• chef janet

How to Cut an Onion (with minimal tears)

Updated: Jun 19



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 a few big pieces and then start banging at it 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 (see below for sliced rings):

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

Trim off the stem end.



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


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. And then angling down in the other direction.





Then start cutting across, starting at the stem end.


Then lay the last little wedge root side up and cut the last bit


For a sliced onion (rings)

Trim a thin slice off the stem end and root end leaving some of the root intact so that the onion holds together.





Cut a thin slice off one side of the onion. This will create a flat surface to lay the onion on the cutting board so that it will be steady.




Curl your fingers of your non-knife hand to hold the onion steady and cut straight down to create rings.





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