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Simple Tip: Chop Onions Last

When a recipe calls for an assortment of diced vegetables, like carrots, celery, garlic, and onions, chop the onions last. This is especially important if you are prone to crying when slicing onions.

The onion's chemicals will leave a natural residue in the air and on the cutting board and knife. The minute diced onions hit the pan, however, the enzymes that produce the tear-inducing gases are destroyed. The less time between dicing and cooking onions the better.

Got a tip for chopping veggies? Share with us below!

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Twinkled Twinkled 8 years
I am extremely sensitive to crying with the onions. I found out one thing that helps though is after I make the initial cutting of the onion in half, I run it under cold water. That seems to help wash away the enzymes/juices that make you cry. Or at least postpone them from affecting you as much.
horserflyfarms horserflyfarms 8 years
Don't know about keeping the crying down, but I do know how to get rid of that onion smell that stays on your hands all night. Wash your hands with table salt, scrub them real good with a good pile of salt, make it like a paste and scrub into your hands, don't miss under your fingernails, them rinse and wash with regular soap. Works every time.
Henley1 Henley1 8 years
Oh all you silly people!! Don't you know the first rule about cutting onions? Make sure everything is wet (insert your own joke here) but if you hands are wet, knife, cutting board and the onion, ha! NO crying. Keep wetting the knife and the onion slightly as you continue to slice or chop. You'll be amazed!
MzKita MzKita 8 years
The fridge deal works!!! You don't neccesarily have to freeze them, just chill them a bit. I don't know why but i've always chopped my onions last...I guess I inadvertently picked that up from my mother.
chancleta chancleta 8 years
wow I've got the try the candle thing 'cause I cry like a baby
sarahloiss sarahloiss 8 years
When I was back in high school, I read in a cookbook for teens that if you cut an onion near the open flame of a gas stove that you won't cry. BELIEVE ME!! IT WORKS!! It's been my method of chopping onions for years!!
inthewrong inthewrong 8 years
I wear a pair of swim goggles when I chop onions! I never have to worry about crying, because the chemicals never get to my eyes. I look funny but my makeup never runs!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
Isn't that what kids are for? ;) I usually get tasked with the chopping-prep when I cook with my girlfriend, as my knife skills are better. I'll agree with the maintenance of the root bundle to hold the thing together, but there isn't a damn thing out there that keeps my eyes from stinging short of wearing swimming goggles.
MsChoo MsChoo 8 years
The candle thing works for me :)
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 8 years
I tried the candle too. Doesn't work. Thanks for the tip though! Maybe I'm just incredibly sensitive.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I heard somewhere that having a lit candle nearby will reduce the crying... the candle burns up the gas that the onion gives off so it won't bother your eyes.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 8 years
I always cut the onions first, on purpose! I want everything I cut on the board to slightly taste like onions :P about the crying... I've tried everything and my eyes still tear up so much that I have to stop every few seconds because I can't see. lol
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know...
nv27 nv27 8 years
Onions dont make me cry, maybe cause I wear contacts like some of the others said, but, they do stink up my whole condo and everything else in the fridge for about a week. Ill try refrigerating before I chop, hope that helps.
syako syako 8 years
Good idea flying! Oh man, I might just do it tonight. ;) The nose breathing doesn't work for my husband either. :shrug:
flyingroo flyingroo 8 years
Syako, please take pics next time you chop your onion, and post them in your profile :-)
mswender mswender 8 years
I just put onions in the fridge and will remember to breathe through my mouth! I always react to the onions if I am not wearing my contacts and I find that running cold water helps.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Nose breathing doesn't work for me, sadly. Wearing my contacts does, though.
syako syako 8 years
Don't breathe in through your nose. You won't cry. I love chopping onions, I have it down to a science. It's a little too methodical but it works like magic! I don't even know if I could explain it via typing... lemme try: 1. Chop onion in half. Peel it. 2. Chop one of the halves in half again (making quarters) 3. Lay a quarter flat and then cut thin slices to the end. 4. Lay the slices on their sides flat without moving them around too much and chop into thin dices going in a semi-circular method. Told you it was complicated. :P
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I use frozen, diced onions.
Anne-B Anne-B 8 years
I usually chop onion first, since it goes in the pan first.
Punk-Glam-Queen Punk-Glam-Queen 8 years
Great tips! I do the onion in the fridge to keep from crying. Also make sure to add garlic *after* the onion to reduce the chance of the garlic burning.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
When dicing onions, don't cut off the roots. Cut the onion in half, top to bottom (so you have roots on each half). Slice back to the roots (perpendicular to roots) without cutting through the roots, then dice the onion. The roots help keep the onion all together so it's easier to dice. Cut off the roots at the end. :)
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
Putting onions in the fridge before chopping them also helps cut back on the tear inducing sting.
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