What are Onion Rings?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Onions rings are round slices of Americana, (but also popular in the UK, Canada and Malaysia) which rose in popularity with the wave of burger joints and diners, and then with the many fast food restaurants that still serve them. Though there is no clear date on when these crunchy fried and high fat savory rings first appeared, there is evidence people cooked them as far back as the 1930s, with recipes appearing in ads for Crisco in a magazine.

Typically, when people talk about onion rings, they are referring to onions that have been sliced and separated into rings. They are then dipped in batter, and may be rolled in breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs, before being quickly deep-fried. The frying process should result in a crispy exterior and a soft cooked onion slice on the interior. Over-frying can cause the onion rings to be too cooked on the inside, and frying in improperly heated oil typically results in very greasy rings.

For those who must have onion rings in between their visits to diners or fast food joints, there are several alternatives. The first and best of these is making your own rings at home, although this can be time consuming. It is helpful if you have a home deep fryer on hand that will heat the oil to the right temperature. To reduce fat content, some people make baked versions, but these may not be as crispy as fried versions.


You can also buy onion rings in the frozen food section of your grocery store. These can be baked or fried, and they may satisfy your rings craving. Companies like French’s® make canned rings. These are used in recipes like the popular green bean casserole, and are usually soft and flexible until baked. They also may not be the traditional ring shape, but instead may be long sticks of onions.

Though you’ll find traditional onion rings at many fast food restaurants, a couple fast food restaurants don’t use the traditional ringed onion slices, and instead compose the rings out of pieces of onion. While this is likely a labor saving device, it doesn’t quite have the same taste as standard onion rings. In diners or pubs you may find variants on what type of batter is used to make onion rings. An especially popular batter is beer batter, which adds a piquant flavor to the overall taste of the rings.


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Post 1

I love them ! I don't know if every one loves them but for me is better to serve with tzatzichi ( a greek dish).

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