How To Sweat Onions?
All you have to do is take a suitably sized saucepan, and moisten it with a little oil or melted butter (a small amount of it only). This should be followed by putting the onions in the saucepan, and before covering it with a tight lid put a moistened cartouche on the surface of the pan.
When you soak onions in low-heat, they become translucent, and sweet and juicy. Sweat onions over low heat, using just enough fat to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover a pot tightly with a lid, allowing onions to steam on low heat. Turn low heat down to low heat and leave to sweat for 10 minutes, until the 3 onions are soft.
|Cover a pot tightly with a lid, allowing onions to steam on low heat
|Turn low heat down to low heat
|Leave to sweat for 10 minutes, until the 3 onions are soft
Because of the quantity of onions, sweat for 10 minutes, stirring three times. If the 3 onions begin to turn color, lower heat and add a dash of water, stirring thoroughly. Drop the extra-thin slices into boiling water and lower heat to a gentle simmer.
When onions are done, remove from the hot water and stir in one tablespoon of the water. Add in several tablespoons of water, this will deglaze the pan and prevent onions from burning. In a skillet, heat some olive or other oil, and add chopped onions. Simply fry the chopped onions in the oil on a high heat until they are soft and golden.
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Remove pan from oven; cook and stir on medium-high heat an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are browned. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, allowing onions to brown about an additional 4 minutes. When onions are brown, turn down the heat to low, and continue to cook until desired doneness. Cooking onions longer on a lower heat results in onions that are softer and have more of a golden color.
Sweated onions are more flavorful, cooked low and require about double the time as sauteed onions, which are cooked higher. Saute onions are cooked on higher heats than either sweated or caramelized onions, so keeping them moving helps to keep them from browning too much.
In the sweat process, onions are softer and they give off moisture and flavours slowly, which is why onions are cooked in their juices. Sweating onions means cooking them low and slow with just a bit of fat, until they begin to soften and release a bit of liquid, but not get any color. Sweating means cooking them in butter or oil at a temperature that is just cool enough so the onions will not turn brown.
If you hear a squealing noise, lower the heat on your burner until it stops, and if Onions are not browned at a lower temperature, raise slowly until they are. The key to success is keeping your pan warm enough for onions to brown before the onions start cooking. Then, the next step is to caramelize 3 onions, increasing heat, a little more oil, and cook over a medium-high heat until they are browned. If the colour of the 3 onions is not uniform, make sure that onions are cut approximately in the same sizes for an even cook.
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In case of browning of onion on bottom, do not stir in rest of onion. Heat the skillet first, then add just enough oil or clarified butter to coat the bottom of the skillet, and then stir the onions. It is important to heat a skillet, pan, or wok to high heat before adding fat that will render out the onions. If you wish to saute onions without butter, make sure you are using a non-stick skillet, and add a little bit of water or vegetable stock to help prevent sticking.
When you learn to saute onions in order to extract their wonderful sweetness, you will begin adding them to your meals far more frequently. For me, however, the best example of the beauty of onions is French onion soup, which builds its beauty on onions going translucent, and then you crank up the heat and cook them until caramelized. If onions are a part of a mix, you will know when you are done when they are translucent. If you want to caramelize onions for something like a quiche, cook them longer, until they get a little color.
The thicker your onion slices, the lower your heat should be during the last stage of caramelization. The pieces of onions should be smaller (but not chopped very small) and the heat should be higher.
When onions start to soften, lower the burning heat to medium, now stirring in medium-wide slices often, watch for onions to turn uniformly a deep, dark, somewhat gooey color. Cover the pot with heavy-bottomed frying pan, sweating it on medium heat, allowing onions to release some of their natural water content and to soften. Place the splatter over 3 onions, cover, and let them sweat on very low heat. 5 to 7 minutes is the amount of time you need to sweat onions so that you can get rid of any strong onion flavors, and to start sweetening cooking onions only slightly.
Add in plenty of chopped onions and cook onions, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes, or until softened and starting to turn a light golden color. Add chopped or diced onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender, stirring often with a wooden spoon or a heat-proof spatula. If you want to add some savory, rich flavour to the onions, stir in some low-sodium tamari about 3 minutes before taking them off the fire. Add in your sliced onions and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, which will add a nice flavour and pull some unnecessary water.
Toss a large pile of thinly sliced onions in olive oil with a bit of water (which helps steam them and make them tender), add in some salt, then roast until golden brown and shriveled, stirring every 10 minutes or so, for 40-50 minutes. The onions should easily break apart between your fingers, and they should taste mild and sweet. Many types of onions taste strongly, requiring cooking to soften and be nice to eat, but milder, crunchier types may be blanched.
Can you sweat out onions?
Sweating is the initial stage, which typically occurs quite rapidly. You are cooking by keeping the heat just enough to get the onions going but not too high that they start to brown. The onions will “sweat” due to the heat and salt, drawing their moisture out.
Do you need to sweat onions?
Onions are sweated for a variety of reasons. The onion is gently cooked by sweating, which results in a softer texture, more sweetness, and a gentler flavour. The flavour of food starts to develop when onions are steamed for meals like pasta dishes, rice pilao, and cooked meats.
What happens when you sweat onions?
The onions cook in their own juices as a result of the onions’ slow-motion softening and flavorful release during sweating. Due to the volatility of many of its taste compounds, onions’ flavours soften to subtle background notes if any subsequent cooking is done over an extended period of time.