Note: For even faster caramelizing, add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to onions at start. This method will get you sweet, soft onions for adding to burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, etc. However, it is not a pure substitute for traditionally caramelized onions for recipes like onion soup—the flavor will not quite be the same.
- Yield:Makes about 1 cup caramelized onions
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 to 3 large onions, finely sliced (about 5 cups)
- Kosher salt
Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed stainless steel or enameled cast iron saucepan over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until bottom of saucepan is glazed in a pale brown fond, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and scrape up fond with wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fond has built up again, about 2 minutes longer. Add 2 more tablespoons water and scrape up browned bits. Repeat cooking, adding water, and scraping until onions are completely softened and a deep, dark brown, about 15 minutes total. Season to taste with salt. Remove from saucepan rapidly to prevent burning.