- Finding a Better Way
- Onion Anatomy 101
- How to Prep an Onion
- Traditional Method of Chopping Onions
- The Problem
- A Better Way to Chop Onions
- Best Way to Chop an Onion
- Sharing is Caring
- How to Slice, Dice or Chop an Onion
- How to dice chicken thigh?
- How to Cut an Onion
- Video: How to cut an onion
- How to cut an onion step by step
- How not to cry when cutting onions
- Best chef knife & cutting boards
- Looking for recipes with onions?
- About the Authors
- How to Cut an Onion (& Why Different Cuts Actually Matter)
- But does it really matter how I cut an onion?
- Let’s get chopping! the different cuts are:
- Slice (Half-Moons)
- Slice (Radial-ish)
- Rough Chop, Fine Chop, and Mince
- How to Dice Onions
- How to Slice Onions
- Pro Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Onions
- 1. Trim the ends.
- 2. Cut in half and peel.
- 3. Make your cuts.
- 4. Chop.
Finding a Better Way
If you’ve been cooking for some years, you’ve probably spent untold hours chopping onions. It’s a chore, that’s a necessary evil of cooking because onions form the basis of countless dishes. The traditional way of cutting onions has never sat well with me because you end up with a chunk of onion that you either toss and waste or spend extra time chopping it separately. That’s why I’ve spent the past few weeks dissecting onions to figure out the best way to chop them. While I can’t say I’ve found a way to take all the hassle out of chopping onions, I have found a significantly better technique to chop them.
Onion Anatomy 101
Before I show you the ultimate onion chopping technique let’s get on the same page about an onions anatomy and some basic terminology. Onions are essentially a layered sphere with a root end and a top end.
When you cut an onion in half, it exposes the layers, and you can see the core in the center.
How to Prep an Onion
When you want to chop an onion, the first thing you have to do is to prep it. There are a lot of ways to do this, but the most efficient method is the following:
Cut the top off.
Slice the onion in half from the top to the root end.
Peel the halves.
The reason why we don’t cut the root end off is that this, along with the core of the onion, is what’s going to hold our onion together as we chop it.
Traditional Method of Chopping Onions
This is the traditional method of chopping onions that most chefs use. It’s certainly not the worst method, but it’s not perfect either.
Slice vertical slits in the onion from the top to the root end.
Slice two to three horizontal slits in the onion from the top towards the root end.
Turn the onion 90 degrees and chop the onion perpendicular to the first set of vertical slits.
Here’s the problem with this technique: you end up with a big chunk of onion towards the root end that you then have to chop up separately. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re dealing with a mountain of onions, it’s a lot of extra work.
Some of you may be thinking that if you just cut the slits deeper, you can get all the way to the root end, but then the onion will start to fall apart as you chop it. This makes it very hard to chop the onion evenly, and it also presents a danger of cutting yourself.
A Better Way to Chop Onions
After taking apart a dozen onions, and thinking about the internal geometry of them, I realized that when sliced in half, the core of the onion isn’t sloped like the outer layers. Since it’s essentially flat, there’s no need to cut horizontal slits into it.
After realizing this, I modified the traditional method, cutting horizontal slits into the sides of the onion towards the center, instead of through the whole onion, from the top to the root end. This leaves the core intact, holding the onion together, so you can cut the vertical slits deeper without affecting the stability of the onion. This, in turn, allows you to chop the onion faster, finer, and more evenly. Here’s a video on my full onion chopping method, and you can you scroll down a bit more for my step-by-step process with photos.
Best Way to Chop an Onion
5 from 2 votes
- 1 onion
- Prep the onion using the instructions above
- Cut two to three slits from one side of the onion towards the center, but do not cut through the core.
- Cut two to three slits from the other side of the onion towards the center, leaving the core intact.
- Cut vertical slits into the onion almost to the root end. The closer you space these slits, the smaller your onions will get chopped.
- Turn the onion and chop perpendicular to the vertical slits you just made, all the way to the root end.
- Flatten the root end and trim any remaining onion off the root.
Sharing is Caring
Love this? Share it! #norecipes
How to Slice, Dice or Chop an Onion
More recipes than you can count start with a little sliced or diced onion, so it’s important to learn the right way to cut an onion into uniform-sized pieces. Why do they need to be the same size? If there’s too much variation in size, some pieces can start to burn before others even soften. In this video, I’ll show you one method for slicing onions, and another for dicing so you get quick consistent results every time.
The most intuitive way to slice an onion is to cut it in half, and then make horizontal slices from the stem end to the root end. This is fine if you’re using the onion raw, like for a salad. But you’ll end up with some really big half moons and some really small half moons. And if you’re cooking them, that means the varying sizes will cook unevenly.
So instead, you’ll want to make what are called radial cuts. That means you’re cutting slices from pole to pole, rather than across the equator.
To do that, you trim both ends, and cut out a notch at the top. Then start making thin slices, following the curve of the onion. When you get to the top, it can get a little wobbly, so flip the onion onto this side and finish the rest.
It can feel a little awkward the first couple times you do it, but soon it gets to be as natural as slicing crosswise. And your half moons will be mostly same length, which means when you cook them or caramelize them, each piece cooks at the same rate.
If your recipe calls for diced onions, again, the key is to get all the pieces the same size, so they cook at the same rate. The best way to do that is again cut the onion in half through the stem and the root and peel it—then trim off the stem, and the hairy part of the root, but leave this button at the base of the root intact. Now make a bunch of vertical cuts through all the onion layers, but don’t go all the way to the root end, you want the root to hold everything together while you dice.
How to dice chicken thigh?
Making some assumptions here, but…
I think Western culture has fallen into this trap of perfect food and meat that doesn’t look like it came from animals. I think this is visible in the proliferation of boneless, skinless meats available and the difficulty in obtaining “less desireable” cuts. I personally only buy whole chickens and chicken thighs or maybe leg quarters sometimes, we use thighs for everything because they’re so very tasty. Someone here recently linked to the Om Nom Nom paleo blog’s cracklin’ chicken, and I’m obsessed with it now.
Anyway, what I do with chicken thighs is that I use a short, very sharp knife and slice down the length of the bone and around the interior cap of the bone, then I sorta twist the bone and keep slicing along it until it’s free or close enough to free I can slice along under it and be done. Then I just clear any cartilage and call it yahtzee.
If I’m not wanting the skin, this is where I peel off skin. If actually cutting into chunks, say, for some indian butter chicken or something, I do this AFTER I cook it, and then use a large kitchen knife to just make cross-hatch chunks whatever size I want them.
Make sure you keep the bones for broth though, and some or most of the skin.
How to Cut an Onion
Wondering how to cut an onion? Here’s a step by step guide and video that shows you how to dice and how to chop an onion.
Video: How to cut an onion
Are you wondering how to cut an onion but not sure the best way? Alex and I have a great method that’s even easier than the traditional way to chop an onion! It avoids the horizontal cut towards yourself and instead leverages the natural layers of the onion. We use this method all the time, like when we dice an onion for soups like our wild rice soup, finely chop it for our black bean pico de gallo. We’ll also show you how to thinly slice an onion, like for our quick pickled onions. Using this method really changed the game for us, and we hope it will for you too! Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut an onion, including a video of me cutting an onion in our kitchen.
Related: 20 Knife Skills Videos: How to Cut Everything!
How to cut an onion step by step
Before we start: this method for how to cut an onion is a little different than the standard method. An onion is naturally formed into layers, so why not leverage that? This method is quick and easy, eliminates the need for a horizontal cut towards yourself.
With a large chef’s knife, cut off the top and root end of the onion.
Stand the onion on the flat cut side, and cut it down the center.
With your fingers, remove the paper and outer layer of the onion.
Place the onion half on its flat side, then cut slices parallel to the root end, leaving room at the end so that the slices stay attached. (Make the slices the size you’ll need for the recipe; wider for diced and narrower for minced / small diced.)
Then cut slices in the other direction, following the curve of the onion (making larger squares for diced and smaller for minced). When you’ve cut halfway through, flip the onion down onto the flat cut side and continue slicing. When you get to the end that didn’t have the slices, give it a few more chops. See the video for this part!
And there you have it: how to cut an onion in 5 easy steps!
Let us know if you try our method for how to cut an onion and tell us how it goes in the comments below.
How not to cry when cutting onions
Wondering how not to cry when cutting onions? Well, it’s all about cutting it properly! Here are a few tips (via The Kitchn):
- Use a sharp knife. Cutting an onion with a sharp knife causes less damage to the cell walls, which releases fewer irritants.
- Keep exposed cuts of the onion away from you. Once you’ve cut the onion in half, place the cut sides down onto the cutting board. Leave the side that you’re not chopping unpeeled. After you’ve finished chopping one half, transfer the chopped onion to a prep bowl, then chop the other side of the onion.
- Cut the onion properly. By following our method in the video above, most of the exposed onion cuts will be against the board.
There are all sorts of other “tricks” people use: freezing the onion, using an exhaust fan, and so forth. But we’ve found using the simple steps above helps us to not cry when cutting onions!
Best chef knife & cutting boards
Alex and I are often asked about the best kitchen tools. And every time we answer, “A good sharp chef’s knife!” A good knife can drastically improve your time in the kitchen, and lasts for years (we’ve had our chef knives for 10 plus years). Here are some of the knives we recommend, as well as cutting boards and the best knife sharpener. These recommendations are perfect for outfitting your own kitchen, or great gifts for a wedding registry or someone who loves to cook!
Video: Knife Skills, Gear, & How to Hold a Knife!
- 7″ Chef’s Knife — our best knife recommendation; the one used in the video!
- 10″ Chef’s Knife — our favorite large knife
- 8″ Chef’s Knife — our favorite affordable knife
- Paring Knife
- Serrated Knife / Bread Knife
- Non-Slip Wood Cutting Board (used in the video!) or Non-Slip Bamboo Cutting Board
- Non-Slip Plastic Cutting Board
- Knife Sharpener
- Drawer Knife Organizer — this is how we store our knives, and it’s even slicker than a knife block
Looking for recipes with onions?
Now that you know how to cut an onion, here are some of our favorite recipes with onions for you to try:
- Recipes with chopped / diced onion
- Happy Hour Platter with Caramelized Onion Dip
- Three Onion Homemade Fried Rice Recipe
- Quick Cuban Black Beans
- Butternut Squash Lentil Soup with Kale
- Golden Vegetable Soup
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- Tomato Basil Gnocchi Soup
- Pico de Gallo Recipe with Black Beans
- Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust
- Cauliflower Soup with Moroccan Spices
- Easy Dal Makhani
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Easy Mango Salsa Recipe
- Baked Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
- Pesto Grilled Cheese Dippers with Marinara
- Recipes with sliced onion
- Blackberry, Ricotta & Onion Savory Tart
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Pickled Onions
- 1-Hour Quick Pickled Onions
- Brussels Sprout Pizza with Caramelized Onions
- White Bean Shakshuka with Feta
- Rice & Lentil Salad
Wondering how to cut an onion? Here’s a step by step guide and video that shows you how to dice and how to chop an onion.
- 1 medium onion
- With a large chef’s knife, cut off the top and root end of the onion.
- Stand the onion on the flat cut side, and cut it down the center.
- With your fingers, remove the paper and outer layer of the onion.
- Place the onion half on its flat side, then cut slices parallel to the root end, leaving room at the end so that the slices stay attached. (Make the slices the size you’ll need for the recipe; wider for diced and narrower for minced / small diced.)
- Cut slices in the other direction, following the curve of the onion (making larger squares for diced and smaller for minced / small diced). When you’ve cut halfway through, flip the onion down onto the flat cut side and continue slicing. When you get to the end that didn’t have the slices, give it a few more chops. See the video for this part!
- Category: Knife Skills
- Method: Cutting
- Cuisine: N/A
Keywords: How to cut an onion, How to chop an onion, How to dice an onion, How to not cry when cutting onions
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About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.
How to Cut an Onion (& Why Different Cuts Actually Matter)
There are as many ways to cut an onion as there are to skin a cat. Actually, no, cutting an onion is way simpler than skinning a cat. Below, Nozlee explains if cutting an onion a specific way even matters (it does), why you might choose to cut it into different shapes and sizes (to control its cook rate), and how to do so the right way (“right” as in the way all your fingertips remain intact).
But does it really matter how I cut an onion?
When Table for One columnist, Eric Kim, saw this article on the editorial calendar, he was proud to report to the editorial team that he had no method whatsoever. He slices an onion one way, turns it around, slices it the other way, and there you go, chopped onion.
Shop the Story
But let’s use this Braised Onion Sauce as a case study. In the recipe, Kenzi calls for onions to be sliced into 1/4”-thick half-moons. But, let’s say, we cut 1”-thick slices instead. The cut surfaces exposed to the pan—or, the parts of the onions that will soften, brown, and caramelize quickest—would make up a much smaller percentage of the onions in the pan. After braising for an hour, the centers of each onion slice would be cooked less than if they had been cut to ¼”-thick slices. Conversely, if we cut 1/16”-thick slices, the onions will caramelize much quicker in the prescribed hour. The final texture of the sauce would be jammier, closer to a puree. So, how you chop does kind of matter.
That being said, chopping an onion isn’t rocket science—in fact, it’s one of the first things you learn in the kitchen. Whether you’re a first-timer or an old hand, today we have a primer on the various ways to chop an onion: dicing, slicing (two ways!), and a coarse chop. Our co-founder, Merrill, who seems to be in the same onion boat as Eric, said: “It doesn’t really matter how you cut an onion, but if you don’t do that right, why do anything right at all?” We agree.
One thing we don’t have an answer to is how to avoid teary eyes while chopping. Advice runs from the sensible-sounding (keep the root end, which contains most of the compound that makes your eyes water, as intact as possible) to the silly (chop with a piece of bread in your mouth, or wear special goggles).
Let’s get chopping! the different cuts are:
As seen in: Individual Sweet Potato Gratins with Crème Fraîche, Onions, and Bacon
When you’re stumped for what to make for dinner, dicing an onion is never a bad place to start. By the time you’re done, you’re likely to have an idea about whether it’ll be soup, a frittata, or anything else. Whether large, medium, or small dice, the approach is very similar. Diced onions, like roughly chopped onions, are used for a prominent, but consistent onion flavor and texture (chunks of similar-ish shape and mass are more likely to cook at the same rate and in the same way). Sharpen your best knife—a sharp knife is actually less dangerous than a dull one, which you can easily lose control of— and let’s get started.
1. Peel and Prep. First things first: halve the onion through the root and tail ends. Chop off that tail end and discard, then remove all traces of papery skin.
2. Cut Horizontally. Being careful not to cut your hands, make 2 to 3 horizontal cuts through the onion, stopping before you reach the root—again, a very sharp knife helps with this! What’s the point of this step? You’re cutting through the curvature of the onion’s surface, making for evenly square pieces of onion when you finish.
3a. Cut Vertically. Cutting from just before the root to the tail end, make 5 to 6 straight cuts perpendicular to the horizontal ones. (Don’t worry too much if slices on the side start to fall off because your cuts are too deep; hold them together with your fingers and keep going.)
3b. Or, Cut Radially. Our Genius Recipes columnist, Kristen’s brother, Billy, prefers radial cuts when dicing his onions—i.e. angling along with the curve of the onion—which he claims makes for a neater dice afterward. We tried it and found the results to be more or less the same, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get geometry involved!
4. Ready to Go! After being cut every which way, this onion is ready for its final destiny.
5. Final Dice. Starting at the tail and moving toward the root, cut across the onion to make tiny, evenly-sized pieces of onion: a true dice. (I look like I’m about to cut my fingers off in that first photo. Rest assured that I still have all 10 of them.)
6. Discard The Root. And that’s it—sauté-ready diced onions.
As seen in: Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onion and Apple Confit
There are two ways to slice an onion. The first is easiest, and it’s what you look to when pickling onions, topping a pizza, or slicing up chili garnishes. The half-moon shape gives the “face” of each onion slice maximum surface-area, and so is also conducive to browning.
1. Peel and Prep. The first steps are the same: halve the onion, cut off the tail end, and peel it. Rest the halves flat-side-down.
2. Slice Away. Pushing the knife down and forward, make evenly-spaced slices, finally ending at the root. If the recipe calls for anything thinner than 1/8” slices, I will usually switch over to a mandoline.
As seen in: Braised Onion Sauce
When you’re looking to caramelize a batch of onions— to top mashed potatoes, garnish polenta, or make classic French onion soup—you should slice a little differently. The method above produces unevenly-sized slices, which means that after 30 minutes or more of slow caramelization, some of those slices will have entirely dissolved while others will still have their shape. For even cooking, it’s best to slice a little differently: just turn your onion a quarter turn before going at it.
1. Peel and Prep (and Cut Off the Root End). For this preparation, you’ll want to cut off the root end of your onion as well when prepping it. Then with the root and tail parallel to your knife, start at one side and start slicing away.
2. Ta-da! See? Same-sized slices ready for a long, slow session in the skillet.
Rough Chop, Fine Chop, and Mince
As seen in: Traditional French Cassoulet, Creamy Tahini Potato Salad, Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Sometimes, the size and shape of your chopped onion doesn’t matter so much, like when making kebabs or chicken stock. Like half-moons, this is another cut conducive to caramelizing (the multi-facetedness of each rough chunk maximizes surface area). We saved the easiest preparations for last!
1. Peel and Prep. The first steps are the same: halve the onion, cut off the tail end, and peel it. Rest the halves flat-side-down.
2. Like Dicing, But Not. Take everything we said about slicing vertically and horizontally and toss it out the window: simply make 3-4 cuts from root to tail, then 3-4 cuts from side to side. For finely chopped onions, make 6-8 cuts each way, and for minced onions, fan-chop the finely-chopped onions until you have tiny 1/16″ bits.
This article was originally published in July 2012, and has been updated with relevant information.
What’s your best anti-onion-crying technique? Let us know below in the comments.
Watch More Videos Replay
In the mood for some chili? You’re gonna need three cups of onion, medium dice. Making chicken stock? Two onions in large chunks, please. And what about onion soup? Yes, believe it or not, you’ll need onions for that, too.
No matter how you slice ’em, I’d estimate that onions are used in a good 30 to 40% of any cook’s savory-dish repertoire, if not more. They are the first thing you should learn how to cut when you pick up a knife, and, at least for me, still one of the most pleasurable foods to take a sharp blade to.
In this video and guide, I’ll show you the two basic onion cuts—the dice and the slice—and talk a little bit about the flavor and cooking differences you can expect from them.
How to Dice Onions
Large, three-quarter-inch-plus dice are used to flavor soups and stocks and will typically be strained out and discarded after their flavor has been extracted through simmering. Large dice can also be used for skewering and grilling, or occasionally for stir-fries or dishes in which they will be further chopped or blended after cooking. Medium (half-inch) dice are commonly used for hearty stews, soups, braises, or sauces, while small (quarter-inch) dice are used in smoother, more refined sauces, stews, curries, or braises; in meat recipes, like meatballs or meatloaf; and in raw preparations, like salsas and some salads. When cooked for a long time, they’ll melt into a sauce.
Dice smaller than that are called brunoise and are not commonly used in home-cooked dishes. You might see them in fancy restaurant dishes, like beef tartare or some pâtés.
Step 1: Trim the Stem End
Hold the onion steady with your non-knife hand, and trim off the stem end by about a half inch.
Step 2: Slice in Half
Lay the onion flat on its cut surface and slice it in half, using your non-knife hand to hold it steady.
Step 3: Peel Off the Outer Layer
Peel off the remaining skin. The first pale layer underneath the skin can often be dry and tough, so it’s a good idea to remove the outermost layer as well to reveal the more tender flesh underneath.
Step 4: Cut Along the Z-Axis
Lay the onion flat, and make a series of horizontal slices, holding the top of the onion steady with the tips of your fingers. Slice nearly all the way through, but keep the root end intact so that the layers remain connected.
Keeping the onion close to the edge of the board in order to give your knife hand clearance will facilitate this process. (Whether you make these cuts or the cuts in step 5 first is a matter of personal preference. Do what feels most comfortable to you.)
Step 5: Cut Along the Y-Axis
Make a series of vertical cuts with the same spacing as your horizontal cuts, again keeping the root end intact. To hold the onion, curl back the tips of the fingers on your non-knife hand, keeping your thumb behind them in order to prevent accidentally cutting your fingertips or thumb. Hold the knife blade directly against your knuckles to guide your strokes.
Step 6: Cut Along the X-Axis
Finally, dice the onion by making a series of vertical cuts perpendicular to the ones you just made, again using the knuckles of your non-knife hand as a guide for the blade. As you get toward the root end, you can rotate the onion 90 degrees forward, so that the most stable side is facing down, and continue slicing until just the root remains.
Step 7: Transferring Dice
Do not use your knife blade to pick up chopped vegetables—rubbing it against the cutting board will quickly dull its edge. Instead, use a bench scraper, which is custom-designed for the task.
Fine and Medium Dice
The spacing of your horizontal and vertical cuts determines the size of your final dice. For large dice, make cuts three-quarters of an inch to one inch apart. For medium, about half an inch apart. For fine dice, make cuts a quarter inch apart or smaller, and for brunoise, cut as finely as possible—a very sharp knife and a steady hand should have no problem with eighth-inch or even sixteenth-inch cuts.
How to Slice Onions
Imagine the onion as a globe, with the stem end at the north pole and the root end at the south. The direction in which you slice your onions can have a huge impact on both flavor and texture. See, onion cells are not symmetrical, and slicing from pole to pole will actually rupture fewer cells than slicing parallel to the equator. Because the pungent aroma we associate with onions does not actually arise until cells are ruptured, slicing pole to pole produces milder, sweeter-tasting slices.
Here’s a simple experiment: Slice one half of a single onion pole to pole and the other half parallel to the equator. Place both sliced halves in sealed containers, and let them rest for 15 minutes. Now open those containers and smell them. You’ll probably find that the onion sliced pole to pole has a milder flavor. That carries over into your food! (You can read more about onion slicing direction here.)
There are also textural differences. Onions sliced parallel to the equator are rarely used in cooked applications, as they have an uneven texture that can turn wormy or stringy when cooked. They’re limited mostly to raw applications in which a pungent flavor is desired, like salads or sandwiches, or dishes specifically requiring a round shape, like onion rings.
When a recipe calls for sliced onions, pole-to-pole slices are what we’re looking for. They cook more evenly, tenderize better, and, when cooked long enough, will almost completely break down, adding body to soups, stews, and braises.
To cut onion rings or half rings, simply peel the onion as for dicing, then cut parallel to the equator, using your knuckles as a guide. If cutting a whole onion, hold it in your fingertips to keep it stable.
To Slice for Cooking, Step 1: Trim Root End
After trimming off the stem end and halving the onion, as for dice, turn the onion around and trim off the root end as well before peeling the whole thing.
To Slice for Cooking, Step 2: Slice
Make a series of slices perpendicular to the equator of the onion (pole to pole), once again using the knuckles of your non-knife hand as a guide.
Onions sliced pole to pole (left) and onions sliced parallel to the equator.
Pro Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Onions
If you’re working with a large volume of onions, to maximize efficiency, work by taking every onion through one step before proceeding to the next step. In other words, peel all of your onions before you start making horizontal slices in any of them. Similarly, make all of your horizontal cuts before making your vertical cuts. It will keep your work space more organized, require fewer trips to the compost bin, and make you look like a pro.
If you want to serve your onions raw and remove as much of their pungency as possible, put them in a strainer and rinse them under hot running water. Hot water is more effective at washing away lacrimators (the chemicals responsible for causing us to tear up when slicing onions) and will not soften the onions. Also, don’t let onions sit for long after slicing: They’ll get more and more pungent as they rest.
As for onion tears, there are a lot of home remedies that purport to solve the problem. Chewing gum. Placing a candle or a slice of bread nearby. Chilling the onion. Most of them don’t work very well. The only real solution is to protect your eyes. If you wear contact lenses, you’re in luck; they should help! If not, an inexpensive pair of goggles will keep the tears away. At the very least, a fan blowing the chemicals away from you should fend off some of them. (Also, it helps to realize that onions don’t feel pain, and there’s nothing to cry about.)
Not sure what onions you should be buying for what purpose? Never fear; check out our Beginner’s Guide to Onions for a detailed look at the differences between onion types and how to make the most of them.
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Onions are inescapable. They’re part of the holy flavor trinity, mirepoix. If there is anything worth mastering, it’s how to cut an onion. It will speed up your prep, leaving you plenty of time to make Bacon Jam and trust me, you want to make bacon jam. After a few practice rounds I have no doubt you’ll have this mastered.
1. Trim the ends.
Using a sharp knife, trim off both ends of onion, leaving the root still intact.
2. Cut in half and peel.
With the root end facing up, cut the onion in half through the root.
Peel off skin from both halves and discard the skin.
3. Make your cuts.
Lay one half cut side down with the non-root end facing you. Make cuts vertically through the onion, being careful to not cut through the root.
Turn your onion so that the root end is now on the left and the non-root end is on the right (assuming you’re right handed—if you’re left handed this will be reverse). With your knife parallel to the onion, make three cuts horizontally through the onion, one toward the bottom, then one in the middle, and the last one toward the top, still being careful to not cut through the root.
Now, chop your onion with cuts running perpendicular to your first vertical cuts.
You should have perfect square pieces of onions! Now get cooking.
Parker Feierbach Delish: Eat Like Every Day’s the Weekend barnesandnoble.com $18.00 Makinze Gore Associate Food Editor Makinze is the Associate Food Editor for Delish.com.