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May 1, 2010 06:47 AM

what is the temperature to sweat onions?

When I've done this on a stove-top, I set the heat to med-low, and this works well. But I'd like to try doing it with my electric griddle. But I have no idea what numerical temperature equates to "med-low."

Anyone done this on an electric griddle? If so, what's the approximate temp I should set it to?


p.s. And, as long as I am asking this topic: What temp should I use to caramelize onions, if I wanted to do that instead?

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  1. No two electric appliances are precisely the same. Even the same make/model will differ to some degree. "Medium low" is generally at about the 20 - 30 percent range of the readings on your control. A control with numbers 1 - 10 would be set at approx. 2 as a starting point. The key to understanding your griddle is to set the temperature about where you believe it should be and work with it until you get the "feel" of your appliance's performance. The biggest mistake new cooks make in caramelizing onions is to set the heat higher than necessary - I suppose because they get in a hurry. Start slow, sweat them down and they will eventually begin to caramelize.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Well. What I am hoping for is an answer like, "Set it for 220 degrees." Numbers like 1 or 3 are, indeed irrelevant since (as you noted) a "3" will vary from machine to machine as to what temperature that equates to.

      But my machine can be set for specific temperatures, and I think I did not make that clear in my OP. Sorry about that. :-)

      So, again; to be more specific: What temp should I set for sweating onions? And what temp for caramelizing?

      1. re: santamonica811

        Start with 300* for sweating and 325* for caramelizing, that's my best educated guess. You may have to adjust the temp up or down a bit, especially for caramelizing, but these temps are a good starting point.

        I had to think about this for awhile as I have gas, and am so accustomed to just adjusting the flame. It was a good mental exercise.