Slicing an onion is more often than not one of a cook’s most dreaded tasks. The thought of stinging, teary eyes is enough to make you stay out of the kitchen for good and live a lifetime of takeout. From the simplest of meals like a basic hotdog topped with diced onions to a major entree like filet mignon aside sautéed onions, the vegetable isn’t going away and will continue to thrive in the kitchen. But you gotta eat, right? And how can you resist the delicious added flavor that onions provide for so many meals. The well known sting happens to the majority of people, but it doesn’t have to happen anymore.
Let’s start out by determining what exactly causes onions to make you cry. It actually comes from the end where the roots extend from. These roots are attached to a bulb that releases gases that stimulate the tears. Take these steps to create a tear-free onion:
Once you pinpoint the end that the roots are extending from, use a pairing knife to cut one-third the diameter of the onion, along the outside of the roots. You’ll want to go in at an angle and create a cone shape with your knife.
Dig the knife into one-third of the onion and continue to turn it over in your hand to ensure that you have the full cut out of the bulb.
The entire bulb should then lift out smoothly. It will look like a white cone with roots stemming from the top.
Next, toss the bulb into the trash. You definitely do not want to throw the onion in the garbage disposal. That will create more teary problems.
After the four steps are taken, you are now ready to peel the outer layer of the onion. If you lose a layer or two, don’t fret. You should still have plenty of onion leftover for use. Once the surface is completely white and all the crunchy skin is off, you can begin peeling.
Be sure to always cut from the end point, which will be the opposite end of where the bulb was removed. The bulb hole should be face down on your cutting board.
Apply gentle pressure and slide the knife through the onion. You can lay your hand on top of the knife to give you more control of handling the onion. In whatever size you choose, cut three lines into four sections. If you are using the onion slices to top a burger, you may want a fatter slice. If you want some onion to sprinkle on a hotdog, you’ll opt for smaller, diced pieces.
Save your tissues for the tears of joy you will have from the delicious meal you’ll make with that tear-free onion. And last but definitely not least-don’t forget to wash your hands good. Nobody wants to touch their eye after they hold an onion. That will defeat the purpose of removing the bulb and you’ll be crying even more!