The Best Onions for Onion Rings

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There is nothing quite like that crispy crunchy goodness of a homemade onion ring. Heck, you can’t even really complain about store-bought or fast food onion rings. There’s just something about the greasy breading coating a thick onion slice. 

We even know people who don’t like onions but really enjoy onion rings. There’s just something about the tasty dish that draws us in. Onion rings can be made in several different ways and you can use different types of onions as well. 

What are the best onions for onion rings? You can use any type of onion you like, but some work better than others. The most common onions to use are white or yellow, with yellow being the preferred onion for onion rings. 

In this guide, we will discuss the best types of onions for making your delicious onion rings at home. We will cover why the ones we mention are the best and just what sets them apart for onion ring purposes. We have a lot of information to cover for the best onion rings! 

Keep reading to learn the best onions for onion rings and more! 

Your Guide to the Best Onions for Onion Rings

Onion rings are used as appetizers and side dishes throughout the globe.

They’re very popular as American food but they are also commonly served in other countries as well.

They’re simple to make and it’s the perfect combination of a vegetable that tends to be potent, mixed with fried flavors to make it a tasty treat. 

Onion rings are a simple concept. It truly is an onion, cut in rings. The rings are breaded and fried to perfection. You can even use tools like your air fryer to fry them without grease if you want a healthy alternative for making them. 

Some people then dip their onion rings in some type of dipping sauce. Ketchup and ranch dressing are both popular dipping sauces for onion rings but there are many other types of dipping sauces that can be used as well. 

How Onion Rings Are Made

To give you a better understanding of the overall process of making onion rings, we want to cover a quick tutorial of how onion rings are made. Understanding this process might help you make a decision when it comes to choosing which type of onion to use for your onion rings. 

Remember this is simply a reference to understand the process. There are many different ways to make onion rings, we simply wanted to provide you with an example. 

  1. You will need onions of your choice, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, dry bread crumbs, seasoning to taste (seasoned salt is great), and oil for frying.
  2. Starting by cutting your onion. Remember, you want them to be in rings. We recommend cutting them about 1/4-inch. 
  3. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. 
  4. Coat your onion rings in the flour mixture. 
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and milk. 
  6. Dip the coated onions into egg mixture and tap or set aside until no longer dripping. 
  7. Coat dipped onions in bread crumbs until fully coated. Tap to remove excess crumbs. 
  8. Once all onion rings are coated as advised, begin your frying process. If you preheat your foil, frying should take only about 2-3 minutes per ring. Fry until they turn golden brown. 
  9. Set aside to drain excess grease. 
  10. Season with any additional seasoning of your choice, such as seasoning salt. 

You see, it’s quite a simple process and it really doesn’t take that long to make onion rings. The worst part is most likely cutting those onions and hoping they don’t make you cry! 

Choosing The Best Onion for Onion Rings

If you go to any local grocery store, you will probably see an overwhelming number of onions.

How can you possibly know which ones to choose for your onion rings? You can always choose by size, selecting an onion that seems like it will cut nicely for rings. 

But to tell you the truth, that really doesn’t promise you the best onions for onion rings. You see, all of those different types of onions have different flavors.

And let’s not even get into how different types of onions can be broken down even further into different options within each type. 

Here are a few of the most common types of onions you might see at your local grocery store. 

  • Green onions
  • Shallots
  • Yellow onions
  • Sweet onion
  • Red onion
  • White onions
  • Leeks
  • Pearl onions
  • Potato onions

This list just barely touches the surface. From here, you might see different options like Vidalia onions, Cipollini onions, Maui onions, and more.

We can totally understand how it might be overwhelming to choose which one of these will be the best for onion rings. 

Don’t fret, after all, that’s why we’re here! We’ve got all of the information you need to choose the right onion for your taste buds.

We’re going to break it down with the top onions and give you some basic information about each type of onion and why it’s a good choice. 

Maui Onion

Maui onions are a great option for onion rings. They are sweet and juicy, giving you the perfect interior piece for that breaded and fried onion ring you’re craving.

These onions are best when purchased in the spring because that’s their typical best growing season, but you can buy them nearly any time. 

One of the benefits of the Maui onion is that the flavor is all sweetness. There is none of that potent super-strong flavor that tends to turn people off from onions.

Of course, these onions are grown in Maui, where the soil is rich and that potentially makes all the difference in their flavor. 

These onions are slightly smaller in size but they have a nice round shape that will be perfect for cutting into rings. 

Vidalia Onion

Vidalia onions are another really great option for those onion rings. These are again raised in locations (like Vidalia, Georgia) that have low sulfur content in the soil, making the onions nice and sweet in flavor rather than strong and pungent. 

Vidalia onions are perhaps one of the most popular choices for onion rings because they can be large and sweet. They offer great flavor that pulls people in.

Vidalia onions are a yellow onion, and almost any type of yellow onion is a great option in our books. 

Vidalia onions are commonly used for things like onion blossoms as well because of their sweet flavor and large sizes. They slice nicely and provide that savory flavor you crave. 

Walla Walla Onion

The Walla Walla onion is a sweet yellow onion that is a specialty onion. These onions are very mild in flavor and what flavor they do offer is quite sweet for an onion.

The sweeter flavor is once again due to low sulfur content, in fact, these contain less than 1/2 the sulfur of more pungent onions. 

The Walla Walla onion has a nice round shape, although sometimes they are slightly smaller in overall size. 

Are you seeing a trend here with sweet onions being the preference? If all else fails, look for a sweet onion or a yellow onion, rather than just haphazardly selecting an onion. 

White Onions

White onions are another decent option for onion rings. If you prefer less sweet but don’t want overly pungent flavor, we recommend going for a white onion. You can use any variety of white onion as they are all quite similar. 

We will warn you that white onions have a much stronger flavor than yellow onions but some people prefer the strong flavor to the sweet flavor. 

Onions Not Recommended for Onion Rings

Perhaps it will be easier for you to choose your onions for onion rings if you know what not to pick. Here are a few that are not recommended for onion rings. It might be because they simply don’t cut well into rings but it also might be due to the flavor. 

  • Red onion varieties
  • Potato onions
  • Green onions
  • Shallots
  • Leeks

Related Questions

We hope that you’ve found this guide to understanding the best onions for onion rings to be an informative resource for helping you choose your best onion options! 

We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that may be helpful to you. 

Should You Soak Onions in Ice Water Before Making Onion Rings?

This depends on the type of onion that you use.

If you use a sweet onion, it’s not necessary. However, if you choose one of the more pungent onion options, this can help to rid the onion of some of the harsher flavors. 

How Can I Keep My Batter from Falling Off?

One tip for keeping your batter on the rings is for it to be cold when you apply it. You can coat your rings and then chill them slightly before frying or you can cool your batter.

It also helps to use a double-coating method like what we shared in our example above. 

Up Next: How To Reheat Bloomin Onion

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