Celebrity chef Ina Garten is all about making delicious recipes simple by taking us back to basics. Part of her cooking mantra includes giving detailed tips that help you develop the skills of a real chef from the comfort of your own home, and one of her greatest pro tips is about caramelizing onions quicker. If you've ever had to caramelize onions, you understand that it can be a very long time commitment, sometimes taking up to an hour to be fully caramelized. The process can take time, but the results are fully worth it for those melty, rich onions.
Ina Garten's tip from her "Cook Like A Pro" cookbook suggests using a bigger pot when you caramelize onions. This is because your onions have more surface area to spread out and get more individual heat from the bottom, thus cooking faster. You know how you've always been told to not crowd a pan if you want even cooking time? This tip is the same idea, just kicked up a step. When the onions have more individual space, they can cook quicker, and cut down on your caramelizing time. Garten explains that in a smaller pot, the onions can end up being steamed in butter and oil instead of being cooked down. You should have an even, thin layer of onions while you're cooking for the fastest results.
Other Tips For Caramelizing Onions Faster
There are dozens of tips out there for caramelizing your onions faster, just know that ultimately it will take some time to achieve true caramelized onions. There are a few things that help speed up the process. Cutting your onions thin is one of the easiest things to help speed up the process; thinner onions will cook quicker, plain and simple. You can achieve thinner cuts by using a mandoline slicer or through careful slicing.
You can also start the cooking process by adding a few tablespoons of water to your pot. This will temporarily steam the onions. This trick heats the onions all the way through quicker and allows for the true caramelizing process to do less work. Just be careful not to add too much water or you'll be stuck trying to cook it off for a longer time. While you stir your onions that have begun caramelizing, press down on them every few stirs. This increases the contact with the hot stove.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.