I Tried the Microwave Method for Frying Onions and It May Be Useful If You’re in a Pinch

published Sep 16, 2022
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I Tried the Microwave Fried Onions Method
Credit: Choya Johnson

Onions are an essential part of my meal preparations. When I was younger, I preferred them to be seasoned well, covered in flour, and deep-fried in hot grease. But now I’ll eat them any way (raw, sautéed, and, yes, fried) and for every meal. To me, there’s something about their aromatics that — even when cooked the same way every time — can change the trajectory of a dish.

Now adding to the already-lengthy list of ways onions can be be prepared and enjoyed, Test Kitchen’s newest method of providing you with crispy, ready-to-eat onions comes in the form of using an appliance you may least expect: your microwave.

Try the method: Microwave Fried Onions

Credit: Choya Johnson

Test Kitchen’s Microwave Fried Onion Method

This method is pretty simple. You just need an onion, some vegetable oil, and a small bowl to place them in.

To start, thinly slice your onion and add to your small bowl with vegetable oil. Place in the microwave for five minutes, check on them, then microwave again for another two minutes. You’ll then keep microwaving for 30-second intervals, as they will start to cook a bit faster with the now-warm grease until they are as crisp as you’d like. As a final step, remove the onions from your oil and let drain on a paper towel before using how you’d like.

My Take on the Microwave Fried Onion Method

This hack was very simple and easy to put to the test. I would advise, however, keeping an eye on your onions throughout the process of the 30-second intervals, as they can begin crisping up at any moment. And, be sure to use 30-second intervals. Rushing the process by adding any additional time (and also not watching it) can result in a completely foul burnt odor overtaking your home.

Credit: Choya Johnson

Another thing that you need to be aware of with this hack is the way it makes your house smell. From the beginning of the process, the onion smell becomes very strong, but not in the same way it would if you were sautéing or even deep-frying. The smell is just … different. And for me, it wasn’t pleasant. The smell also becomes more potent when you open your microwave, so I do recommend letting it “air out” a bit before closing it back up.

Overall, however, I think this hack proved to be a success. Although my onions weren’t completely crispy, I think putting them in on another cycle for 15 or 20 more seconds could have gotten them to the level I was looking for. Would I try this again? Probably not, because I think it’s actually more time-consuming than frying, but it’s a good method to have handy in case I ever need it.

Try the method: Microwave Fried Onions