Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings

TIMEJune 8, 2018

Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings

Yield: Serves 4

Method: Indirect grilling

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grilling Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Grill/Gear: Can be grilled over charcoal or gas. You also need toothpicks.

Shop: You need firm outer onion rings for this recipe, so look for large sweet onions.

Insider Tip: I call for the onion rings to be dipped in hot sauce here, but for an interesting variation, brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce instead.

Bacon-grilled onion rings rocked the blogosphere a few years ago—it was love at first sight and first bite. They’re based on the simple premise that bacon makes everything taste better (it does), and, yes, the salty-smoky bacon really seems to make the onions taste sweeter. The bacon serves another purpose: giving you some of the crunch associated with batter-fried onion rings. The hot sauce brings it all into focus.

  • 2 large sweet onions such as Vidalias, Walla Wallas, or Texas Sweets
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce, such as sriracha or Frank’s RedHot
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced bacon
  • Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate

1. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high.

2. Trim the ends off the onions and peel off the thin, papery skins. Slice each onion crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Carefully pop the centers out of each slice, keeping the two outermost layers together. (Two layers make a sturdier foundation for the bacon.) Set aside the largest onion rings. You should have 8. Save the remaining onion pieces for another use.

3. Pour the hot sauce into a mixing bowl or shallow dish. Brush each onion ring with the sauce.

4. Spiral each onion ring with bacon, slightly overlapping each strip, until the ring is covered. (You’ll need 2 to 3 strips of bacon for each onion ring.) Use toothpicks to secure the ends of the bacon.

5. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

6. Arrange the onion rings on the grill grate, away from the fire, and close the lid. Cook until the bacon is golden brown and sizzling, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the onion rings on a wire rack spread with paper towels. Dig in.


Instead of hot sauce or barbecue sauce, brush the onion rings with melted butter and season them with your favorite barbecue rub. Or brush them with warm maple syrup and dredge the onion rings in brown sugar before wrapping them with bacon.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S’Mores” by Steven Raichlen. Copyright 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson. Published by Workman Publishing.

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