How To Slice Onions Perfectly

Learning how to slice onions perfectly is an indispensable part of cooking. Onions add flavor to all sorts of cuisines and dishes; practically every single meal you will make will need onions. There are different ways to cut an onion for cooking. Minced onions are when you cut it into small bits.  Diced onions make bigger cuts than minced onions. Chopped onions are cut into ¼-inch chunks. Read on further to find out how to slice onions perfectly.  


Cutting board

  1. Choose a knife that you're comfortable with. It's important that you have a knife you can control well.
  2. First, peel the onion. Begin by chopping off the top of the onion and leaving the root intact. The root will help you stabilize the onion when you chop it. Remove the thin and papery outside layer. Sometimes you might need to remove the second layer of the onion as well.
  3. Next, stabilize the onions by cutting it in half, from the top to the base.  Rolling onions and sharp knives can be potentially dangerous in the kitchen.
  4. When chopping onions, make sure the knife's tip is pointed at the root. Slice the onion within half an inch of the base, and make ¼ inch parallel cuts.
  5. Cut these slices perpendicularly.
  6. If you need smaller pieces, like diced or minced onions, simply run your knife through the chopped pieces in a rocking motion. Make sure you hold the tip of the knife down; otherwise, the onion pieces will go flying all over the kitchen.

Other tips:

  • When chopping onions, always bend your fingers inward while you hold the onion, and use your knuckle as the guide. This protects your fingertips from being accidentally sliced by the knife.  It will take a while to get used to holding an onion this way, but this is the only safe way to chop an onion.
  • Sliced onions are great toppings for salads.
  • One of the biggest problems first-time onion-slicers experience is that they tear up when they chop opinions. This is because onions release amino acid sulfoxides and sulfenic acid into the air when sliced, irritating the eyes and making it produce more fluid to flush these chemicals out.  There are several ways you can avoid tearing up when slicing an onion.  First is to freeze the onions twenty minutes before you start cutting. This minimizes the amount of sulfenic acids released when the onion is cut. 
  • You can also try cutting the onion under running tap water, but this is harder to do. Tap water washes the sulfuric acid away and does not give it a chance to reach your ice.  Another option is to cook the onion before slicing it.  It's more difficult to slice a cooked onion, but the heat breaks down the enzymes.  An old wives' tale also says that placing a burning candle nearby is supposed to draw the gasses away from your face.


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