Mastering the Art: How to Cut Onions Like a Champ

How to Cut Onions

Cutting onions may seem like a simple task, but for many home cooks, it can be a tearful and frustrating experience. However, with the right techniques and a little practice, you can slice and dice onions like a pro, without shedding a single tear. In this guide, we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to cut onions like a champ.

Choose the Right Knife

Before you even start cutting your onions, make sure you have the right tool for the job. A sharp chef’s knife or a santoku knife works best for cutting onions. A dull knife will crush the onion cells, releasing more of the tear-inducing compounds, so always ensure your knife is sharp.

Prepare Your Workspace

Set up a clean, spacious workspace with good lighting. Make sure you have a stable cutting board to work on to avoid any accidents. It’s also a good idea to have a garbage bowl nearby for onion scraps and a bowl of water to rinse your hands if they start to get sticky.

Trim the Ends

Start by trimming off the stem and root ends of the onion. This will create flat surfaces to work with and make it easier to peel off the outer skin.

Peel the Onion

Peel off the papery outer skin of the onion, making sure to remove any dry or discolored layers. If the onion is slippery, you can cut it in half horizontally to create more stability while peeling.

Slice or Dice

Now it’s time to decide how you want to cut your onion. For slices, lay the onion flat on the cutting board and make even slices across the width of the onion. For diced onions, start by cutting the onion in half from root to stem. Place one half flat-side down and make vertical cuts parallel to the cutting board, being careful not to cut all the way through the root end. Then, make horizontal cuts perpendicular to your first cuts, again being careful not to cut through the root. Finally, make downward cuts to dice the onion into small pieces.

Practice Proper Technique

To minimize tears while cutting onions, keep the root end intact as long as possible. The root end contains the highest concentration of the tear-inducing compounds, so cutting it last will reduce their release. Additionally, breathe through your mouth and avoid breathing through your nose to reduce the amount of onion vapours that reach your eyes.

Store Leftover Onions Properly

If you don’t use the entire onion, store the leftover portion in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. Make sure to use it within a few days to ensure freshness.

With these tips and techniques, you can conquer your fear of cutting onions and become a champ in the kitchen. Remember to choose the right knife, prepare your workspace, trim the ends, peel the onion, and practice proper cutting techniques to achieve perfect slices or dices every time. So, grab your knife, sharpen your skills, and get ready to chop onions like a pro!