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Cut Onions like a Pro

Cooking tips for the caring cook.


Forget the dread of cutting onions!

No one likes to slice onions. Forget the dread with this fast, professional method for slicing.

  • When you have to slice, dice, mince or chop onions, always cut off the top and leave the root end alone. As long as the root end is not cut, it shouldn't make you cry (or at least not as bad if you're super onion-sensitive).
  • To slice an onion, peel it and cut it in half from top to bottom. Place each half flat-side down on a cutting board and cut vertical slices up to the root.
  • Holding onion steady with your fingertips, slice off stem and root ends with a sharp knife.
  • Cut onion lengthwise through root end. Remove outer brown papery skin.
  • Lay one half flat. Gripping onion firmly with your fingertips, and cut crosswise into thin slices. Repeat.
  • After chopping garlic or onions, rub your Cutting Board# with the cut side of half a lemon; or, wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle. Run the lemon over the knife blade as well.
  • Camping or cooking out? No more stinging, burning, tearing eyes while chopping onions! Cut them near a flame and the sulfur compounds released from onions will burn off before they irritate your eyes. Or, try lighting a votive candle near the cutting board instead. Don't forget to turn off the stove or blow out the candle when you're done, though!

What About "The Tear Factor"?

Sliced red onion

To shed fewer tears when slicing onions, cut the root off last, refrigerate before slicing and peel them under cold water.

Another suggestion: When cutting onions dampen the cutting board with white vinegar to stop the tears.

And here's a tip we've heard others say works, but haven't actually tried: If you chew gum while peeling onions you may not cry. Try it!

Now My Hands Smell Like Onion!

If you have a stainless steel sink you can rub your fingers on it after peeling onions to get rid of the odor on your hands. A stainless steel spoon will also work.

Extra Onion Tips

Deodorize that dish. To deodorize a plastic storage container in which onions were stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.

Freezing Onions: Chop onions or peppers and spread in thin layers on cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in freezer until frozen. As you remove the onions or peppers from cookie sheets. break up to eliminate large hunks. Place in storage bags and freeze until needed.

Need only 1/2 an onion? If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

Tip for buying onions

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