How to Chop an Onion

Before you start chopping any onions you must have one important thing. A quality knife. Without a nice, sharp knife, chopping onions (or anything for that matter) will always be a pain…literally. Onions release a chemical when they are cut and that chemical is what causes our eyes to burn and produce tears. Using a sharp knife can help to reduce the damage done to the cells of the onion, causing the onion to release less chemicals. This technique also keeps the majority of the cut sides of the onion face down.With some practice you’ll be able to chop an onion like a pro.


Step 1: Cut the onion lengthwise from root to tip.


Step 2: Cut off the tip only. Leave the root end in tact. This will be important later.


Step 3: Peel back the papery skin. You can remove it at this point or leave it on. It doesn’t really matter. Just remember to leave the root end in tact.


Step 4: Cut horizontally into the onion two or three times, depending on the size of your onion. If you’re new to cooking or feel uncertain about handling a sharp knife, be sure to go slowly until you get the hang of it. You only want to cut towards the root and stop. Don’t cut all the way through.


Step 5: Make vertical cuts all the way across the onion. The closer together they are, the smaller your onion pieces will be. At this point the onion may start to get a little wobbly. Just hold it steady with your hand. Watch out for fingers and go slowly!


Step 6: Now, make vertical cuts perpendicular to the ones you just made. You’ll be cutting parallel to the root. Start at the tip of the onion and work your way as close to the root as you can.


Hopefully you will have a nicely chopped pile of onions and little to no tears.



3 thoughts on “How to Chop an Onion

  1. BarbaraGroom says:

    Thank you Jessica for illustrating how to cut an onion. It was very helpful to me and I’m sure a lot of other women. Thanks again


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