You've been asked to be the sous chef while your spouse plays the chef. One of your jobs is to slice, chop, and mince some onions. Just thinking about it, the tears start to gather at the corners of your eyes. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but we all know how bad it can be working with onions. The sulfur compounds found in onions are noxious and highly volatile, entering the air with that very first slice into the onion.
Following are four easy, tried-and-true suggestions for minimizing the flow of tears:
- Remove eyeglasses. If you do not need to wear glasses to slice, chop, and/or mince, remove them. The sulfur compounds that are immediately released into the air will quickly rise to your face, getting trapped between the eyeglass lenses and your eyes. The burning sensation will be intensified.
- Close your mouth or chew gum. Either way, keeping your mouth closed will help minimize the sulfur compounds from being ingested.
- Place an unlit sulfur match (red tip) between your lips. The sulfur in the match helps to neutralize the sulfur compounds coming from the onions. Plus you are, once again, keeping your mouth closed.
- Run the onion under cold water. The sulfur compounds are water soluble. If you run the onion under cold water during the large chop portion, many of the sulfur compounds will head down the drain. Then you can continue with a finer chop, if necessary, still following one of the above suggestions.
If none of these suggestions work for you, it might be time to find someone else to slice, chop, or mince the onions! Maybe you could be the chef and encourage your spouse to do all the pre-preparations.