is it better to saute onions in butter or oil

This sauteed onions recipe comes out golden brown and tender every time! Here’s how to saute onions for a side dish, sandwich topping, and more.

Here’s another in our kitchen basics: and this one is a skill every home cook should know. How to sauté onions! These easy Sauteed Onions are a building block of the kitchen: you can use them on sandwiches, in grilled cheese, in dips, or even as a side dish. They’re tender, golden brown, and make anything more rich and savory: yet they only take 10 minutes to whip up! Here’s all about how to saute onions.

Cooking onions longer at a lower heat results in soft and golden brown onions. This breaks down the natural sugars, so the onions taste extra sweet. We recommend using butter for the best flavor.
is it better to saute onions in butter or oil

How to cut onions: a primer!

If you asked us one of the top skills for any home cook, we’d say: “how to cut an onion!” Yes, onions are required in so many great recipes that it’s almost impossible to get anywhere without this building block skill. For this sauteed onions recipe, we like to cut the onions in a style called French cut. This makes lovely sliver shapes of the onions, which looks more attractive than the long strings you get when you cut the other way. Here’s how to cut an onion…the best way:

  • Slice off the ends, then cut in half: Once the ends are removed, stand the onion on its flat cut side and cut it down the center.
  • Remove the paper. With your fingers, remove the paper and outer layer of the onion.
  • Cut following the curve of the onion. Place the onion on its flat side then cut slices following the curve of the onion, from the tip to the root. Want to see? Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video.

is it better to saute onions in butter or oil

Sauteed onions vs caramelized onions: what’s the difference?

First thing to note: sauteed onions are not caramelized onions. What’s the difference?

  • Sauteed onions are cooked only 10 minutes in the skillet, so they hold their shape. The onion flavor is more pronounced than a caramelized onion.
  • Caramelized onions are cooked for about 40 to 50 minutes over low heat until they completely break down. They are dark brown and have a very soft, mushy texture and intensely sweet flavor.

Looking for caramelized onions instead? Go to Perfect Caramelized Onions.

is it better to saute onions in butter or oil

The Best Way To Caramelize Onions, According To Science


Do onions caramelize better with butter or oil?

You can use either oil or butter to caramelize onions — but ideally, you use a combination of both! I like to use olive oil, and this cooking fat tolerates heat particularly well. Meanwhile, butter adds a distinctly rich flavor to the caramelized onions.

Is it better to sauté with butter or oil?

But which one — butter or oil? Each is best suited for different kinds of sautéing: When cooking over very high heat, use oil, which is less likely to burn. When sautéing with medium-high heat, you may opt for butter, which adds a nice flavor.

What is the best pan to sauté onions in?

The best type of pan for caramelizing onions is a wide, thick-bottomed cast iron or stainless steel pan. Although onions can also be caramelized with alternative cooking methods and containers, like a crock pot or slow cooker, nothing beats a sturdy sauté pan.

Should you cover the pan when sautéing onions?

Fat, in this case, is used just to hold the non-volatile flavors as they’re released from the onion. No browning takes place. The pan is covered so the lid traps steam, which condenses and drips back on to the onions. Some cooks cover the onions directly with a piece of foil or parchment, than add a lid as well.

Should I use oil or butter to saute onions?

Both oil and butter can be used to sauté onions, it just depends on your personal preference. With that said, butter has a lower smoke point compared to most oils. So, if you’re planning on sauteeing your onions over high heat I recommend using oil to sautee your onions since you’ll be less likely to burn them.

Is onion oil good and safe for all?

Onions are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds in them. It is a good antibiotic and antioxidants as it contains selenium which is very important to maintain the body’s resistance or immunity. Onion oil is rich in vitamin C. Just by consuming 100g of onion, you have meet 12 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement of adults. Hence, consumption of onion oil can really help a person in an effort to meet the needs of vitamin C which is often not met for various reasons. In addition to getting health benefits, onions can also pose a risk to health if consumed in excess. Eating onions can give you an allergic reaction. This is because this kitchen spice contains aspirin which can increase a person’s sensitivity to this ingredient. Onions can also provide benefits for lowering blood sugar levels. However, diabetics who need to maintain normal sugar levels should check their sugar levels carefully before consuming onions so it does not get too low. People with bleeding disorders and post-operative patients also need to be wiser in consuming onions. Especially for those who will undergo surgery because onions can facilitate the process of blood clotting.

Which oil should I use to saute onions?

Opt for olive oil if you’re going to infuse garlic and pepper into your sauté, coconut oil if you’re going to sauté veggies, sesame oil for a nutty flavor, or grapeseed oil for healthier, low-temperature sautéing (via Thrillist ). But maybe you prefer butter? While butter will add rich flavor to onions, it’s prone to burning.

What can I use instead of butter for onions?

Yellow onions are a great choice for their balance of sweetness and astringency, but you can also use white or red onions for a different taste. Butter – Adds richness and a silky texture. It helps in caramelizing the onions beautifully. If you prefer, you can substitute butter with olive oil for a healthier option or for dairy-free needs.

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