Tips / Techniques: Don't Cry Over Onions

cutting onions

I used to would avoid cutting onions whenever I could. I love onions but the stinging and crying was just unbearable for me. I don't know if my eyes were just more sensitive to it but I just hated it. Hated it. Wouldn't you avoid the feeling of little daggers in your eye?

I've spent many years trying all the tips and techniques and I call bullshit on them. Pardon my "french" but most of those techniques just don't work. Lets run through a list, shall we?

  • Use a sharp knife to prevent slicing as many of the cells within the onion that cause the stinging reaction. - Uh, what?!? Onions cells are about 75 micrometers or 0.075 mm. That is small. A sharper knife will reduce how many cells from being broken? Not enough for me. I had new sharp knives to test try and it did nada in helping ease the crying and screaming (from me, not the onion). If this was the case, you might as well just forgo dicing or mincing your onions, which is how I need them most of the time. The more cuts, the more pain! Better just throw the thing in whole in your recipe - maybe that's a better tip.
  • Cut your onions under running water. Oh sure, why don't I just hunch over the sink and try not to cut off a finger while the water is running. Maybe I'll dream of waterfalls while I give my onion a bath and lose a diced onion or two down the drain along with a fingertip, but maybe I'll cry less. Don't think it's worth it. Not very practical.

  • Cut the onions fast - No kidding? Well, what do you think I'm doing? After the second cut, I start feeling the stinging setting in. After dicing a whole onion, it has taken me a good 20 minutes to recover, if not more. I'm literally blind because I can't open my eyes from the pain and I have once run into a wall running away from the devilishly laughing onion.
  • Wear goggles or eye protection. -Why don't you also take out your swimsuit and flippers while you're at it? Pina Colada anyone? I'm sure I'd cut off a fingertip due to lost peripheral vision of my goggles. Does anyone really do this? Anyone??? Maybe I should look into patenting some onion goggles.
  • Chew gum - Whoever came up with this idea must have an IQ of an ass or works for Wrigley's or Trident. Just you wait, commercials will be coming our way with 9 out of 10 chef's recommending chewing said gum while chopping onions.
So what tip or technique do I have for you today? It's super simple.

Put the onion to cool in the refrigerator.

Yes, that's all.

A cool onion never makes my eyes hurt or water. It's divine. I always have one or two in my vegetable drawer of my fridge and now I never have tears in the kitchen, except for tears of joy.

You'll thank me if you don't already know this tip.

You are welcome.

Power to the people.