to perfection in only five minutes.”
Scocca, who is annoyed by the quantity of incorrect information that is spread about the process of cooking caramelized onions, claims that he is only aware of one author, Julia Child, who provides the accurate length of time that it takes to prepare caramelized onions. He paraphrases what she said, which is: “[Cook] over low heat for approximately ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is soft and transparent.” After mixing in the salt and sugar, increase the temperature to a setting where it is fairly high and allow the onions to brown while stirring them often for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they have reached the color of a dark walnut “— or at the very least thirty-five to forty minutes.
Readers will learn how to create caramelized onions via a detailed and step-by-step lesson that can be found in Bon Appetit. Onions undergo three distinct colour transitions around the same period of time: from solid to translucent, from translucent to yellow, and from yellow to brown. Each of these phases takes approximately the same amount of time. According to MyRecipes, author Margaret Eby says that “the number one thing that goes wrong with caramelized onions is impatience,” and she says this about the process of making caramelized onions. When cooking your next batch of caramelized onions, make time and patience with your friends since there are certain things that just can’t be rushed.