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Caramelized onions/crockpot

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I am seeking a no-fuss recipe for caramelized onions. I made a delicious batch in a dutch oven over the weekend, and successfully reduced the onions down to a scrumptious mahogany marmalade. Only problem was that is took 6 hours!

I once tried to caramelize onions in the crockpot, but I ended up with the onions swimming in liquid. I was wondering if I could cook the onions covered in the crockpot for a few hours, then remove the cover for many more and end up with the same delicious onions that you can make on the stovetop.

I am just not sure how well the liquid will reduce in the crockpot, nor how well the onions caramelize in a ceramic pot versus an enameled cast-iron dutch oven.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  1. I just did a pile of onions in the slow cooker last week. Have a look at my post about peeling the damned things.
    Anyway, they came out great. I left the lid off a bit (about an inch) and left it on low for 16hrs.
    Sweet as honey and nicely browned.
    YMMV

    1. 6 hours is a very long time! I think your heat was too low if it took that long.

      You've figured out that evaporation is a key step and that's really all you need to worry about, I think. Crock pots will hold the moisture in the pot unless you remove the cover. If you try the crock pot version again, maybe cover the pot for the first hour to get things moving, then remove it. I think "a few hours" might be too much. I think in a crock pot you're going to end up with more of a soupy-gooey style end result no matter what. There's just not enough heat in there to really create the fond in the bottom of the pan/pot/crock. Over the stove, you will likely get that of course.

      1. I do them in about 3 hours in a cast iron dutch oven in the oven. Put them in with some butter at 400 for an hour with the lid on, then stir and put back in with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour 45 min. Then I move it to the stovetop and boil off the water, repeat a couple of times. They come out beautifully.

        1. Caramelized onions work great in the crockpot. I use crockpot full of sliced onions, a stick of butter and let it cook on low all day. I was doubtful but it worked great. More ways to do it:

          Slow cooker caramelized onion question
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371014

          caramelizing onions
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/284120

          caramelized onions in a crock pot
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/280697