How to Cut an Onion the Fast and Easy Way
Onions are an essential cooking ingredient, but that doesn’t mean you want to sit and cry while you chop them up. Luckily, there are many ways to cut an onion quickly and easily so that chopping onions isn’t the chore it once was. Here are the best ways to cut an onion. You’ll be able to chop and dice onions in no time, without the tears.
The best way to chop onions
Trim a small tip off one end of your onion, then cut it in half. Stand each half upon its flat edge (the root end) and, using a sharp knife, slice vertically through it until you reach just before where it begins to taper down toward its other end. Lay each half flat on a cutting board so that you’re looking at their concave sides.
Then make horizontal cuts across them until you have chopped all of your onion into rough pieces about 2–3 inches long. It should look like confetti! You can chop these smaller if you want, but don’t try to dice or mince them yet you need some size variation for good flavor and texture.
At that point, turn each half 90 degrees so that you can see their convex side and chop again horizontally until you’ve reached the desired size. Voilà! Chopped onions.
If you’re making a dish with minced onions, go ahead and throw those babies in a food processor fitted with its slicing blade. Pulse until they are as fine as you want them. If there are any large chunks leftover, give ‘em another whirl.
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I love my Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor because it is powerful enough to handle even big jobs like chopping several cups of veggies at once without overheating or wearing out quickly.
It also comes with attachments that allow me to use it as a grinder, blender, or mini-chopper. And since I use mine so often, having multiple functions means less counter space taken up by gadgets!
For example, here’s how I would finely chop 4 cups of onions: Trim ends from 4 large yellow onions; cut in half lengthwise.
Place halves flat side down on the cutting board; make 1/4′′ slices crosswise through rings to create onion confetti. Add chopped onions to a food processor fitted with a slicing blade; pulse until finely chopped (see photo). Remove lid and scrape bowl frequently during processing; process only 1 cup at a time if necessary.
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Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes about 5 cups. Adapted from The Joy of Cooking. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 4 cups.
Everyone’s got their own way of cutting an onion, but they all have one thing in common: they take a really long time. Here are two quick ways that can dramatically reduce onion prep time.
This method involves slicing off both ends of your onion before you peel it. Then, lay it flat on your cutting board with either end facing up.
Make vertical slices from top to bottom at 1/4-inch intervals (you should get 5 or 6 slices). Then make horizontal cuts along with each vertical slice from left to right at 1/4-inch intervals (you should get 4 or 5 cuts). Now you have eight large pieces ready for chopping.
If you want smaller pieces, just chop away. This method is great if you’re going to be doing some other task while you chop because it takes about half as much time as traditional methods.
To do it, cut your onion in half from top to bottom using whatever sharp knife is handy. Place each half cut-side down on your cutting board and slice vertically into thin strips—about 1/8 inch thick making sure not to cut through the root end of each strip.
You should now have 8 or 9 strips. Next, turn over each strip so that its cut side faces up and slice horizontally across those strips at 1/8-inch intervals.
You now have small diced pieces of onion ready to go! No matter which method you choose, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling onions because they can cause irritation when rubbed against the skin. Learn more about Onion and Banana Juice Health Benefits
When you cut onions, there are many ways in which you can make sure your eyes don’t get damaged. Always use a good knife, like a chef’s knife.
Chef’s knives have long, wide blades that make it easy to slice through an onion without requiring too much pressure from your hand. This helps keep your hand steady as you cut. You should also always wear safety goggles when cutting onions.
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The fumes can irritate your eyes if they come into contact with them, so it’s best to protect yourself before beginning any cutting process. Finally, always cut away from yourself when slicing an onion this ensures that if you accidentally slice into your hand or fingers while cutting, you won’t be injured by flying pieces of onion.
Cutting toward yourself increases your chances of being sliced. If you follow these three simple rules, then you shouldn’t ever have to worry about hurting your eyes when cutting onions!
Cautions for using a knife
Cutting onions can release gases that irritate your eyes. So wearing eye protection is wise—safety goggles will do, but clear-lens swim goggles (widely available in sporting goods stores) are better because they let you see where you’re cutting.
You also want a sharp knife. A dull blade can make slicing difficult, forcing you to apply more pressure as well as increasing your risk of injury.
To avoid mishaps, be sure to keep knives sharpened. If you don’t have access to a professional sharpening service, there are many inexpensive electric sharpeners on the market or you can use a whetstone or steel for manual honing.
Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly before and after cutting onions. This simple step can help reduce irritation from any lingering onion vapors.
Also, if you cut several onions in a row without washing your hands between cuts, make sure to change your gloves. It may sound silly, but it could save you some serious discomfort later.
When you don’t have time
Some people have a really easy time cutting onions, especially when they’re in a rush. If you’re not quite one of these people (or if your eyes are watering more than you’d like), try doing it under cold water.
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The temperature change will slow down your reaction time and help keep those pesky tears at bay.