Wednesday 10 October 2012

How To Get Batter To Stick To Onion Rings

I've made these a few times since being gluten free but they've never come out to my absolute satisfaction. I've always had issues with coating the onion rings in the batter and then ensuring that it stays on whilst cooking. Inevitably I've ended up with the onion and batter coming apart and well just not a great overall result at all. That's why I've never posted the recipe! I only ever post recipes that I'm truly content with and I have pretty high standards for my food, you'll only ever see a disaster if it's worthy of a laugh.

As this is a request from 54mu5 I figured that I needed to step my game up a bit. How can I make the batter stick to the onion rings properly? That's the only problem here, the flavours are great.

So I'm doing a bit of research and the general consensus is how I've always been doing it, but it's never worked properly with either gluten or gluten free ingredients. Then I remembered an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, the guy making the rings dried them out before he put them in the batter, I don't recall how but the idea was to remove some of the moisture so that the wet batter would stick to the dry surface of the onion. Wet never sticks to wet and dry never sticks to dry so I think I'm onto something here.

I've sliced the onions up and separated the rings and they're currently sat in the fridge on a chopping board. I have around 3 hours to try and dry them out. I think I'm going to go make the batter now and put that in the fridge as well, cool batter will hopefully puff up more in the oil than room temperature batter.

The 54mu5 Gluten Free Onion Rings experiment is underway!


Okay, so I just checked on the onion rings an hour after they went into the fridge and they're still looking pretty moist. They are now on the kitchen counter. If they don't start drying out soon I may have to resort to using a hairdryer.

raw onion rings
Drying Is A Must For The Batter To Stick
Batter is made and is in the fridge. I've made the batter pretty thick in the hope that I get a really good amount to stick.

gluten free onion ring batter
Corn Flour Batter

My apartment reeks of onions.


Okay, so here's how it went:

gluten free onion ring
1st Test
I nailed the batter sticking to the onion ring! I was incredibly pleased with how this came out of the oil, the batter puffed up immediately and went a lovely golden colour, only problem here is that the batter isn't crispy. The closest thing that I can compare this batter to is that of a doughnut. The garlic salt and onion granules seasoning mix would also needed to be adjusted as the flavours weren't coming through.

gluten free onion ring experiment
2nd Test
At this stage I realised that I needed to cook them on a lower heat for longer in order to get the batter crispy. I also added more seasoning. The flavour was almost there but the batter still resembled that of a doughnut, the ring cooked too fast.

gluten free onion ring
3rd Test
I lowered the heat of the oil but it still cooked way too fast.

gluten free onion ring batter experiment
4th And Final Attempt For Tuesday
I got this very wrong. This time the heat was way too low and the batter didn't start bubbling until a good minute or so into cooking. This resulted in the onion ring being greasy. The batter was however slightly crisp on the outside, the first one that had been like that due to a longer cooking time.

What I've learnt from this experiment is that you must dry the onions before attempting to coat them. Peel and slice, then put them on kitchen paper in a single layer and leave to dry. They need at least a couple of hours.

The batter stuck effortlessly to the onion rings and didn't budge during the cooking process. This was a first for me!

I'm not that happy with the way that these turned out, I wanted them crispy. I'm going to omit the corn flour from the batter recipe and use something else instead.

As far as experiments go, this was actually quite successful. I've got the batter to stick, it's got great flavour, now I just need to get the batter crispy and I've got a great gluten free onion rings recipe to share. 

I'm off to experiment further.

UPDATE: I've created a really easy to make - 2 ingredients plus salt - crispy gluten free batter that is perfect for onion rings.


  1. hi, i know this is really late for a comment, but to make crispy fries, try adding some rice flour. If that still dont satisfy your thirst of crisp, try reduce the liquid content, and make slightly thicker batter.

  2. You are wonderful.Thank you for your research.I know someone knows the secret and is not telling since you can purchase them at restaurants.


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