Jeremy Scheck's Best Tips For Caramelizing Onions - Exclusive

Jeremy Scheck's culinary artistry is most on display on his TikTok channel, Scheckeats, where he brings accessible recipes to an audience of millions with thoughtful and easy-to-follow instructions. Home cooks can now also utilize Scheck's guidance with his brand-new cookbook, "Scheckeats — Cooking Smarter: Friendly Recipes with a Side of Science"; all of the recipes in the book are intended to make weeknight cooking straightforward and delicious. And while the majority of Scheck's recipes don't demand a ton of time in the kitchen, he believes it's well worth it to expend the additional effort when caramelizing onions.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Jeremy Scheck shared his guidance for best practices when caramelizing onions particularly what not to do. "There are a lot of tips to expedite the process, but I don't like most of them because they tend to alter the texture or the flavor [of the onions]," he said. The most common advice Scheck has encountered that is meant to help caramelize onions faster is to add baking soda to the pan, but he firmly recommends avoiding that trick.

Speeding up the process while infusing flavor

Caramelized onions are an excellent way to elevate the flavor of a dish and bring out the strongest notes of the onion, but the process takes time. While Jeremy Scheck believes there's no way to substantially reduce the time commitment without hindering the flavor and texture of the onions, he does have a recommendation for how to slightly shorten the process. "One thing I like to do that is a little different than most straightforward [guidance for caramelized onions] — which is cooking them on low heat all the way through — is to add water or wine, or really, any liquid that you want, at the beginning of the process and to simmer it and boil it off," he told us. 

Adding a liquid early in the cooking process "allows you to start off at a high heat, without anything burning." That small tweak gets the caramelizing process started faster without significantly messing with the flavor — and may actually even improve it. According to Scheck, "If you use wine, for example, you have the added benefit of infusing [the onions] with a different flavor." That said, if you have the time for a full, traditional caramelization, Scheck advocates taking it: "I still think the longer you caramelize your onions, the better." 

To learn more cooking tips, check out "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter" which is available for purchase here. Keep up with all things Jeremy Scheck and ScheckEats on Instagram and TikTok.