Caramelized onion in a frying pan.
The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Caramelized Onions
By Linda Larsen
The process of caramelization is when the sugars in the onions are broken down and then recombined on the stovetop, which helps produce hundreds of new compounds to create a sweet, savory, and smoky flavor. While caramelizing onions may seem simple, the onions can burn, or they may not get brown enough for the best flavor, which is the biggest mistake.
Caramelized onions should take at least 45 minutes to cook with low heat on the stove, but it’s a common mistake to cook them too fast over high heat. To get the best results, you’ll want to combine butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, then add the onions.
The onions will soften and turn translucent, but as they continue to cook, the water will evaporate, causing the onions to brown. Wait until they turn a deep golden brown, add liquid to deglaze the pan, and scrape all the good parts until they are finally absorbed and ready to eat or store.