Ah, the humble onion, a kitchen's tearful nemesis and savoury secret weapon. As you take up your trusty knife, you embark on a culinary adventure filled with fragrant suspense. With a deft slice, you reveal the onion's layers, like peeling back the pages of a delicious novel. The pungent aroma stings your eyes, but you soldier on, for the promise of caramelized perfection is worth every tear. Learn the professional way to cut onions like a pro with this essential guide!

Minimising Onion-Induced Tears

Ever wondered why you get teary whilst cutting onions? Well, its all in the science. When you cut an onion, it releases a chemical called syn-propanethial-S-oxide, and when this comes into contact with the moisture in your eyes, it forms sulfuric acid. This acid irritates the nerves in your eyes, triggering a stinging sensation and causing your eyes to tear. Simple.

It is actually your body's natural protective response in action. The tears produced when cutting onions are designed to dilute and flush out the irritant and protect your eyes from potential harm. To minimise the impact of cutting onions, you should try to reduce the chemicals produced from hitting your eyes, not reducing the tears, which are their for your protection.

Cutting onions under running water can help as this washes away the irritant quickly; chilling the onion can slow down the release of the irritating chemicals; using a sharp knife can cause less damage to the onion's cells, which reduces the amount of irritant released; cutting onions under a ventilated hood or near a fan can help remove the chemicals from the air; or wearing protective eyewear can help to shield your eyes from the irritating fumes.

Remember, the tearing response to cutting onions is a natural and temporary reaction, and it varies in intensity among individuals.

How to Cut An Onion Like A Pro

Ever wondered how professional chefs can cut hundreds of onions without all the tears? Well, here are some tips straight from the professionals for mastering the humble onion.

Firstly, choose a very sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board, then place the onion on the board, root end down. Cut off the stem end of the onion, then cut it in half from the root to the stem end. Peel off the papery outside layers of each half of the onion, then place one of the onion halves flat side down on the board.

Holding the onion firmly with one hand, make vertical cuts from the top down, then make horizontal cuts across from the stem end to the root. Leave about half an inch uncut at the root end, then slice the onion by cutting perpendicular to the vertical cuts. Finally, repeat with the other half of the onion.

Remember, every slice brings you one step closer to mastering the art of onion slicing and dicing. So, with knife in hand, go forth and conquer the onion, creating a symphony of flavors without bringing tears to your eyes.