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How to Cut an Onion (with minimal tears)

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

So the "experts" say store your onions at room temperature. I'm sure there's a good reason for that but I know that a warm onion is a sure path to fast tears. Those oniony fumes are slowed down when the onion is cold. And the fewer cuts you do with the knife, the better. Most people cut the onion into pieces and then start banging at with the knife. Another sure path to tears.

So the rules are, refrigerate your onions, be efficient with your knife cuts and get it to the size you want with as few cuts as possible. Here's how it's done . . .

For a diced or minced onion:

Trim a thin sliver off the root end leaving some of the root visible.

Trim a thin sliver off the root end

Trim off the top end.

Place the onion on the cutting board root side up and cut it in half, cutting through the center.

Slice a slit from stem to root and peel off the papery outer layers.

Place one of the halves on the board, cut side down, and begin making cuts starting from about 1/4" below the stem all the way down, The idea is to NOT cut through the top, thus keeping the onion held together. This will make the next step much easier.

Follow the contour of the onion by starting at one side with the knife parallel to the cutting board and then angling it up to 90 degrees as you reach the middle.

Then start cutting across starting at the stem end.