If you say caramelized onion on ANYTHING I will probably eat it. But caramelized onions take a very long time to make – low and slow they say.
So when we were having steak the other night I really didn’t feel like standing in the kitchen over a flame in the summer waiting for onions to caramelize.
Then I wondered if the onion would have enough time to caramelize without burning on the grill. What actually happens when an onion caramelizes? Well, have you ever noticed when you pick up an onion it doesn’t smell like anything?
That’s because they do not develop any flavor until they are cut, chopped or cooked. So the second you cut into an onion the aroma is very pungent and strong.
Cooking an onion over heat breaks down the sugars. The cell structure starts to break down and a caramelization takes place that results in a deep flavorful sweet onion.
This process happens whether the onions are in a sauté pan or on the grill. As long as there is enough heat for the transformation to take place.
I like to start my onions on the side of the grill that has indirect heat and let them soften for a while. Then I move them over to direct heat to get those nice char marks and a deeper caramelization.
SO HOW DID I MAKE THESE DELICIOUS GRILLED ONIONS?
- First I purchased a few large Vidalia onions because they are naturally sweeter.
- I cut them in large rings, making sure to keep them in tact. I got 4 rings from each onion.
- I made a quick marinade that has a beautiful honey mustard flavor that goes so well on onions.
The next part you can do one of several ways:
- I ran a skewer through the onions and placed them in a glass 9×13 pan and then poured the marinade over them.
- You can marinade them first and skewer them second (very messy process).
- You can not skewer them at all and grill them directly on the grill.
But here is the important part ~ Do not put all 4 rings on one skewer. Why you ask? Because no matter how precise you are or how hard you try, your onions will not all be the same thickness. So when you put them all on the same skewer they will not hit the grill at the same points.
Run the skewer through the onion and then break off the remaining skewer. Do this for each onion so you have a separate skewer for each onion ring. This way every onion will lay flat on the grill ensuring even cooking and nice charred grill marks.
These grilled onions have a tangy delicious honey mustard glaze that helps them get super soft and caramelize on the grill. A perfect compliment to your steak dinner!
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ¾ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Rosemary & Oregano
- 1 Very Large Vidalia Onion, cut in large rings (½″) and keep in tact
- Whisk all the ingredients for the glaze together in a glass measuring cup. Set aside.
- If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them for about 30 minutes.
- Slice the onion in large rings (about ½″) trying to be as straight as possible. (I got 4 ringlets from 1 onion).
- Run the skewer parallel through each onion and break off the end. Putting only 1 onion on a skewer makes them easier to flip on the grill. Repeat with the remaining rings. In my case I used 4 skewers for 4 onion rings.
- Place them in a glass baking dish. Pour ½ to ¾ of the glaze over them. Flip carefully to coat both sides.
- Preheat the grill to high and grill each onion for approximately 5 minutes or until they begin to soften and you can see grill marks. Flip and brush (or spoon) more glaze over them. Cook another 5 minutes on the other side. The glaze should begin to caramelize on the onions. You can glaze and flip another time if you desire or take them off the grill, sprinkle a little sea salt on top and brush with more glaze if desired.