This simple step-by-step tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about How to Grill Onions. These perfectly grilled onions are perfect for tossing on burgers, in a burger bowl or on a grilled chicken salad!
How To Make Perfectly Grilled Onions
During those hot summer months we love making everything on the grill to avoid heating up the house with the stove or oven! So grilled burgers and fresh summer salads are on regular rotation at our house and both taste better with some grilled onions on top – the added flavor is out of this world. The heat of the grill gives onions a little bit of caramelization (with minimal effort) and it gives them the perfect sweetness – incredible flavor! You have to try them, they will be a huge hit!
What You Will Need
- large onions – we used red onions, but any of your favorite types of onions will work – yellow onions, Vidalia onions, white onions, etc.!
- olive oil – a drizzle helps with a slight caramelization and char on the outside.
- kosher salt & pepper – the perfect simple seasoning when grilling any veggies.
Which Onion Is Best For Grilling
In the photos below, we used a red onion which is a great option for grilling. You could also use large sweet onions or Vidalia onion, this one will give you a sweeter, more caramelized onion. Just choose the onion with the taste that you like best! Any will work!
How To Grill Onions
First, you can begin by cutting the raw onions of choice into large, 3/4 inch thick slices.
How Do You Cut An Onion For Grilling
This is a great question! You will want to keep your sliced onion fairly thick so that they don’t fall between the grill grates or get too soft too quick and fall apart. We recommend an onion slice that is about 3/4 of an inch thick. This can be done using a sharp knife or a mandolin to ensure the slices are uniform.
You can also grill onion wedges. This is done by cutting off the top of the onion, peeling off the outer layer as much as possible, and then cut the onion in half (going through the root end).
Place the cut half down on the cutting board and cut in half again. Creating 4 large wedges in total.
Now take each quarter of the onion and slice into smaller wedges. We cut each quarter into thirds. Just make sure you keep that end root in tact, holding the pieces of the wedge together.
Once all of the onions have been cut into whole slices or wedges, use a basting brush to cover every side of the onions with olive oil (or avocado oil).
Then sprinkle generously with kosher salt and black pepper.
Place the onion rings or wedges on the grates of a preheated grill over direct medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking. We love the charring that happens when they are cooked right on the grates, but you could also place them on a piece of foil, in a foil packet, or in a grill basket if you prefer.
Enjoy any way you want!
Are Grilled Onions The Same As Caramelized Onions
No, they are not. When you grill an onion it will result in some slight caramelizing of the natural sugars, but it is not a fully caramelized onion. Grilled onions are thicker and stay more crisp or firm. A fully caramelized onion can be sliced much thinner and in the end they will be much softer and more brown in color. To follow an onion caramelization process, you have to checkout our post on how to caramelize onions.
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Grilled Onions (How to Grill Onions) – if you are looking for a simple, straight-forward tutorial on how to grill onions – this is it!
- 1 onion (red, yellow or white)
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- Preheat the grill to 450 degrees F and clean the grill grates.
- Thickly slice onion (about 3/4 inch thick) into circles OR cut into wedges.
- Place on baking sheet or large plate and drizzle with olive oil. Using hands rub the oil over all sides of the onions (carefully keeping all of the rings in tact).
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Grill on direct heat (directly over flame) for 3-4 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely charred.
- Remove from grill and serve immediately – we love them on a perfectly grilled burger!
- Cooking time: The longer you grill the onion, the softer it will become. If you prefer more crispy onions, definitely cook closer to the 6 minute mark. If you want softer, more charred onion then cook closer to the 8 minute mark.
- Storage: simply store grilled onions in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Keywords: how to grill onion, grilled onions