These Beer Battered Onion Rings are the best appetizer to serve with an ice-cold beer! The beer batter helps to create a SUPER crispy, light and fluffy exterior while adding another layer of flavor. They result is a sweet, savory, salty, crunchy bite of heaven.
Onion and beer? What can I say other than, it just works!
If you don't know how to make "beer battered" onion rings, I promise you, they are NOT hard and much better than restaurant versions. The beer batter takes me less than 5 minutes to mix up and the frying takes 2-3 minutes per batch. A total of 25 minutes from start to finish, easy peasy!
Onion rings are the perfect game day appetizer that pairs perfectly with an ice cold beer! Besides these onions rings, I love to serve my Gravy Mozzarella Cheese Fries or my Philly Cheesesteak Wonton Cups to my friends and family while tailgating.
The carbonation from the beer makes a super light batter that results in a crunchy, airy golden brown crust.
Best Beer For Battered Onion Rings
The choice of beer for battered onion rings can greatly impact the flavor and texture of the batter. Typically, a light and crisp beer is recommended for creating a flavorful, airy, and crispy coating. Here are a few beer styles that work well for battered onion rings:
Lager: A light, crisp lager, such as a pilsner or a light American lager, is a popular choice for beer batter. It contributes a clean, refreshing flavor and effervescence to the batter, resulting in onion rings that are not overly heavy.
Pale Ale: A pale ale, like an American pale ale (APA) or an English bitter, can add a subtle hoppy bitterness and a touch of sweetness to the batter. It complements the savory flavor of the onions nicely.
Wheat Beer: A wheat beer, such as a hefeweizen or a Belgian witbier, can bring a hint of fruity and citrusy notes to the batter. It works well if you want to add a touch of complexity to your onion rings' flavor.
IPA (India Pale Ale): If you enjoy bold flavors, you can experiment with an IPA. The hoppy and often citrusy character of an IPA can create a unique and flavorful beer batter.
Non-Alcoholic Beer: If you prefer to avoid alcohol or are cooking for individuals who don't consume alcohol, non-alcoholic beer can be used as a substitute. It will provide the carbonation and some of the flavor without the alcohol content.
When using beer in your onion ring batter, keep in mind that the alcohol will mostly cook off during frying, leaving behind the beer's flavors and carbonation. The specific brand and type of beer you choose can also impact the final taste, so feel free to experiment to find your perfect onion ring batter flavor.
Preparing Your Onion Rings
Deep frying can be tricky but if you just keep a few things in mind, you will get perfectly crispy results every time!
Step 1: Preheat Your Oil- Add your oil to a large pot. Add your thermometer and turn it to high. You want your oil to reach a temp of 350-365 degrees F. Your oil should be about 2"-3" high. I Recommend using a canola or vegetable oil when frying.
Step 2: Mix Up Your Beer Batter - While your oil is heating up, prepare you onion ring beer batter. The batter consists of a mixture of flour and cornstarch. This combo results in a SUPER crispy onion ring exterior that is airy and fluffy. Once you combine that in a large bowl, add your spices. I use onion powder, garlic powder, salt and a bit of sugar for a sweet bite.
Step 3: Coat Your Onions- Before you add your beer, you want to cut your onion rings into ¼"-½" slices and then dredge them in the seasoned flour mixture. Then, set your coated rings aside.
Step 4: Soak Your Rings- Add your beer to the dry mixture to create your wet batter. Soak your dredged onion rings in the batter so they are nicely coated.
Step 5: Fry Your Onions- Your oil should be hot by now. Using tongs, pull one onion ring out allowing excess to drip off before adding it to your hot oil. Do this one at a time. Wait 2-3 minutes or for your onion rings to turn a golden brown. Then allow them to cool on a rack or paper towels.
Onion Rings Beer Batter
Choosing your beer:
The beer is the star in your beer batter. The alcohol and carbonation make your onion ring exterior light, airy and crispy. Certain beers can also add flavor to your onion rings.
We are not making fried onion rings to save calories. So choose a heavier beer if you have one on hand. I like stout-based beers or pale-ales because they add a delicious, unique flavor to the batter.
I used a Stella for this recipe and could not really taste much of the beer at all. If you want your onion rings to have a stronger beer taste, use a stronger or heavier beer.
If DO NOT want a strong beer flavor, simply use a lighter beer.
Did you know? The alcohol in beer disrupts gluten formation in your batter which will help give your onion rings a crispy, light crust.
An Alcohol-Free Option
If you are looking to make an alcohol-free version, swap out the beer with another carbonated beverage like club soda or ever a clear soda to get those same bubbles. The trick is to keep whatever liquid your using super cold. You can even simply use ice water if you wish but it will lack the bubble power.
Aioli Dipping Sauce
Whenever you have onion rings, a good dipping sauce is imperative. You could use ketchup, ranch dressing or even thousand island if you like.
But I prefer this red pepper "aioli". It is the "BOMB", as we used to say back in the day. 😉 It sounds fancy but don't let the name fool you. It is SO easy to make and is what takes these onion rings to the next level.
I used jarred roasted red peppers, mayo, garlic, lemon juice and some salt. Simple but delicious.
Tips For Frying Beer Battered Onion Rings
- Use a deep fry thermometer to keep track of your oil temperature. Oil that is too hot or too cold will ruin the texture of your onion rings! They are cheap and make a huge difference when frying.
- Keep your beer nice and cold before adding it to your dry mix! This will keep your batter light and airy.
- Choose a darker beer for more flavor.
- Using sweeter onions like Vidalia onions are best.
- Use club soda if you do not want to serve beer based food to kids
- Allow excess batter to drip off before adding onion rings to your hot oil. I like to use a steak knife to do this one at a time.
- Do not overcrowd your oil when frying. This can cause drastic temperature drops which will cause your onion rings to absorb more oil causing them to be greasy.
- Allow your onion rings to cool on a rack or paper towels to maintain their crispines and avoid soggy onion rings.
Why are there no eggs in this batter?
Eggs will actually make the exterior more chewy and less crispy!
Can I fry these ahead of time?
Yes just make sure to leave them uncovered or they will get soggy. Reheat in the oven at 305 F to recrisp and warm back up.
Other easy bite-sized appetizers:
Beer Battered Onion Rings (with Red Pepper Aioli)
- 2 large vidalia onions
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup corn starch
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 oz. beer of choice (*darker beers give more flavor)
- oil for frying
Red Pepper Aioli
- ½ cup mayonaisse
- ¼ cup roasted red peppers, minced (about 6 oz. drained)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt to taste*
- Add your red pepper aioli ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Store in the fridge until your ready to dip!
- Add enough oil for frying to a large pot. (A few inches high will do.) Heat the oil anywhere between 350-375°F.
- While you're waiting, slice the root ends off of your onions. Peel just the outermost skin layer. Next, slice your onion rings in the same direction you just cut. You are looking for slices that are about ½" thick. Do the same with your second onion and set your rings aside.I'll save the very small rings in a plastic baggie for something else.
- Next, add to a large bowl, your dry batter ingredients LEAVING OUT your beer!
- Whisk it together and then dredge each of your onions rings in the mixture so they are nicely coated. (Doing this will help your batter stick better.) Set them aside.
- Once your oil is at the desired temperature, whisk in your cold beer to your dry mix. Do not overmix!
- Add your onion rings to the beer batter and coat them all. (You could also fry one at a time if you wish.)*If your batter is TOO thin, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it thickens enough to coat the onions.
- Using a sharp knife or fork, remove one onion ring at a time allowing any excess batter to drip off and carefully add 3-5 to your hot oil. Keep an eye on your temperature. If the temperature drops too much, add less onion rings next time.
- Flip after about a minute or so and remove your rings when they get nicely browned. Each batch will take 2-3 minutes MAX. Allow your fried rings to cool on a wire rack or paper towels. Serve warm with aioli sauce!
- The temperature of your oil is important. Do not let your oil temp. drop too low or your onion rings will become greasy and heavy.
- Keep your oven set to "warm" and store your onion rings on a wire rack inside to keep them warm while you fry the rest of the rings.
- Use a cold unopened beer. Not one at room temperature.
- If your onion rings are taking longer than 3 minutes, the oil is not hot enough.