How to finely Chop an Onion without Crying

I know you’ve experienced it too… the tears that well up as you are chopping an onion. Then, that leads to you cutting as fast as you can so it can be over with. I’m going to share with you the secret to finely chopping an onion without crying.

finely chopped onion on a wooden cutting board

One of the best vegetables to add to any dish to get maximum flavor impact is an onion.

I love using onions in every dish, such as my Italian sausage and peppers dish.

The best thing about onions is how versatile they are and how they can be put in every savory dish, even if it’s a breakfast dish!

Adding finely chopped onions to mini meatloaf or easy breakfast quiche is a great option.

Let’s get started on how to get your onion finely chopped without crying.

three red and yellow onions

What onions are good for cooking?

Before you go chopping onions, make sure you are getting the proper onion for the dish you are making.

You don’t want to go to the trouble of cutting it up into perfect squares only to find the flavor profile isn’t quite right.

  • Yellow Onions– These are your staple onion that can go in almost any dish. They are strong in flavor when raw and get more subtle as they are cooked down. Yellow onions are perfect for caramelizing for any savory meal.
  • Red Onions– Red onions taste great in raw dishes, such as salads. If you want a pickled onion, red onions are the best choice for pickled red onions.
  • White Onions– This type of onion has a thinner skin and are great for when you want a mild flavor, such as in pico de gallo.
three onions on a black counter

Parts of an onion

  • Stem EndThe top of the onion, usually white and papery. You will slice off this end of the onion to give yourself a good base to make future cuts on.
  • Root EndBottom of the onion where you can see remnants of the roots. The root is the part of the onion where you will hold it to stabilize the vegetable as you slice.
  • SkinThin, papery layers on the outside of the onion
photo collage with a chopped onion

What is the best way to chop an onion

  1. Remove the Stem end– Using a large, sharp kitchen knife slice off the stem of the onion. Be sure to create a flat cut that can act as a stable surface for future chopping.
  2. Slice Onion in half– Stabilize the onion on the flat, stem side of the onion that you just cut. From top to bottom, slice the onion in half.
  3. Remove the skins– Now that the onion is cut in half, remove the skins easily and dispose of them.
  4. Slice the Onions– Lay the halves down on the cutting board and slice them with your hand holding the end where the roots are. You won’t use this part of the onion, so you can hold and stabilize the onion at the roots while you slice.
  5. Turn, Lay Slices down, and Chop– Now, turn your slices, lay them flat so they are stacked on top of one another, and finely chop them. They will be perfect for soups, stews, or your favorite taco bar!
sliced onion on a cutting board

How to chop an onion without crying

Some onions are more potent than other, so the amount of tearing up will be different for each onion.

Here are some tips for how to chop an onion without crying:

  • Keep the cut sides of the onion that release fumes to a minimum.
  • When you slice the onion in half, keep the open side of the onion face down on the cutting board.
  • Move chopped onions in a bowl, away from your face, so you don’t have the fumes of those onions coming into your face.
  • Get proficient at chopping onions so you can work safely and quickly, reducing the time you spend with onion fumes in your eyes.
  • Use a sharp knife because a cleaner slice will emit less fumes. If you crush the onion while you slice, it’ll release more fumes.
  • Cut onions near a window or fan so you have fresh air to blow the fumes away.
  • Older onions can be more potent, so use fresh ones.
large knife for cutting onions on a counter

Tips for chopping onions safely

  • Keep your fingers curled under so you don’t accidentally cut your finger.
  • Hold the root end of the onion so it is stable and your fingers are out of the way.
  • Use a solid cutting board and sharp knife so you don’t have to “work” to slice through the onion skin.
  • Keep the tip of the knife tipped down toward the cutting board and “rock” your knife back and forth to chop the onion. This will keep your knife stable.
finely diced onion on a wooden cutting board

Best knives for chopping onions

Using a larger knife works best for chopping onions because onions are a larger vegetable.

Having a sharp knife also ensures easy cutting.

Most people call these knives Chef’s Knives.

a red and yellow onion

Frequently Asked Questions

How to pick a good onion

Choose a fresh onion. Make sure the skin of the onion is tight and dry. Feel the onion and make sure it is firm and not squishy.

Can you store chopped onions?

Yes, you can store chopped onions in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before they lose their flavor and crunch.

How long are chopped onions good for?

Onions will last for 1-2 days in a container in the refrigerator.
After that, they lose their potency and texture, becoming a bit rubbery and bland.

yellow onion on a cutting board

Which end of the onion do you cut off first?

To start chopping your onion, slice off the stem side of the onion.

This will give you a flat, steady base to begin slicing on.

It also leaves the root end of the onion for you to grab ahold of for further chopping.

How to Chop Onions Recipe

chopped onion and sliced onion

Finely Chop an Onion

Liz Quick
I know you’ve experienced it to, the tears that well up as you are chopping an onion. Then, that leads to you cutting as fast as you can so it can be over with. Today, I’m going to share how to finely chop an onion without crying.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 chopped onion
Calories 25 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Cutting board

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large chef's knife

Instructions
 

  • Using a large, sharp kitchen knife slice off the stem of the onion. Be sure to create a flat cut that can act as a stable surface for future chopping.
  • Stabilize the onion on the flat, stem side of the onion that you just cut. From top to bottom, slice the onion in half.
  • Now that the onion is cut in half, remove the skins easily and dispose of them.
  • Lay the halves down on the cutting board and slice them with your hand holding the end where the roots are. You won’t use this part of the onion, so you can hold and stabilize the onion at the roots while you slice.
  • Now, turn your slices, lay them flat so they are stacked on top of one another, and finely chop them.

Notes

Here are some tips for how to chop an onion without crying:
  • Keep the cut sides of the onion that release fumes to a minimum.
  • When you slice the onion in half, keep the open side of the onion face down on the cutting board.
  • Move chopped onions in a bowl, away from your face, so you don’t have the fumes of those onions coming into your face.
  • Get proficient at chopping onions so you can work safely and quickly, reducing the time you spend with onion fumes in your eyes.
  • Use a sharp knife because a cleaner slice will emit less fumes. If you crush the onion while you slice, it’ll release more fumes.
Keyword chopped onion, finely chopped onion

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I wear onion goggles while I cut mine because I guess it’s just the eyes that cause the crying, not the smell. I can cut one onion without crying while wearing the goggles. But because I loathe the smell/tears of cutting onions I usually buy a whole bag of them and cut them all at the same time and freeze the ones I don’t use (in a double bag so it doesn’t make the rest of the freezer food smell like onions). And when I’m grilling frozen onions for a dish, because of they are frozen I can throw them into a hot skillet without oil as the excess water acts as a similar cooking agent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating