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best way to cut an onion

What Are The Best Ways To Cut An Onion?

There are several ways to cut an onion. We can slice an onion, dice an onion, Lyonnais onion, chopping onion, onion ring etc. Here we will discuss few onion cutting tricks on how tear free onion cutting can be done. Also you will get what part of the onion makes you cry. Let’s see the best way to cut onions without crying.

Slicing An Onion

First thing you should do is to cut the tip and root off or chop off both ends and cut right into the middle of the onion. Now peel outer papery layer of the onion. It is actually the skin of onion.

how to chop a red onion

You don’t ever want to peel when onion is totally round because that’s just such a real pain. We can see that there is a root side and there is the top side and you guys want to cut on the top side. Remember never never never cut on the absolute side of the onion. The easiest cut is going to be the slice and all that means is you see the rainbow which going to continue the rainbow and you know eight inch quarter inch is usually a slice and that’s the slice.

how to properly cut an onion

The easiest way to slice an onion is just to look at the lines on the onion and cut with those lines. If you are cutting with those lines the onions going to stay more intact will stay together more when you are cooking once.

Slicing can be of two methods, Vertical slice and horizontal slice.

Dicing An Onion

Dice is a tougher cut. It’s really a 3-step process. Now you have to determine first is it a quarter inch or a half inch dice. If it is a quarter inch dice you are going to go quarter inch quarter inch quarter inch without going all the way through. So that will be the first cut. So here we go.

how to dice an onion video

A quarter inch slice making sure not to go through the onion and then we’re gonna come over the top and do quarter inch in again leaving the little area back here connecting the onion. Once you have done your two kinds of quarter inch cuts you’re just going to finish with a cut you already know which is a slice. So we are going to do a quarter inch slice and this way you make perfect quarter inch dices. Now if the cut calls for half inch you’re just going to take that process and do half inch cuts instead of quarter inch cuts.

Dice could be in three sizes. Small, medium and large. These various sizes of diced onion can be used as for the demand of the recipe.

Lyonnais An Onion

Yes, Lyonnais is in my opinion is the master of all cuts. If the center of the onion being the center of a wheel you’re actually gonna cut in the like spokes but you’re only going to come to about here which is top kind of top dead center 90 degrees. So talking about so every ¼ or 8inch you just want to come in but you want to angle that knife each time. So by the time you’re eat the top you’re a dead 90 just like that now with the other side flip it over because I’m right-handed.

how to cut an onion into slices

I want to cut from right and if you’re left-handed you’re obviously going to cooking left. So by the time you’re at 90 there you go and this is the master of all knives. That is great for straw fry and really great for French Onion soup works for everything. I really love this cut right here.

Chopping An Onion

For chopping an onion all you need to do is use the tip part of the knife and run it on the onion. The motion is pulling the knife towards you and making incipience as thin as possible. Now you can see that the onion is still attached almost somewhere around half a centimeter to the root side.

how to chop an onion gordon ramsay

When you reached the end hold it firmly and turn the angle. Now it’s time to cut horizontally but make sure you keep your finger safe and away from the blade. Run the knife again in rocking motion and make sure you can even and close cut.

Onion Ring

At first cut the top off the onion and do not un-peel it. Then cut a little bit off one of the sides of the onion.

how to cut onion rings for burgers

We will not use those out always any way and it just gives us a flat surface to work on. Now you can do nice thing rings or something like a burger.

onion rings

You can do a nice thicker slice and press it and make them into those individual layers and again if there’s any of the outer bit that is a little bit rubbery. In this way you can make onion ring.

Why Do Onions Make Us Cry When We Cut Them?

Do you know what part of the onion makes you cry? The common onion tends to form a single bulb with several layers. The inside of the onion is made of many cells full of enzymes. These enzymes are given the onion their taste and are the culprits behind you wanting to claw your eyes.

When you cut an onion you are causing the enzymes be released. They break down amino acid Sulphur dioxide (SO2) which is present in the onion into Sulfenic acid (RSOH). These acids are then made into a volatile gas commonly known as the onion lachrymatory factor. In case you didn’t know volatile substances evaporate easily at room temperature. This gas is an eye irritant. It diffuses up to your eyes and creates that stinging sensation. You start tearing up, blinking and squinting because your eyes are trying to flush the irritant out.   

In other words, when we are cutting an onion, there is a chemical reaction which creates similar chemicals used in tear gas. This chemical produces tears in our eyes. That is the chemical actually makes our eyes water.

The research also shows that when you cut an onion, it actually produces certain gases. When the gas is in contact with your eyes, it makes them tear up.

The 16 Ultimate Tear Free Tricks for Cutting Onions

Many people do not want to cut to cut an onion because of the smell and they don’t want to get watery eyes. But you don’t need to fear the tear. Read below described best way to cut onions without crying and also know how do you stop your eyes from burning from Onions. By following below tips you get your eyes to stop burning when cut an onion. These tear free onion cutting tricks and tips really help to avoid crying when you cut an onion.

Cut Onion with Sharp Knife:

When you cut an onion, make sure your knife is super sharp. When you use a dull knife to cut your onion, you break the cells of the onion, releasing the gases into the air that makes your cry. So the trick is use a sharp knife. Because it dames fewer cells. So less damages cells create less gas and no tear in your eyes. Also using a sharp knife actually lead a less slips and cuts the onion without tears. 

Keep Onion in Fridge:

If you have time in advance, you can put it in the fridge over night and take it out right before cutting up. When you cut the onion, it’s not going to produces much gas and you are not going to tear up as much. Because chilled onion do not releases those chemicals that fast. Also cold temperatures can save your eyes from the burn. When compounds are cold they are less likely to create the gas.

Run A Fan:

We run a fan when cut an onion. Because to try and blow away the sulfuric fumes and blow it that way so it doesn’t come straight into your eyes. So you will be able to disperse the acids that are released from the onion.

Keep Onion Somewhere:

But what if you just bought the onions and you to cut them right away. Well there is another thing you can do. You can simply cut them into four pieces and put them on the plate or lets it seat outside or somewhere you are not going to be next to it. So take the onion and cut it into four equal parts. Once you cut it into four pieces, you can keep those pieces at a place where you would not be there at least 15-20 minutes. So there after you can very easily cut the onions and it will not make you cry and majority gas have left the onion.

Stick Tongue out and Breathe Method:

Stick your tongue out and then breathe through your mouth. This is one of the easiest and simple method to stop tears while cutting the onion.

Soak Onion in Water:

Soak the onions in water before cutting them. But this may loose the flavor in it. This is one of the widely used methods to avoid tears while chopping onions.

Cut Onion Next to Window:

Cut the onions next to a window, or in a well ventilated area. So that the gases released from an onion are pulled away from your eyes.

Cut Root Part of Onion:

The root is which part of the onion is it which makes you cry. The root portion of onion tends to release the gases which makes you cry. So what you need to do is before peeling the onion you have to put the knife approximately half an inch deep in a slanting manners so that it will completely remove this section. Then once you peel the onion you can easily chop the onion without cry.

Cut Onion Under Water or Under Running Water:

You could also cut an onion under running water or inside a basin of water. This will prevent the gas from escaping and coming up to your eyes.

Stick a Piece of Bread:

Holding a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting an onion. By holding a piece of bread in your mouth, you are drawing in the gas before it reaches your eyes.

Rub a Lemon Juice on Cutting Board:

To rub the cutting board with a piece of lemon before cut an onion. Then you can cut it easily and will prevent discomfort in your eyes. This trick can also help you prevent strong smells of onion from penetrating into the board.  

Light a Candle Method or Open Flame:

Cut an onion next to an open flame works surprisingly well. The flames create convection pulling air and most of the fumes which are then incinerated and the flames will burn off the fumes. Light a candle and keep this near the chopping board and cut the onion. Let the gases burn off here from your little candle. It is believed that the fumes released by the onions are drawn into the candle flame.

Wash Onion Before Chop:

Take an onion and cut the top part and root part of the onion. Then peel the papery skin from the onion. After peel the onion wash it immediately thoroughly by water before chop. Then chop the onion after wash it. You will able to cut the onion without tearing.

Microwave the Onion:

Cut the tips of the onion then keep the onion for 30 seconds in normal power into microwave. Take the onion out from microwave oven after 30 sec. Then peel and cut the onion without having any tears.

Chew Gum Method:

Yes, chewing gum can stops onion tears. Chewing gum while cutting onions prevents tears by forcing you to breathe through your mouth. This disperses the irritation that a significantly smaller amount reaches the lachrymal glands preventing them from being irritate enough to release tears.

Use a Goggle:

You can use a goggle when you cut an onion and it will save your eyes from the burn. Wear well fitted tight goggles while cutting the onions so that the gases will not enter into your eyes.

The 16 Ultimate Tear Free Tricks to Cut an Onion

  • Put the onions in the fridge so that they less likely to create the gas.
  • Run a fan when cut an onion, so the fumes doesn’t come straight into your eyes.
  • Cut the onion into four pieces and put them somewhere to left the gas from onion
  • The easiest and simple method to stop tears while cutting the onion is to Stick your tongue out and then breathe through your mouth.
  • Soak the onion in water to avoid tears while chopping
  • Cut the onions next to a window or table fan to release gases from it
  • Remove the root before peeling the onion as this portion tends to release the gases.

Choose The Right Onion for Different Food Preparation

how to cut an onion without crying

Onions are in different colors, sizes and shapes. There are Yellow or Brown Onion, White Onion, Red Onion, Sweet Onion, Shallots etc.

Yellow or Brown Onion:

The yellow/brown onion has a strong flavor with papery skin layers. This onion is best all-around cooking onion. Yellow/brown onion used for caramelized onions, stews, sauces, soups, and shish kabobs. This onion is sharp and spicy which mellows when cooked.

White Onion:

White onion is a dry onion with white skin. This onion is best for crunchiest and sharpest zing. White onion used for Salsas, Chutneys, Stir fries pasta salad and white sauces and mostly used in Mexican cooking.

Red Onion:

Red onion looks purplish red skin with white flesh. This onion is best for eating raw. Red onion  used for Pickled onion, Salads, Sandwiches, Guacamole, salsa, pickling, sliced in salads, on burgers, in sandwiches.

Sweet Onion:

Sweet onion is not so spicy with thick layers. Sweet onion is best for frying. We used sweet onion for making onion rings, gratins and  roasted vegetables, flying, onion rings, baked gratin, French Onion Soup.


Shallot is a botanical variety and previously classified as a separate spices. This onion is milder, sweet with a little spiciness and more subtle. Shallots used for vegetable dishes, either raw or fried, and casseroles, and also great for an egg dish, vinaigrette, garnish.

how to cut an onion without crying

Four Simple Ways to Get Rid of Onion Smell from Hands After Chopping Onion

Most of the people do not like the onion smell when it gets into the hands. Here are four simplest tricks to get rid of them.

  • Wrap your hands against stainless steel metal under cold running water about a minute. Rubbing with the large metal spoon also works. It is suspected that the sulfur molecules that the distinctive onion smells react with the metal in the stainless steel and become neutralized.
  • Place a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your palm and rub vigorously. Wash your hands with the paste and rinse off thereafter. Be sure to use the paste type toothpaste and not the gel ones.
  • Simply squeeze the juice from a lemon quarter over each hand and wrap gently to cover. Wash it off after a minute.
  • Place a tablespoon of table salt on your palms and add enough to make a paste wrap all over your hands and rinse off. The salt will help in getting rid of the order and also exfoliate your hands making them soft.  

Few Tips on Cutting Onion

Before cut an onion, let’s check the tools required to cut an onion.

You need a heavy and sharp knife. The reason you need a sharp knife is that you can cut through the onion rather effortlessly without releasing too much of the sulfuric gases which make our eyes teary. You can either use French knife, a Chef’s knife or a Santoku knife.  Just make sure its sharp.

You will also need a heavy duty wooden cutting board and off course an onion.

You need a sharp knife, a cutting board and an onion.

Required Items:

  • A Sharp Knife
  • A Cutting Board
  • Kitchen Towel
  • An Onion

Keep a kitchen towel or tissue paper or wet cloth under the cutting board for more control and safer.

To hold the onion on the table you need to develop a firm grip using your thumb, your index finger and possibly your middle finger and rest of the finger.

Another step which is very crucial for cutting the onion is speed and that come through practice. At this stage do not concentrate on speed but the precision and accuracy of getting the cut of the onion right.

Never touch your eyes when you cut an onion and wash your hands properly immediately after you have finished cutting.

  • Cut an onion with a super sharp knife
  • Keep a tissue paper or wet cloth under cutting board
  • Hold the onion perfectly
  • Never touch eyes when cut an onion
  • Wash hands immediately after you finished cutting


You should know the best kitchen knife or best knife for chopping onions to cut it without crying. o knowing things like how to chop an onion or best way to cut onions without crying is going to prove to be a huge time saver.

7 thoughts on “The 16 Ultimate Tear Free Tricks to Cut an Onion | How to Properly Cut an Onion without Crying

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