Caramelizing is a wonderful way to pull flavor out of the simplest of ingredients and once done, they are good on pretty much everything. The only problem is that caramelized onions are surprisingly tricky to make as they take time to slowly brown and caramelize, usually about 45 minutes on the stovetop. It’s easy to burn them and it’s easy to remove them from the stove before they’re actually done.
Caramelizing onions by slowly cooking them in a little olive oil and butter until they are richly browned, is the traditional method. But for dehydrating, this is problematic because fats and oils do not dehydrate well and will turn rancid in storage.
So what’s a Foodie-loving person to do for long-term storage of these onions? I have come up with a solution. This is an easy, reliable method to make your own “roasted” onions without all the work and constant attention you would normally have to deal with when caramelizing onions. And because it uses no fats or oils, you can safely dehydrate and store them as well.
Note: I have a 6-quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker that I use mostly for this recipe and can easily fit 3 pounds (1.4 kg) of onions into it. That’s about 8-9 large onions.