homemade crispy fried onion string recipe

Homemade Fried Onion Strings

These homemade crispy thin onion strings are a fun alternative to fries and make for a great burger topper, too.

The absolute key to this recipe is the temperature of the oil. This will determine entirely if your onion strings end up golden and crispy, or if they end up greasy and soggy. In fact, this rule applies to anything you’re frying.  The oil must be over 350f to achieve those crispy results. I recommend you actually fry at 375f, because this will give you even faster crispiness. And – you should wait for the oil to reach back up to temperature between the batches. You’d be surprised how much the temperature drops once the food goes in! I recommend using a thermometer to accurately check the oil temp.

As with most fried foods, it’s not recommended you make these onion strings in advance. You CAN make them the day of and leave them sitting on a rack – this will be cold but crispy. You can reheat them for 5-10 minutes in a 400f oven if desired.

Remember – these are onion strings, not onion rings. It’s all about the thickness of the slices. Aim for slices that are 1/8″ thick. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a kitchen mandoline, which helps you slice fruit & veg razor thin. They’re not expensive, and you will find yourself using it for lots of other recipes, like super fine coleslaw or this fennel salad.

I use my Hardcore Carnivore Red rub to season the flour for these onion strings – if you don’t have it, you can use a combo of preferred spices, but why wouldn’t you make your life easier and just use a super-tasty all in one?

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homemade crispy fried onion string recipe

Homemade Fried Onion Strings

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2-4 1x



2 large sweet or yellow onions
1 pint buttermilk (16 fl oz)
2.5 cups AP flour
¼ cup Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning
4-6 cups peanut, canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Peel and finely slice an onion into ⅛” thick slices. I recommend using a mandoline for this to get thin slices. 
  2. Place the sliced onions into a non-reactive bowl, and pour over the buttermilk, making sure everything is submerged. Soak the onions in the buttermilk for 30-60 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl or resealable bag, place the flour and seasoning, and mix well.
  4. Place the oil into a high sided pot, and place over high heat. Heat to 375f. 
  5. Drain the onions, then take a handful of onions and drop them into the flour mixture. Toss them in the flour to coat, then shake off any excess and lower into the hot oil. 
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy. Then use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them, and place them onto a rack to drain any excess oil. 
  7. Repeat the process in batches until all onions are fried. Wait for the oil to come back up to temperature between each batch. 
  8. Best served 3-5 minutes after frying, or hold them on the rack until ready to use – this applies to same day use only. You can reheat them for 5-10 minutes in a 400f oven if desired.  
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: sides
  • Method: frying
  • Cuisine: American