The Unconventional Fat You Should Be Using To Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions are the best way to push your dish from good to great. Whether you are preparing some amazing black and blue burgers or topping your gorgonzola and pear pizza, the presence of caramelized onions heightens the salty and savory notes of these recipes with their dark sweet notes.

But so many people don't take the extra time to caramelize their onions. Maybe because they didn't grow up eating caramelized onions, or maybe it's because they are worried that the process is too difficult. But if you really want to elevate your homemade meals or impress at a dinner party, properly caramelized onions are the way forward.

Though truly great, caramelized onions do take about 45 minutes to cook though the extra kitchen time is worth it (via Onions USA). To start, Food Network Kitchen advises adding fat, yellow onions, salt, and water one after the other into a stainless steel pan to slowly cook together. See: Caramelized onions take time but the ingredients are simple. So simple that it makes it easy for adventurous cooks to enhance them by using an unusual ingredient.

Bacon makes everything better

When most people cook with fat, they tend to use butter. Butter is a fantastic way to dissolve flavor into your food and adds a richness to your meal that's hard to beat (via Butter Through the Ages). But there are other fats out there just as jam-packed with delicious tastes, one of them being bacon fat. Now, if you don't partake in pork products, this nifty trick may not be for you, but for those of us obsessed with everything bacon, using pork fat to cook our caramelized onions changes the game.

Next time you make yourself breakfast you can save the bacon fat in the freezer and plop some of it in the skillet when you start to caramelize your onions. Or, if you're making a meal that already involves bacon, America's Test Kitchen says to remove the meat from the pan, and immediately throw your onions in. 

According to a second report from Our Everyday Life, the onions should be spread out in an even layer across the pan with some salt and sugar spread on top, which will help further the caramelization process.