If you’re like some people, you enjoy cooking. Believe it or not, the task of chopping, dicing, tossing and stirring can be quite soothing and many people find it relaxing. It also serves as a creative outlet for some and allows for unlimited options of mixing and matching an array of different ingredients. The world is your oyster when you have an endless supply of ingredients and a wide variety of cooking tools at your disposal.
But, like everything else in life, there are some drawbacks to even the things that we love. Chopping onions is rightfully one of the most dreaded cooking duties, and considering onions are in the majority of recipes we are faced with the challenge of chopping them more often than not. There aren’t too many people who aren’t affected by onions and oftentimes we end up with red, burning eyes and a lot of pain. Not to mention the unwelcome tears and mascara that runs down your cheeks as a result of the onion’s burning effect.
Thankfully, internet chef, Jack Scalfani, has some tips that will help you skip the tears the next time you need to chop an onion.
The first thing you need to do is find the root end of the onion. Once you find it, aim it toward the ceiling and hold your pairing knife in your dominant hand. Next, angle your knife and cut into the onion in a circular motion around the root, which ends up being about one-third of the entire onion. Be sure to cut into this portion slowly, as it’s easy to lose your grip and slice yourself. This will allow you to remove the root, which is the part that is responsible for all those unwanted tears. Most people are unaware of the fact that the root contains gases that cause your eyes to sting and burn. Without the root, your onion-chopping problem is solved. You will notice that the root comes out in the shape of a cone.
After you remove the root, you are free to start chopping. First, you’ll want to peel the brown skin until it’s completely off the onion. Now, with a steady hand, you can slice into the onion, cutting it into long strips before you dice it into smaller pieces.
Never cut the onion when it is resting on its side, instead, rest it on the cutting board with the removed root side face down, before you slice into it from the other side. Feel free to rest your free hand on top of the backside of the knife, helping you control the cutting. Once you have the onion cut in half, you will have a sturdy base so you can start slicing into it. You can cut four sections before turning it and cutting it into even more sections. Scalfani urges you to not throw the root into the garbage disposal. Simply throw it into the trash and be done with it.
Now you don’t have to veer away from using onions for your recipes and be tear-free while cutting them.