I don’t eat fried foods very often, and being gluten-free, fried food at a restaurant can be dangerous. Restaurant fryers can be contaminated with gluten. What do I miss most? Onion rings!! Sweet, melty onion, crispy batter coating, yummmmm! I’ve seen some frozen gluten-free onion rings at the market but it just doesn’t seem like they could measure up. So I went to work.
I was surprised at how easy it was to get the gluten-free version just right. A regular gluten-free flour blend needs a little lightening up with corn starch.
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends with this recipe (in combination with corn starch) and they all worked well. My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours with some starches is my favorite. If you prefer a store bought blend, I like King Arthur Flour All Purpose Gluten-Free flour the best. See the notes in the recipe for a simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my blog post on gluten-free flours and flour blends.
Use a Frying Thermometer
A helpful tool for these gluten-free onion rings is a frying thermometer. Knowing the exact temperature of the oil will allow you to make a perfect ring. Onion rings should be crispy golden brown on the outside with soft, melty onion on the inside. If the oil temp is too low the onion rings will be greasy, too high and they’ll brown before the onions have softened. A thermometer that clips to the side of the pot is ideal or one that has a probe that you can leave in the pot. The right temperature for frying is around 360ºF.
If you don’t have a thermometer, try dropping in a an onion ring. If it sinks to the bottom of the pot and then quickly rises to the top, the oil temp should be ok.
Of course if you have an air fryer forget all this about the oil! Lucky you!