The consumption of oil is associated with a number of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, gallbladder disease, and arthritis. But how do you saute without oil?
No water! No broth!
I’ve seen many suggestions/recipes for sauteing in a little water or vegetable broth instead of oil, but (in my opinion) that method just doesn’t do it. The onions taste steamed, not sauteed.
Here’s a method that enables you to deliciously brown onions – without drop of oil. We call this dry saute.
How to Saute without Oil
1. Choose the right size pan.
You don’t want to crowd the onions, so be sure you use a big enough pan.
But you don’t want tooo big of a pan or the onions won’t cook properly.
Here are the pan sizes that I use:
For 2/3 cup of onions, I use a 6-inch pan.
For 1 1/3 cups of onions, I use a little larger pan. A 7- to 8-inch pan works well.
And for 2 cups of onions, I use a pan that’s about 9 to 10 inches in diameter.
2. Heat the pan
Heat pan over medium high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until very warm (hot enough to sizzle).
IMPORTANT! – The key to being able to sauté onions without oil is to brown the onions before cooking – when they first go into the pan – not during or after the cooking process, so be sure your pan is very warm.
3. Add onions.
Add diced onions and stir.
Use a pancake turner-type spatula to stir the onions. The flat edge works better than a spoon to keep onions from sticking to the pan.
The bottom of the onions should begin to brown within about 1 minute.
Reduce heat slightly, continue cooking, stirring often, and allow onions to brown for approximately an additional 4 minutes.
When onions have browned, reduce heat to low and continue cooking until they reach desired doneness.
4. Add 1 tablespoon water.
When onions are done, you can add about 1 tablespoon of water to pan and allow to sit for about 1 minute to get all the yummy brown goodness off the bottom of the pan.
Key to Success
This method takes a little bit of practice before you can get it right every time. The key to success is to have the pan hot enough to brown the onions before they begin to cook. The more the onions cook before they brown the more they will stick to the pan.
How to Saute without Oil (Dry Saute – NOT in water)
- 1 medium onion
- Choose the rightsize pan. (See note in post.)
- Heat the pan until hot. (The key to being able to sauté onions without oil is to be sure your pan is hot before adding onions.)
- Add diced onions and stir using the flat edge of a stiff spatula. The bottom of the onions should begin to brown within about 1 minute.
- Reduce heat slightly,continue cooking, stirring often, and allow onions to brown for approximately an additional 4 minutes.
- When onions have browned, reduce heat to low and continue cooking until they reach desired doneness.
- When onions are done,you can add about 1 tablespoon of water to pan and allow to sit for about 1minute to get all the yummy brown goodness off the bottom of the pan.
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