Fried-Not-Fried Onion Rings

Close up of beer-battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
This recipe is provided by Dipper's Backyard BBQ Wars

Onion rings can be cooked easily outdoors without the hassle and fat content of oil. This fried-not-fired version uses the hot airflow from a barbecue in the non-direct cooking area. Though not deep-fried, the onion rings turn out crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, just as though they were cooked the more traditional way.

The onion ring recipe is prepared as if frying, using a basic batter base, but then gets an additional flavoring kick and heat from Sriracha. The recipe can in fact be deep-fried if desired. 

The onion rings make a great snack, side dish, or even an addition to a burger. These ones are think cut to make them easier to handle while cooking on a barbecue and handling with tongs. However, they can be cut thinner if desired.

Swipe to see all photos
An onion ring being lifted out of the batter with the residual batter running off.
Dip each onion ring in the beer batter to coat well.
A pile of lightly seasoned uncooked thick onion rings.
Adding a light seasoning to the onion rings before battering helps with the flavor.
A tray of battered onion rings ready to be placed on the grill.
The quicker you can add the batter and get to the hot grill the better the batter coating will be.
Close up of beer-battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
The flowing hot air temperatures in the BBQ cook the onion rings similar to an Airfryer.

Fried-Not-Fried Onion Rings Recipe

This recipe is provided by Dipper’s Backyard BBQ Wars.
Close up of beer-battered onion rings cooking on a grill.
Onion rings can be cooked easily outdoors without the hassle and fat content of oil in this fried-not-fried version.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
CourseSide Dish


Beer Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1/2 cornstarch (cornflour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can pale ale beer
  • Sriracha sauce to taste
  • sweet paprika for color (optional)

Onion Rings

  • 2 yellow onions
  • all-purpose BBQ rub to taste


  • Kettle Kone


  • Preheat a grill to a high temperature in the indirect heat zone, about 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). The grill needs to be ready to go so the onion rings can be battered and cooked with as little rest time in the process as possible.

Beer Batter

  • In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Slowly pour in the pale ale while whisking continually to keep as smooth as possible. Stop adding the beer when it gets to the desired thickness.
  • Add the Sriracha sauce to your desired taste or heat level. If you want it to have a red color but not add too much Sriracha sauce you can add a small amount of sweet paprika.

Onion Rings

  • Thickly slice the onions then dip them in the batter.
  • Sprinkle the onion rings lightly with the all-purpose BBQ rub.
  • Place the battered onion rings on the preheated grill as soon as practical and cook for up to 20 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and the onions are soft. Serve immediately, otherwise, the batter will soften.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 33mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 2mg

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About Justin Gradon

Like most of us at home Justin started his venture into BBQ on a Weber Kettle then slowly grew the collection to all sorts of different smokers including building his very own custom-built reverse flow stick burner.

Learn more about Justin Gradon
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