Technique - Chopping Onions Without Crying

I’m sure a lot of you all will thank me for this little how-to if you don’t already know how to prevent yourself from bawling when you have to dice onions. If you don’t know why cutting onions makes you cry, here’s a short lesson! Cutting onions leads to breaking the vegetable’s cells, which releases enzymes that react with the cells’ amino acid sulfoxides to form sulfenic acids. THESE, in turn, produce a compound gas that irritatingly reacts with the water in your eyes to create tears…which only furthers the problem because now there is more water to BURN at you. So basically, raw onions will make you cry. Several ways to alleviate the problem are to cook the onion or cut it under water…or lessen the exposure of the broken parts of the onion to the air. This technique goes with that last method!

Step 1: Hand placement
You must first halve the onion and then chop off the top (not the part where the bulb grew from). THEN turn your holding hand into a paw so as not to cut off your fingers when you hold your onion half tightly.

Step 2: Slicing the onion
use your knife to slice down the onion perpendicular to the bulb BUT do not slice all the way through to separate the onion into pieces. Look at the picture below for reference. You can stop wherever your “paw” ends at the end of the onion so as not to cut through. This slicing method will keep your onion together still. I only opened the onion up a little in the picture to show you. Don’t do this unless you want to release those silly enzymes into your eyes!

Step 3: Chopping the onion
Then it’s time to chop the other way. Of course, this way may cause some tears but not as much as you could’ve shed. Additionally, if you do this part quickly and sharply, the onion’s exposure can still be less than if you had separated the onion into slices before.