Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion is one of the most legendary chain restaurant dishes ever invented. While today there are knockoffs at plenty of other chains, including Chili’s Awesome Blossom and Lone Star’s Texas Rose, the Bloomin’ Onion, which was invented by Outback founder Tim Gannon, is arguably the best.

But how is the giant appetizer, which appears to be made with an abnormally large onion, made?

The most important step in making a Bloomin’ Onion is getting the cut down.

In Todd Wilbur’s new book, Top Secret Recipes Step-By-Step, he points us toward this contraption used by Outback (which was once top secret but is now common knowledge and widely available), which perfectly slices an onion into 24 "petals."

But you can also do it by hand, by buying the largest onion you can find (at least four inches across), peeling it, cutting off about a quarter of the stem end, and making even slices all the way around; first by making four slices directly across from each other, then four more slices in the middle of those, then two more between each of those cuts. The onion is then cored, coated in breading, then lowered face-down with a spider into a deep-fryer.  It’s flipped halfway through, and voila! An 800 calorie appetizer is born.

Can't enough of Outback Steakhouse? Check out more secrets of this Americanized meat restaurant chain.

1. Outback’s founders never visited Australia.



Yep: When the founders were putting together their business plan, none of them had ever visited the continent and they weren’t even particularly well-versed in its food or customs. Apparently a research trip was proposed but shot down, because all the founders were going for was “American food and Australian fun.”

2. Outback’s steak spice blend contains 17 spices

Marinated meat

Close-up of delicious marinated meat. (iStock)

That spice blend took a long time to develop, but it wasn’t created for the restaurant; co-founder Tim Gannon actually developed the recipe while working as a chef at a restaurant called Copeland’s in New Orleans. So if anything, Outback’s steaks have more of a Cajun kick than an Aussie one.

3. Outback’s menu is pork-free in Malaysia

Pork belly slices

Raw pork belly slices - studio shot (iStock)

Malaysia is the only primarily-Muslim country the chain operates in, and Bloomin’ Brands removed all pork from the Outback menu there to adhere to dietary laws.

4. Outback’s menu varies regionally


(Outback Steakhouse)

The menu at Outback isn’t actually exactly the same across the board. You’ll find crawfish and sweet potatoes in the South, lobster in the East, and Alaskan King Crab in the West.

5. Outback’s steaks are griddled, not grilled



All steaks at Outback are griddled on a flat-top in butter, not grilled or broiled like at many other steakhouses.

Check out more outrageous Outback facts.

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