Food - Drink
The Scientific Way Baking Soda Helps Caramelized Onions Cook Faster
By ERIN SHAW
Whether eaten on a burger, in French onion soup, or as the headliner in a caramelized onion dip, caramelized onions add a delicious umami flavor and silky sweetness to any dish. However, if their 45-minute cook time seems like too much of a hassle, try adding baking soda to speed up caramelization.
Kenji López-Alt, a cookbook author and food critic, claims that adding a pinch of baking soda would expedite the caramelization of onions. He notes pH is one thing you can control and that speeds up the Maillard reaction, which influences how fast something caramelizes or browns.
López-Alt recommends adding no more than 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per pound of onions you're cooking. If you decide you must raise the heat, López-Alt notes that you can add a bit of water to disperse the temperature so your onions won't burn.