Do you like to chop onions? I only know a few people who want to chop onions. It can be difficult and even make you weep. It’s easy to cut onions properly if you’re skilled enough.
This is my favorite cooking skill from all I have learned.
I don’t fret about cutting off a fingertip and rarely cry over onions.
What’s the secret?
Everybody will tell you it is helpful to have a sharp knife. A sharp knife is essential for cutting any food. In reality, blades in a home kitchen are only sometimes as strong as they should be.
This is why it’s even more important to learn how to cut an onion properly–stabilizing the onion as much as possible throughout the cutting process and holding it in a way that protects your fingers.
How to avoid tears when cutting an onion
To avoid tears, keep your exposure to cut onions to a minimum. Fumes are released when an onion is sliced. These fumes can irritate.
Place the cut side on the cutting board when cutting an onion in half. Keep the onion in one piece when you miss the onion.
Make the final cuts on the onion quickly and transfer the chopped onions to a bowl.
It is a short video (about one minute) showing how I cut onions. The more detailed instructions are below. I hope this helps anyone who has difficulty cutting onions.
Cut 1/2 inch off the stem end.
There are two ends to onions: a stem end and a root. Place the onion on a cutting board with the stem end facing to the side.
With one hand holding the onion tightly, the other cut approximately 1/2 inch from the top of its stem end with a sharp knife. Next, turn the onion over and cut a shallow (maybe 1/8 inch) cut at the root end. This will remove the stringy roots but leave the heart’s core intact.
Take one onion and cut it in half.
Place the large-cut onion on the board, with the root side up. Once the onion is stabilized on the board, place the chef’s knives directly over the root. Then, cut down the onion to make the halves.
Take off the onion skin.
The onion skin can be removed from one-half of the onion halves. You don’t have to remove it if it is still attached to the root end.
Take lengthwise cuts and angle toward the center.
Place the cut-side-down half of the onion on the cutting board. Cut lengthwise through the onion from the stem end to the root, using the knife tip to cut almost to the heart (but not through the heart).
It would help to cut at an angle while working around the onion. The number of cuts you make will depend on the size of your chops or how finely you chop them.
Cross-wise cuts can be made once you have completed the angled lengthwise cuts. As you slice the onion, hold it tightly with your fingers curled. This will protect your fingertips. ).
Make cuts at the end of each onion. Then, use your knuckles to guide the knife.