How to make crispy, delicious onion rings at home

You too can make restaurant quality onion rings at home.

Courtesy of Innisbrook Resorts

Welcome to clubhouse eats, where we celebrate the most delicious food and drink in the game. I hope you brought an appetite with you.


Each year, a field of the world’s top golfers visit Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club for the Valspar Championship in hopes of avoiding a “snake bite” from the last three holes of the Copperhead Course – a trio infamously known as the Snake Pit. Conversely, many more members and guests — even resort employees — make it a point to visit Innisbrook’s Market Salamander Grille year-round for delicious bites of the restaurant’s famous onion rings.

These delicious, colossal fried onion rings have graced the grill’s menu for more than a dozen years, and their recipe — including the details for the accompanying sriracha-infused, aioli-like dipping sauce — has remained a secret ever since. Unfortunately, this story will not change that. (We did our best to pry the recipe from the hands of the resort’s culinary team; but Gilbert Bolivar, Innisbrook’s director of food and beverages, clung to those secrets like Tiger Woods did to Sunday afternoon tournament tours in his prime held.)

“We’re constantly being asked by our members and guests how we make them,” he says. “But we really want to keep that secret sauce close to our hearts here in Innisbrook.”

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While we can’t give you a step-by-step guide to making these signature onion rings at home, Bolivar has shared some tips that will help you get closer (and make excellent onion rings, at least in general). Innisbrook’s famous rings are topped with a tonic water tempura batter and then topped with a crumb mix of grated parmesan and chopped cilantro.

But before any of those things happen, the super colossal onions (essentially extra-large yellow onions) are first peeled and hand-cut, then soaked in ice water overnight. The cold bath strips moisture from the onion, much like the same process strips starch from hand-cut french fries. And in both cases this results in a crispier end product.

After the onion rings have soaked overnight, remove them from the water, peel off any remaining thin membranes and allow them to air dry completely – it’s imperative that they contain no moisture before beating. “It’s crucial to really let them dry on the second day,” says Bolivar.

Once you’ve battered the onions and coated them in whatever crumb mixture you like (if you go that route), all you have to do is fry them in vegetable or canola oil at 350 degrees for five minutes. According to Bolivar, the rings made from this hot oil “will retain their setting, texture and breading.”

If you’ve ever experienced Innisbrook’s famous onion rings, chances are you can use these tips to make equally delicious fried onions at home. If not, all you have to do is plan your next trip to the Florida resort where staples are always on the menu.

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