6 Clever Ways To Cut An Onion Without Crying


Whether you like to cook or you’re more of a Seamless person, chances are you’ve cut up an onion at one point or another. Onions are one of the most fundamental ingredients for all types of cuisines and they add an incomparable flavor. However, the worst part about onions is the prep. You can always count on having a good cry while you’re slicing up these bulbs.

We can trace this reaction back to the soil. Onions absorb sulfur from the soil and when you cut into an onion, you break its cells, which releases chemical irritants that create that annoying stinging sensation in your eyes. Crying lets us rinse out these chemicals from your eyes. Lucky for you, there are plenty of hacks that’ll prevent you from crying when you’re cutting up an onion.


1. Freeze The Onion

Take your onion and chuck it in the freezer about 20 minutes prior to cutting it. The theory is that the cold will prevent the release of the onion’s eye-irritating chemicals. You’ll have to set a timer so you don’t forget about it. If the onion gets too frozen, it’ll be pretty hard to cut through and it’ll be a challenge to remove the peel. Your hand might become numb in the process, so if possible you should use a rubber glove or some kind of buffer in between your hand and the onion’s surface. An onion that turns icy might not be the best to cook with since it has to defrost in the pan before it can become sweet and caramelized.

2. Cut The Onion Under Running Water

You can prevent the fumes of the onion from rising by running it under cold water. The stream of water will dissolve the sulfur compounds before they reach your eyes and cause you to tear up. Put the onion on a flat plate in the sink so it’ll be stable and you’ll avoid any slippery accidents.

3. Hold A Piece Of Bread In Your Mouth

Weird? Yes. Productive? You bet. When you’re about to cut up your onion, take a big chunk of bread and let it hang out of your mouth half way. It might seem a little odd and your mouth might water in the process, but it’s better than having tears run down your face while you’re trying to cook. The bread will absorb the surfuric compounds before they can reach your eyes.

4. Wear Swimming Goggles

If you’re having a dinner party and have a few hours to yourself before friends arrive, you should just give in and wear swimming goggles. Just strap on a pair of cheap goggles before making a big batch of French onion soup. They’ll isolate your cornea from the sulfuric acid. Will you have rings around your eyes for a little? Yup. It’ll be worth it though.


5. Light A Candle

Onions always seem so unassuming. Even the baby onions are like secret ninjas and still manage to creep up on you. Next time you’re about to get chopping, get out your biggest candle and light it up. The flame should burn out most of the moisture and tear-jerking onion juices out of the air. Aside from the cooking hack part of this, you’re setting the mood for a cozy night of cooking.

6. Cut The Onion Under A Vent

If you have a kitchen vent, this is your time to shine. You might only need to turn on your vent when you burn something and need to quickly absorb the smoke before your roommates wake up. However, it comes in handy with onions too. Put your cutting board on top of a cool stove and turn on the vent. The air circulation will direct the onion vapors away from your eyes so that you can escape the tears.