Skip to Content

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions are LEGIT. Throw them on burgers, in the best French Onion Soup you’ll ever have, or mix into a dip that’ll put any other onion dip to shame.

Smoked Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions are one of the favorite things that I discovered I loved as an adult, that I assumed I hated as a kid. They are magical. Know what is better than regular caramelized onion though?

SMOKED Caramelized Onions.

Oh. Good. Gravy.

These are just slightly smokey, intensely flavorful, and all the way worth the effort.

Make a few pans of these, make a big batch of my Traeger French Onion Soup, and save some extras for things like these homemade pierogies, complete with homemade DOUGH. You can put them in my French Onion Stuffed Meatballs too, or my Instant Pot French Onion Beef Stroganoff.

Want to eat them for an appetizer? My French Onion Dip would be perfect. How about mixed into this Smoked Caramelized Onion Butter, and then dolloped onto a big baked potato

Homemade French Onion Dip

How to caramelize onions

It is SO easy, especially on the Traeger. Heaps of onions meet butter and a pinch of salt and sugar are put into a cast iron pan, and then just left to do their thing.

They cook on medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes, and you just open up the lid and stir it every 5-10 minutes or so. Remove when they like the photos in this post, and then hoard them as if your life depends on it.

The key to getting good caramelized onions is to just be patient and try not to rush things. Time, patience, and a Traeger or other wood-pellet grill.

No Traeger? No problem. Stovetop caramelized onions are also delicious.

What is the best temperature for caramelized onions on the pellet grill?

I ran these at 325°. I like the level of smoke that happens at that temp, and it doesn’t cook them too fast. The last thing you want is to open up the grill at the end of the cook and have a big pile of burnt ick.

Other times, I’ve cooked them for longer at 275° which was equally delicious, but just takes a little longer than it does at the higher temps.

Cooking these at a lower temperature will help combat that, but I’d stick relatively close-by during the final 10-15 minutes of the cook time.

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions
This level of “done” would be perfect to put on top of burgers!

How long do caramelized onions last?

You should plan on using your cooked caramelized onions in 3-4 days, at the most. If you’d like to hold them beyond that, the Kitchn has a fantastic post on freezing them.

I’d recommend that too. Freeze them in an ice cube tray and then pop into a big freezer baggie, and have them available anytime you want.

How long does it take to properly caramelize onions?

A LONG time. The longer the better, in fact. You really cannot rush it. You can speed things along by grilling at the upper end of the temp range I detailed above, but you’re still looking at an hour, easily. When I cook them at 275° it has taken 5-6 hours at times. This will depend on the onions, the day, what else you have on the grill, what the weather is like, how often you open the grill and for how long it is kept open, and many other factors.

Like most of my recipes, there’s wiggle room here, so keep your eyes open and be aware, and trust your instincts over the recipe.

What are the best types of onions for caramelizing?

I really like to use a mix of different onions including Vidalia or Walla Walla sweet onions, classic yellow onions, and red onions. If you don’t have a mix around, go for the giant sweet onions, and you’ll never be sorry!

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions

Can you caramelize onions in the microwave?

Maybe, but I’m a little offended that you are asking.

Of all the things to cook in the microwave, caramelized onions aren’t one of them.


If you got here searching for that, you’d better stay a while and take some notes cause you need some help, and I have some microwave judgment to pass your way. Don’t worry. I’m here to help. Turn on your oven or your stovetop or your grill and do this the right way already. 😉

In summary, make these. Just do it. You need them in your life, like nowsies.

Yield: Varies

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions

Traeger Smoked Caramelized Onions

Delicious smoked caramelized onions are a whole new level of onion awesomeness.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 6 cups sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Place all ingredients into a large cast-iron skillet. Turn on your Traeger and preheat to 325°.
  2. Place the cast-iron skillet on the grill, shut the lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir well, close the lid again, and cook another 10 minutes before stirring again.
  4. Continue cooking and stirring until the onions are browned and shrunk. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

Love this recipe? Tell your friends!

Follow on Instagram for more!

Dale Kaskey

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

I'm making these right now with temp set at 375 degrees. It has been over two hours and they still have ways to go. I think 45 minutes at 325 is setting us up for a big disappointment.

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

It depends on a lot of different factors. How many onions in the pan, how great your grill is at maintaining temp, what kind of pan you use, etc. Grilling to time is never going to be an exact science, plus these are totally worth the wait. ;)


Wednesday 10th of October 2018

Oh good heavens! I agree the microwave should never be used to caramelize onions. I always do it on the stovetop but this has brought on a whole new level of flavor. SMOKED! Hello, I need this!

Skip to Recipe