Onion Rings in the Ninja Frying System (and a Giveaway!)

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings.psd
If you had told me five years ago that some day in the not so far off future I’d be swooning over a deep fryer, I would have called you a crazy person. First of all, frying food isn’t really necessary. Second of all, If I do want to fry, can’t I just do it in a big pot of oil on the stove? Pshhh. But then I realized that baked doughnuts often don’t have anything on fried doughnuts. That’s one of those sad truths in life (perhaps the saddest) that I’ve been in denial about and trying my very best to fight. But sometimes I get weak and give in. And frying on the stovetop? I have a nightmare and it involves bringing a pot of oil up to a certain temperature and keeping it at that temperature for an extended period of time. It ranks right up there with those nightmares I have where I complete an entire day of work only to wake up and realize I haven’t done a thing and still have to go have an entire day at work and do the same things I already dreamed that I did. Please tell me I’m not alone on this.
Anyway. Frying. I was already starting to realize I probably needed a fryer in my life when my friends at Ninja reached out to me and told me about their new frying system, offering to send me one to try out (Ninja also sent me their slow cooker back in October and a once crockpot-hater became a fan. Also, I met a bunch of the Ninja crew at BlogHer Food and they are all absolutely lovely people and made me love the company even more). Call it fate or an alignment of the stars, but I began swooning for this thing before it even arrived. OK, I know I say this all the time and you probably think I’m delusional, but if you’re frying food at the correct temperature, it’s actually not that bad. And with the Ninja Frying System, it’s easy to maintain oil temperature, so food cooks 40% faster. Because you can cook quicker with the Ninja’s Fusion Heat Technology and immersion basket, you get about 30% less fat than you would in other fryers. I’m not going to tell you frying is healthy because it’s not. But if you’re going to do it on occasion (because… doughnuts!), you’re better off using a fryer like the Ninja that will allow you to get rid of a little bit of the guilt. Plus, you won’t have to spend hours staring at your thermometer watching your oil temperature raise and fall and wondering how to keep it steady. Ugh. I’m so excited that nightmare can end.
Of course, the Ninja Frying System comes with a little recipe booklet and because it was my first time using the fryer, I decided to follow a recommended recipe. Southern onion rings, here I come! I’m a big fan of all kinds of onion rings (always choose them over french fries), but loved that these looked especially thin and kind of string-like. And the ingredient list was super simple.
Southern Onion Rings in the Ninja Frying System (serves about 4):
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large vidalia (sweet) onions, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 C buttermilk
  • 4 t kosher salt, divided
  • 2 t fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 C flour
Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Ingredients.jpg
When you usually wear contacts and you try slicing onions while wearing your glasses, you will notice a major difference. Seriously.
Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Sliced Onions.jpg
Getting the fryer ready was super easy. I simply placed the oil reservoir and control panel in the system, filled it with oil to the fill line, and attached the power cord (it’s a magnetic safety power cord). Lastly, I attached the basket handle.
There aren’t a ton of buttons on the fryer, so it’s tough to get confused as you’re going along. You choose how long you want to fry for and then input the temperature you want the oil to reach. For the onion rings, I wanted 375 degrees.
Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Timer.jpg
Then you hit start and the oil will start heating up! When it reaches the right temperature, it will beep and let you know it’s ready to go.
But before you can fry, you need to finish up the onions!
In one large bowl, combine buttermilk, 2 t salt, and 1 t pepper. Coat the onions in this buttermilk mixture.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Buttermilk Onions.jpg

In another separate shallow bowl, whisk together flour, 2 t salt, and 1 t pepper.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Flour.jpg

Drain the onions from the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Onions Drenched.jpg

The recipe states to let them sit in the flour for about 15 minutes, all coated and delicious looking.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Onions Drenched 2.jpg

And now? You are ready to get your fry on.

The instructions that come with the Ninja tell you how to cook battered foods versus frozen foods. For battered foods, you start by placing the frying basket into the oil.

And using tongs and oven mitts, you individually add food to the basket, holding with tongs for 3 seconds under oil before releasing. As you can probably guess, it took me quite a few batches to get all of these onions fried up.

When I had a single layer of onions in the basket, I put the top on the fryer and let the batch of rings fry for about 2 minutes.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Frying System.jpg

You can watch as your food turns golden.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Fry Basket.jpg

And then raise the basket up and let the onion rings drain a bit.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Fry Basket Rings.jpg

Remove with tongs, to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings First Batch.jpg

And then get going on the other batches.


Ninja Fryer Onions Rings Cookie Sheet.jpg

Of course, there was a little smokiness in my apartment, but I have the MOST sensitive smoke detectors in the world (and once they go off, there’s NO stopping them and they make you believe you are about to burn down the entire apartment complex) and they didn’t make a peep throughout my frying escapades.

And then I indulged. Holy moly. I definitely indulged. Because these onion rings were freaking addicting.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 2.jpg

There are two essential things you must serve with these onion rings. Beer and ketchup.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 7.jpg

Well, the beer is totally necessary and I served Night Shift’s Viva Habanera with the onion rings. Which I might have had as a meal. Oops.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 3.jpg

And maybe I never told you about my ketchup obsession. I can’t remember. These onion rings totally don’t need ANY dipping sauces, but I take any opportunity I can to use food as a vehicle for ketchup. I actually don’t even like french fries that much, but if there’s ketchup, I’ll eat them. If I had to choose between french fries and ketchup, I’d likely choose ketchup. With a spoon. But if it was between these onion rings and ketchup, I’d have to go the way of the onion rings.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 6.jpg

The best thing is that, while frying used to feel like such a process (and safety hazard), the Ninja Frying System made it so easy and mess-free. That’s the best thing, but also maybe the worst thing because now I want to fry all the time. Anything and everything. Did you know I once had fried kool-aid? And fried jelly beans? Just the proof I needed to know that there’s nothing that cannot be fried. But also that that doesn’t necessarily mean everything should be fried. Because fried kook-aid? Not necessary.

Onions are good though. Onions are always good fried.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 7.jpg

There are a bazillion other foods you can fry in the Ninja Frying System and you can find quite a few on their website. I cannot wait to make my first batch of doughnuts in the system. Though easy doughnuts could be the most dangerous things in the world for me. Get home from work at 8:00 p.m. and feeling a craving? No problem! Mix up some dough, heat up the oil in the Ninja and you’re good to go. Making easy arancini is also going to be a hazard in my life. But a welcome one.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 8.jpg

Compounding the simplicity of using the Ninja is the fact that their website also has several videos showing you exactly how to use the system. Totally foolproof.

Ninja Fryer Onions Rings 9.jpg

So, have I sold you on the fact that you absolutely need a fryer in your life?? And that the Ninja is the most fabulous option? Good. I’d say my work here is done, but I also want to give one of you a Ninja Frying System to try out!

The Ninja retails for only $99.99 and also happens to be on sale for $79.99 at Target right now (get your early Christmas shopping on??). Or for now, you can enter my giveaway for a chance to win your very own Ninja Frying System! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me the first food you’d like to fry up in the Ninja Frying System by Sunday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. For extra entries into the giveaway, follow WANM on Twitter and “like” WANM on Facebook (just be sure to leave a separate comment telling us you followed and liked… or that you already do).

I’m quite thrilled with my Ninja Fryer and slow cooker for the time being, but I can’t help be a liiiiitle bit curious about what cooking appliance Ninja will be pulling out of their sleeve next.



  • Bill said:

    I’d try frying a snickers bar!

    June 26, 2013 7:15 am
  • Oh these look incredible! I’ve been craving croquettes so that’s definitely what I would make!

    June 26, 2013 7:33 am
  • Matthew said:


    June 26, 2013 7:49 am
  • Becca said:

    Sweet potato fries or doughnuts

    June 26, 2013 7:49 am
  • This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read
    everthing at alone place.

    June 26, 2013 7:51 am
  • Betty said:

    Since those onion rings have seriously made me drool this morning, It would have to be onion rings (which I love, but never make myself because frying is such a hassle.) Next up would be french fries. I’m a ketchup lover too. :)

    June 26, 2013 8:02 am
  • Karen said:

    Yummmm love onion rings! I made fried chicken once and it was so delicious but the clean up was not fun and worrying about the oil temp (no kitchen thermometer here, oops!) was something else. This product looks pretty neat! I would love to try and make homemade chicken tenders in the Ninja!

    June 26, 2013 8:30 am
  • Erica said:

    sweet potato fries! oh my gosh! What a dangerous kitchen device to own ;) The onion rings look amazing

    June 26, 2013 9:10 am
  • Michaela said:

    I would love to try my hand at homemade mozerella sticks! Yummy!

    June 26, 2013 9:23 am
  • Michaela said:

    I follow you on twitter as well.

    June 26, 2013 9:24 am
  • Erin W said:

    Arancini! (and I’ll have to start doing two a days at the gym immediately after but somehow I think it’ll be completely worth it)

    June 26, 2013 9:31 am
  • Emily said:

    I’d love to fry indian pakora or sweet potato fries.

    June 26, 2013 9:39 am
  • Carol said:

    I’d try my hand at donuts!

    June 26, 2013 9:39 am
  • Maria said:

    Carny food! Corn dogs, funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos! The list goes on and on!

    June 26, 2013 9:51 am
  • mk said:

    Have never used a deep fryer before – I think I’d try some jalepeno poppers.

    June 26, 2013 9:52 am
  • Kristi said:

    I’d love to break in the ninja with a spicy blooming onion…

    June 26, 2013 10:47 am
  • I’d make my SUPER EASY CRONUTS!–Pillsbury Grands biscuits + donut shape + fry oil + ganache = cronut. Bam.

    June 26, 2013 11:09 am
  • And I’m following you on Twitter

    June 26, 2013 11:11 am
  • And on Facebook :)

    June 26, 2013 11:12 am
  • I’d actually try onion rings. We have so many onions in the garden right now and my husband loves onion rings but I have to make them in hot oil on top of the stove.. and they never turn as good as a deep fryer!

    After that I would make donuts. All the time!

    And wings!

    June 26, 2013 11:40 am
  • Danielle said:

    I’d love to make fried calamari. So delicious but temperamental!

    June 26, 2013 12:25 pm
  • Danielle said:

    I follow on Facebook as well.

    June 26, 2013 12:27 pm
  • Shannon said:

    Doughnuts – made baked ones recently and they’re just not the same.

    June 26, 2013 12:37 pm
  • Fried pickles, for sure, but those onion rings look amazing.

    June 26, 2013 12:46 pm
  • Jessie said:

    Those look so good!! I’d definitely do pickles first.

    June 26, 2013 1:32 pm
  • Ann said:

    My husband says that out of all the fancy things I cook for him, I never make his childhood favorite because it requires a fryer. He calls it, generically, “Chinese food,” and as far as I can tell it involves fried chicken. In any case, I’d give it a shot!

    June 26, 2013 1:37 pm
  • Abby said:

    I’d make jalapeno poppers.

    June 26, 2013 1:42 pm
  • Abby said:

    I follow on Twitter.

    June 26, 2013 1:42 pm
  • Emily said:

    I avoid frying because of the process but I’d love to actually fry my falafel, or aranchini. These onion rings look pretty amazing!

    June 26, 2013 1:59 pm
  • lisa said:

    buffalo wings!

    June 26, 2013 2:04 pm
  • Emily said:

    tweet ya later! @threebiterule

    June 26, 2013 2:07 pm
  • Sherry Lykins said:

    I would make homemade french fries!! sharoo1975@yahoo.com

    June 26, 2013 2:16 pm
  • Chelsey said:

    Onion Rings!! I made them in my culinary class and was obsessed!

    June 26, 2013 2:41 pm
  • tripp said:

    I’d do up some beer-battered shrimp!

    June 26, 2013 2:52 pm
  • tripp said:

    I followed you on twitter.

    June 26, 2013 2:52 pm
  • tripp said:

    I already follow you on facebook.

    June 26, 2013 2:53 pm
  • KathrynK said:

    I would fry onion rings!!!

    June 26, 2013 2:54 pm
  • Katie said:

    I’d have to go with sweet potato fries! But those onion rings look mighty tempting…=)

    June 26, 2013 3:08 pm
  • Anne said:

    I would fry italian stuffed olives!

    June 26, 2013 3:08 pm
  • Katie said:

    I also follow on Twitter…

    June 26, 2013 3:09 pm
  • Katie said:

    …and Facebook!

    June 26, 2013 3:10 pm
  • Sue K. said:

    I’d make fried mac and cheese bites! I’ve been wanting to make them for a while but also have a super sensitive smoke detector.

    June 26, 2013 3:21 pm
  • Sue K. said:

    Also following on Twitter! (@sweet26tweets)

    June 26, 2013 3:21 pm
  • Nicole Secondi said:

    I’d love to fry onion rings, of course!!

    June 26, 2013 3:49 pm
  • Kelly D said:

    I would fry up breaded mushrooms. Thanks!

    June 26, 2013 4:30 pm
  • Not to be boring in my answer, but I would have to try these onion rings!!!! YUM!

    June 26, 2013 4:34 pm
  • You don’t have to enter me in the giveaway – I just wanted to say that I’ve TOTALLY had those work dreams. They are the absolute worst!

    June 26, 2013 4:35 pm
  • Katie said:

    maybe some jalapeno poppers!

    June 26, 2013 5:00 pm
  • Diane Vandermast said:

    I’m drooling over those onion rings, so they’d have to be first (maybe with a side of fried chicken?) ;)

    June 26, 2013 5:01 pm
  • Diane Vandermast said:

    I already liked you on Facebook.

    June 26, 2013 5:02 pm
  • Danyell said:

    Pickles!!!! yum!

    June 26, 2013 5:22 pm
  • Amy said:

    I would absolutely love to fry up some Southern hush puppies and okra!
    Have been craving these two things!

    June 26, 2013 5:28 pm
  • This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.

    June 26, 2013 6:08 pm
  • Danielle said:

    Following on Twitter as well.

    June 26, 2013 6:49 pm
  • Lexi said:

    I really want to try frying a cupcake…is that weird?!?

    June 26, 2013 7:44 pm
  • Lexi said:

    I already follow you on twitter, of course!

    June 26, 2013 7:45 pm
  • Lexi said:

    I’m also a facebook fan! Of course ;)

    June 26, 2013 7:45 pm
  • I would just have to try these onion rings! We love onion rings!!

    June 26, 2013 8:20 pm
  • Meghan said:

    Ohhh how I love fried food! I would love to fry up some scallops and shrimp.

    June 26, 2013 9:16 pm
  • Joanna said:

    I would try fried avocados!! :D but i have a krispy kreme donut recipe that’s been sitting around because I’m a bit afraid of trying to fry it on the stovetop….but donuts would be next! :D

    June 26, 2013 9:41 pm
  • jan said:

    YUP! I would fry pickles! Love your blog!

    June 26, 2013 10:20 pm
  • Mark G said:

    Tortilla chips.

    June 26, 2013 10:34 pm
  • Shannon C said:

    Fried avocado!

    June 26, 2013 11:35 pm
  • These onion rings look great! I’d fry anything I could think of using that Ninja fryer!

    June 26, 2013 11:45 pm
  • kathy said:

    I would fry Buffalo Chicken wings. Hands down, then I’d fry up some onion rings to go with them. Yummmmmers!!!

    June 27, 2013 1:05 am
  • Pam U said:

    French fries would be my first frying attempt – a classic, but oh so good!

    June 27, 2013 3:38 am
  • Beth said:

    Onion rings or fish

    June 27, 2013 5:57 am
  • Doughnuts. cause you’re so right, fried doughnuts are way better than baked :) These onion rings are gorgeous!!

    June 27, 2013 9:31 am
  • I like you on Facebook!!

    June 27, 2013 9:32 am
  • And twitter!!

    June 27, 2013 9:33 am
  • Steel Springs said:

    I’d either make onion rings (one of my husband’s favorites) or sweet potato fries.

    June 27, 2013 10:45 am
  • Steel Springs said:

    I follow you on Twitter (@runsteelsprings).

    June 27, 2013 10:46 am
  • Scott said:

    Definitely french fries

    June 27, 2013 11:38 am
  • catharine said:

    gotta fry up some fries!!

    June 27, 2013 12:32 pm
  • Tasha said:

    Sweet potato fries first, those onion rings second!

    June 27, 2013 12:50 pm
  • TomF said:

    I would finaly make Coconut shrimp

    June 27, 2013 12:57 pm
  • Ashley said:

    I would probably cook mozzarella sticks/bites or onion rings first. Most onion rings are too much batter, not enough onion. I would love to make my own.

    June 27, 2013 2:23 pm
  • Ashley said:

    I already follow you on twitter!

    June 27, 2013 2:24 pm
  • Ashley said:

    And liked you on FB!

    June 27, 2013 2:24 pm
  • Blessie Nelson said:

    I would first fry up cayenne peppered battered squid rings with this amazing fryer! So excited about this giveaway! Frying up onion rings also come to a close second! Thanks for the opportunity!

    June 27, 2013 3:59 pm
  • Blessie Nelson said:

    I like you on FB – Blessie nelson

    June 27, 2013 4:10 pm
  • Blessie Nelson said:

    I follow you on twitter – @Bless_Eliz

    June 27, 2013 4:11 pm
  • Margot C said:

    I sounds crazy but I read this recipe for avocado slices coated with panko crumbs fried that I really want to make!

    June 27, 2013 6:35 pm
  • Gia Grossman said:

    I want to make those onion rings! But I’d also probably fry everything in my kitchen lol!

    June 27, 2013 6:37 pm
  • Margot C said:

    I follow you on Twitter as @AnnaZed

    June 27, 2013 6:37 pm
  • Gia Grossman said:

    I follow you on Twitter!

    June 27, 2013 6:37 pm
  • Margot C said:

    I like you on fb

    June 27, 2013 6:37 pm
  • Gia Grossman said:

    I liked you on Facebook!

    June 27, 2013 6:39 pm
  • Judy Miller said:

    ………..sphingi…………using NaNa’s recipe!

    June 27, 2013 8:30 pm
  • Alison C. said:

    I’d love to try fried pickles. I heard about them on a radio show the other day!

    June 27, 2013 8:37 pm
  • Alison C. said:

    I liked you on Facebook!

    June 27, 2013 8:41 pm
  • joan said:

    I have often said to myself I should get a deep fryer, and then like you I talked myself out of it. But seeing those onion rings, which would be the first thing I make, I would love this deep fryer! They look soooo good.

    June 27, 2013 9:01 pm
  • Tabathia B said:

    boneless chicken breast

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    June 27, 2013 9:04 pm
  • Tabathia B said:

    like on facebook: michelle b

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    June 27, 2013 9:06 pm
  • Carrie said:

    I’d fry up some beer batter fried cheese curds. Yum!

    June 27, 2013 9:32 pm
  • Carrie said:

    I am like you on FB. :)

    June 27, 2013 9:33 pm
  • i need that ninja fryer like yesterday!

    June 27, 2013 10:30 pm
  • Diane Smith said:

    Fried chicken strips. I would LOVE this fryer!

    June 28, 2013 2:03 am
  • Diane Smith said:

    Following you on facebook.

    June 28, 2013 2:05 am
  • Diane Smith said:

    Following you on Twitter

    June 28, 2013 2:10 am
  • Anne said:

    I LOVE to cook so I would fry chicken wings and experiment with various sauces for variety (buffalo, honey, teriyaki, spicy, etc.) Then I would fry onion rings and make it a sinful day!

    June 28, 2013 9:18 am
  • Anne said:

    I follow your blog and find it very entertaining and helpful

    June 28, 2013 9:21 am
  • Rae said:

    There is only one answer to this question: FRIED PICKLES!

    June 28, 2013 9:31 am
  • Rae said:

    following you on twitter

    June 28, 2013 9:32 am
  • Rae said:

    and liked you on facebook!

    June 28, 2013 9:33 am
  • Mmmmnn. I would make fried asparagus and mushrooms. But having a fryer could be dangerous. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

    June 28, 2013 10:06 am
  • Jen said:

    I would make corn dogs!!!

    June 28, 2013 1:07 pm
  • Jen said:

    I follow you on facebook!

    June 28, 2013 1:08 pm
  • Lisa C. said:

    Followed on twitter :)

    June 28, 2013 4:13 pm
  • Lisa C. said:

    I would love to try making this onion recipe, and that famous “flowering” version of it! Oh and I hear beer battered pickles are amazing as well.

    June 28, 2013 4:15 pm
  • Lisa C. said:

    Liked on Facebook! :)

    June 28, 2013 4:16 pm
  • Definitely avocado, sweet potato or onions!

    June 28, 2013 4:54 pm
  • I follow on twitter!

    June 28, 2013 4:56 pm
  • I liked on facebook!

    June 28, 2013 4:59 pm
  • Jenn said:

    I would finally attempt to double fry french fries for the perfect french fry…maybe with some truffle oil drizzled on top!

    June 28, 2013 8:31 pm
  • Ashley said:

    The first thing I would fry up would be homemade eggrolls!

    June 29, 2013 1:18 am
  • Elis B. said:

    First thing I’d fry would be french fries.

    June 29, 2013 2:14 am
  • Elis B. said:

    Following WANM on Twitter as @bfooduf

    June 29, 2013 2:16 am
  • Elis B. said:

    Liked WANM on Facebook

    June 29, 2013 2:16 am
  • lizzy said:

    I would like to try french fries!

    June 29, 2013 11:34 am
  • lizzy said:

    I follow you on twitter (lizzyallen123)

    June 29, 2013 11:34 am
  • lizzy said:

    I like you on facebook.

    June 29, 2013 11:35 am
  • Andrea said:

    Cauliflower tempura, amazing!!

    June 29, 2013 7:20 pm
  • Karen T. said:

    Fry up some fish.

    June 29, 2013 7:56 pm
  • Brittany said:

    Mozzarella sticks!!!!

    I follow on twitter and Facebook!

    June 30, 2013 10:37 am
  • Carolyn G said:

    French fries

    June 30, 2013 9:18 pm
  • I have been craving Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls, so that would be first up…then beignets…beer-battered onion rings…tempura…ravioli…

    July 1, 2013 10:54 pm
  • Ferdinand said:

    Great article.

    July 2, 2013 5:06 am
  • anne said:

    Even though I did not with the Ninja Fryer (Boo-Hoo) iIwould like to purchase the fryer. It says to add 3 L of oil. Do you have to add that much ? Or can yu decrease it depending on the amount you cook?

    July 25, 2013 10:39 am
  • Sues said:

    @Anne- Hi! There is a “fill line” on the fryer and different recipes don’t specify the amount of oil needed, so I’m assuming you’re supposed to fill it to the line every time. However, I can’t imagine you’d need to fill it all the way if just frying something small (though don’t take my word for it as it could be a safety thing!). I will email my contact and see what they say :) Also, you can save your oil and reuse it… so long as you’re frying something similar next time!

    July 26, 2013 7:31 am
  • Chefferre said:

    I own the slow cooker as we well, love it! I am going to fry green beans andd zuchini tonight!

    January 25, 2014 3:16 pm
  • Cheffette said:

    I own the slow cooker as we well, love it! I am going to fry green beans and zuchini tonight!

    January 25, 2014 3:20 pm

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