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beer-battered onion rings

Course: Entree | Beer Style: Pilsner

Burgers with Smashed Avocado & Beer-Battered Onion Rings

I usually go for red onions over white or yellow for these thin, crispy, beer-battered onion rings. I love the extra sweet-pungent wallop of acid that red onions carry. I also find that they hold their form better when heated, becoming tender-crisp instead of watery or limp. Naturally, keep some extra chilled pilsner or helles on hand for serving alongside.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 4


Onion Rings
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/4 –inch rings
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 12oz (about 1 1/2 cups) pale lager (like pilsner or helles)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil, for frying
Burger Assembly
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small lime
  • 4 burger buns


  1. 1. Line a large plate or baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
  2. 2.  Whisk 1 cup flour with baking powder, paprika and salt; gradually whisk in lager. You’re aiming for the texture of thin pancake batter or heavy cream; add more lager or flour, if needed. Set aside.
  3. 3. Fit a large pot with a thermometer. Add two inches of oil to the bottom of the pot; heat over medium-high until the oil reaches 375 °F. Dredge onion rings in the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Shake off excess flour; dip in the beer batter. Lift onion rings from the batter and, allowing any excess batter to drip back into the bowl, carefully add half the onion rings to the oil. Fry, turning occasionally with long-handled tongs or a slotted spoon, until the crust is a crisp golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer rings to the prepared towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Bring the oil back to 375 °F; repeat with remaining onion rings. Set aside.
  4. 4. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop the avocado; add to a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the juice and zest of the lime (about 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest). Smash the mixture into a coarse spread with the tines of a fork. Set aside.
  5. 5. Shape the beef into four equal patties; season on all sides with remaining salt.
  6. 6. Heat a grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill-pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat). Oil the grill (or pan) and cook the burgers, flipping once, until cooked to desired temperature -- 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium.
  7. 7. Divide burgers between buns; top with smashed avocado and onion rings.

Julia Clancy is a nationally published writer, chef and recipe developer. Beyond working in restaurants, on working farms, and as the lead recipe developer of a national food magazine, Julia also writes about people and place, mostly through the lens of eating and drinking. She currently splits her time between Boston, Los Angeles and her lodestar for beer: Vermont.

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