(with minimal tears)
How to cut an onion with minimal tears. Is it possible? The answer is yes, so put away the tissues and follow these simple rules and steps.
Be sure to check out more of my cooking lessons and time-saving kitchen tips.
The “experts” say store your onions at room temperature. I’m sure there’s a good reason for that but I know that a warm onion is a sure path to fast tears. Those oniony fumes are slowed down when the onion is cold. If you still prefer to store your onions at room temperature, I suggest putting them in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before cutting.
The fewer times your knife touches the onion, the better. Most people cut the onion into slices or quarters and then start banging at it with the knife. Another sure path to tears.
So refrigerate your onions, be efficient with your knife cuts and get it to the size you want with as few cuts as possible. Here’s how it’s done . . .
How to Dice an Onion (see below for onion rings)
Time needed: 2 minutes.
How to Dice or Mince an Onion
- Trim the root
Trim a thin sliver off the root end leaving some of the root visible. You’ll leave some of the root so that the onion does not fall apart while cutting. Just trim enough to cut off the dirty, stringy roots.
- Trim the stem
Trim off the stem end.
- Cut in half
Place the onion on the cutting board root side up and cut it in half, cutting through the center.
Place one of the halves on the cutting board cut side down, slice a slit from stem to root and peel off the papery outer layers.
- Do not cut through the root end
Place one of the halves on the board, cut side down. Begin making cuts starting from about 1/8″ below the root all the way towards the stem end. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE STEM. The idea is keep the onion held together. This will make the next step much easier. Follow the next steps, but notice in this photo that the knife cut did not go to the root.
- Lengthwise cuts
Follow the contour of the onion by starting at one side with the knife parallel to the cutting board.
- Continue to slice following the contour
Angle the knife to 90 degrees as you reach the middle.
- Continue slicing
Then angle the other direction until the final cut is about parallel to the cutting board.
- Curl fingers
Then use your non-knife hand, with fingers curled, to hold the onion steady.
- Cut across
Then start cutting across starting at the stem end.
When you get close to the root end, lay the remaining piece with the root up and cut this way.
How to Slice an Onion into Rings
Trim a thin slice off the stem end and root end leaving some of the root intact so that the onion holds together.
Cut a thin slice off one side of the onion. This will create a flat surface to lay the onion on the cutting board so that it will be steady.
Curl your fingers of your non-knife hand to hold the onion steady and cut straight down to create rings.