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+ servings
a platter of smoked onion rings

Beer Battered Smoked Onion Rings

Smoked onion sliced and deep fried in a beer batter and served with a chipotle ranch.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword smoked onions
Cook Time 1 hour
Frying Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 20 rings
Calories 480kcal
Cost $10.00


  • 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia work as well also)
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups avocado oil
  • 2 cups flour, divided (Reserve ½ cup of the flour for the dredge and use the remaining 1 ½ cups for the batter)
  • 2 tablespoons ultimate dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 12 ounce pilsner, (a lager works well also)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt Use to dash on the finished onion rings.

Chipotle Ranch Dip

  • ½ cup ranch dressing (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo Sauce from chipotles
  • 1 finely diced chipotle


For Smoking Onions

  • Prep Smoker: Prepare the smoker for a low heat cook. Target 225 degrees Fahrenheit using your favorite wood. We strongly recommend fruit woods for a sweeter and less smoke intense flavor. Oak or hickory will be nice, but adds more of the smoky flavor. Avoid Mesquite as that can burn too smoky.
  • Smoke: After the smoker is at temperature, place the entire onion on the smoker and smoke for one hour. Remove the onion from the smoker and then place it in the refrigerator to cool down.

For Onion Rings

  • Heat Oil: In a large Dutch oven, prepare a combination of avocado and olive oil (50/50 blend), use 2 cups of each. Place it on a burner on medium/low heat and get the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oil is too cool, the frying takes longer and you are left with soggy onion rings.
    If the oil is too hot, then the batter will burn before getting crunchy all the way through. So be sure to target 375 degrees F.
  • Dredge: Use ½ cup of the flour in a medium size bowl or tray. Drop four or five pieces of onion into the tray and coat with the flour.
  • Batter – Add flour, corn starch, and dry rub together in a large bowl. Then slowly whisk in the beer. After combined it should have the texture of pancake batter. Thick, but not dense. Add a little water if it’s too thick until it’s the correct texture. Don’t overmix or you over-activate the gluten and it becomes gummy.
  • Frying Onion Rings – Unless you have a commercial fryer, the best technique is to fry the smoked onions in smaller batches. We use a large cast iron dutch oven. Once they are placed into the fry oil, the oil cools down, and by only doing in four or five rings per batch you get the right texture and then allow the oil to heat up again in between the batches. Another reason for a good instant read thermometer or frying oil thermometer.
  • When finished frying, place the onion rings on a paper towel or a cookie drying rack, and immediately dash with kosher salt for more flavor. Let cool and eat with your favorite dip.

Chipotle Ranch Dip

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Place into a dipping dish.


About Cooking Time: We tested at two and three hours, and after one hour the onion starts to get too soft for onion rings. Two hours would be great for a smoked onion dip, three gets too mushy.
Cool Onions: Place the onion into the refrigerator for four hours, or the freezer for one hour to cool down. As the onion cools you can prepare the fryer oil. After the onions have cooled, remove the outer skin of the onion, and cut into pencil width rings.
Tool Tip: Having a good instant read thermometer is a key tool we recommend for any type of cooking. The Thermoworks Thermapen One is the best instant read thermometer on the market and is a great tool for monitoring fry oil.
Advanced Preparation: You can smoke the onion the day before and cool it down overnight in the fridge. If you do this, then be sure to cover the sheet tray with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
Gluten Free Option – We tested this recipe with both gluten and gluten-free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 GF mix) and the ratios were the same.
Beer – We used Pilsner, Stout, Amber, and IPA for the variations of beer batter and the Pilsner and Amber had the most balanced flavor. IPA was a little bitter and the stout beer masked the flavor of the smoked onion.


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg