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Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
Cut the stems off both sides of the onion. Cut the onion into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Onions are very wobbly. Be careful while slicing and use a mandolin if necessary. Try to stabilize the onion before you slice.
Add the flour to a bowl large enough to dredge the onions. Season the flour with the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Add the buttermilk and egg to the seasoned flour. Beat and stir to combine.
Add the panko breadcrumbs to a separate bowl large enough to dredge the onions.
Dredge the sliced onions in the flour buttermilk mixture and then the panko breadcrumbs. Keep a moist kitchen towel handy for you hands. They will get sticky.
Place the onion rings on a plate. After breading the onions, freeze the onion rings for 15 minutes. This is an optional step, but highly recommended. It helps keep the breading intact.
Place the onions in the air fryer. Do not stack them. Cook in batches if needed.
Spray with cooking oil.
Cook for 10-12 minutes on 370 degrees. I found that my onion rings did not need a flip. Check in on yours to determine both sides are golden brown and crisp. Flip if necessary.
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir.