A closeup of caramelized onions in a skillet.
The Skillet Mistake That Might Be Ruining Your Caramelized Onions
By Stacie Adams
If you've been using a pan that's too small or deep to caramelize onions, you might actually end up steaming them. Instead, opt for a wide pan.
Wider pans have a greater surface area, and when sliced onions have more contact with a hot surface, their moisture evaporates better and they caramelize faster.
A larger pan also helps you avoid overcrowding — when the onions overlap too much, they have a harder time releasing steam.
Using a pan with sides that are too high may also prevent water from evaporating efficiently. Generally speaking, a 12-inch skillet can accommodate two large onions.