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Buttermilk-Battered Onion Rings

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

The challenge with onion rings is making the coating stick to the onions so you get both onion and crisp outer shell in every bite. The solution is a good soak in viscous buttermilk, which helps the flour and cornmeal coating adhere.


  • 2 large yellow onions (about 1-1/2 lb.), sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and separated into individual rings
  • 3 to 4 cups buttermilk
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz. (1 cup) finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 5 to 6 cups vegetable oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • Ketchup, for serving (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 630
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 270
  • Fat (g): 31
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 77
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 14


  • Put the onions in a large bowl and add enough buttermilk to cover. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. In a cake pan or pie plate, combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet fitted with a rack. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
  • Pour 1 inch of oil into a 5-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot and clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot. Heat over medium heat until the thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches of 4 or 5, remove the rings from the buttermilk, letting any excess drip off, then dredge in the flour mixture, knocking off the excess.
  • Carefully lower the rings into the oil and fry until lightly browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, gently turn the rings over and continue to fry, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady temperature, until golden-brown all over, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt, then transfer to the rack on the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
  • Continue to fry the onions in batches, letting the oil return to 350°F between batches and replacing the paper towels on the plate as needed. Serve with ketchup, if you like.


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