These EASY Beer Battered Onion Rings are a classic appetizer! The beer batter helps to create a SUPER crispy and light exterior while adding another layer of flavor. Serve your onion rings with this tasty roasted red pepper aioli dipping sauce and of course, a cold beer.
Onion and beer? What can I say other than, they just work!
If you don’t know how to make “beer battered” onion rings, I promise you, they are NOT hard! The beer batter takes me less than 5 minutes to mix up and the frying takes 2-3 minutes per batch. A total of 25 minutes from start to finish!
Onion rings are the perfect tailgate food! But since we may not be able to physically GO to any games this year, we will need some delicious game day appetizers to up our hosting game. Besides these onions rings, I love to serve my Gravy Mozzarella Cheese Fries or my Philly Cheesesteak Wonton Cups to my friends and family.
But, you don’t need a football game to make these homemade beer battered onion rings. They are a tasty pre-dinner snack or appetizer that goes perfectly with a cold brewski any time of year!
How to make your onion rings
Step 1: Add your oil to a large pot. Add your thermometer and turn it to high. You want your oil to reach a temp of 350-365 degrees F. Your oil should be about 2″-3″ high.
Step 2: While your oil is heating up, prepare you onion ring beer batter.
*The batter consists of a mixture of flour and cornstarch. This combo results in a SUPER crispy onion ring exterior that is airy and fluffy.
Once you combine that in a large bowl, add your spices. I use onion powder, garlic powder, salt and a bit of sugar for a sweet bite.
Step 3: Before you add your beer, you want to cut your onion rings into 1/4″-1/2″ slices and then dredge them in the seasoned flour mixture. Set your coated rings aside then add in your beer to the dry mix.
Step 4: Your oil should be hot by now. You want to dip each onion ring into the batter and add them to your hot oil one at a time. Wait 2-3 minutes or for your onion rings to turn a golden brown and allow them to cool on a rack or paper towels.
What kind of beer should you use?
The beer is the star in your beer batter. The alcohol and carbonation make your onion ring exterior light, airy and crispy. Certain beers can also add flavor to your onion rings.
Did you know? The alcohol in beer disrupts gluten formation in your batter which will help give your onion rings a crispy, light crust.
We are not making fried onion rings to save calories. So choose a heavier beer if you have one on hand. I like stout-based beers or pale-ales because they add a delicious, unique flavor to the batter.
I used a Stella for this recipe and could not really taste much of the beer at all. If you want your onion rings to taste similar to beer, use stronger beers or beers with unique flavors.
If DO NOT want a strong beer flavor, simply use a lighter beer.
Want to make your batter alcohol-free?
Although I highly suggest using beer, it is not 100% necessary to make “beer-battered” onion rings. Yes the alcohol does help with the crispy exterior but you can use another carbonated beverage like club soda or ever a clear soda to get those same bubbles.
Can you make these in an air fryer?
No. Anything really wet is not a good idea especially something with a lot of moisture (water). If you want to make onion rings using your air fryer, I suggest going with a panko bread crumb crust instead.
Gluten free options
If you want to make these onion rings without flour or completely gluten free, you can. There are no breadcrumbs so it is an easy switch. You will just need to replace all of the flour with cornstarch and also replace the beer with a gluten free beer. Because cornstarch is not as thickening as flour, you will need to use LESS CORNSTARCH.
Because the beer batter is made without eggs and without buttermilk, it is also vegan friendly!
Onion ring dipping sauce
Whenever you have onion rings, a good dipping sauce is imperative. You could use ketchup, ranch dressing or even thousand island if you like.
But I prefer this red pepper “aioli”. It is the “BOMB”, as we used to say back in the day. 😉 It sounds fancy but don’t let the name fool you. It is SO easy to make and is what takes these onion rings to the next level.
I used jarred roasted red peppers, mayo, garlic, lemon juice and some salt. Simple but delicious.
- Use a deep fry thermometer to keep track of your oil temperature. Oil that is too hot or too cold will ruin the texture of your onion rings! They are cheap and make a huge difference when frying.
- Keep your beer nice and cold before adding it to your dry mix! This will keep your batter light and airy.
- Choose a darker beer for more flavor.
- Using sweeter onions like vidalia onions are best.
- Use club soda if you do not want to serve beer based food to kids
- Allow excess batter to drip off before adding onion rings to your hot oil. I like to use a steak knife to do this one at a time.
- Do not overcrowd your oil when frying. This can cause drastic temperature drops which will cause your onion rings to absorb more oil causing them to be greasy.
- Allow your onion rings to cool on a rack or paper towels to maintain their crispiness.
Other easy bite sized appetizers:
Easy Beer Battered Onion Rings (with Red Pepper Aioli)
- 2 large vidalia onions
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup corn starch
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp onion powder
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 12 oz. beer of choice (*darker beers give more flavor)
- oil for frying
Red Pepper Aioli
- ½ cup mayonaisse
- ¼ cup roasted red peppers, minced (about 6 oz. drained)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste*
- Add your red pepper aioli ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Store in the fridge until your ready to dip!
- Add enough oil for frying to a large pot. (A few inches high will do.) Heat the oil anywhere between 350-375°F.
- While you're waiting, slice the root ends off of your onions. Peel just the outermost skin layer. Next, slice your onion rings in the same direction you just cut. You are looking for slices that are about ½" thick. Do the same with your second onion and set your rings aside.I'll save the very small rings in a plastic baggie for something else.
- Next, add to a large bowl, your dry batter ingredients LEAVING OUT your beer!
- Whisk it together and then dredge each of your onions rings in the mixture so they are nicely coated. (Doing this will help your batter stick better.) Set them aside.
- Once your oil is at the desired temperature, whisk in your cold beer to your dry mix. Do not overmix!
- Add your onion rings to the beer batter and coat them all. (You could also fry one at a time if you wish.)*If your batter is TOO thin, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time until it thickens enough to coat the onions.
- Using a sharp knife or fork, remove one onion ring at a time allowing any excess batter to drip off and carefully add 3-5 to your hot oil. Keep an eye on your temperature. If the temperature drops too much, add less onion rings next time.
- Flip after about a minute or so and remove your rings when they get nicely browned. Each batch will take 2-3 minutes MAX. Allow your fried rings to cool on a wire rack or paper towels. Serve warm with aioli sauce!
- The temperature of your oil is important. Do not let your oil temp. drop too low or your onion rings will become greasy and heavy.
- Keep your oven set to “warm” and store your onion rings on a wire rack inside to keep them warm while you fry the rest of the rings.
- Use a cold unopened beer. Not one at room temperature.
- If your onion rings are taking longer than 3 minutes, the oil is not hot enough.