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How to Cut an Onion Without Tears

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How to Cut an Onion Without Tears


So you’re preparing dinner all by yourself when a family member walks in, takes a look at you, and turns white. “Is everything OK?!” they’ll ask. “Did somebody die?!” You laugh through the tears and say, “Oh no, I just cut an onion!”

Has that happened to you before? It has certainly happened to me. Those pesky, stinging tears that go along with chopping up an onion are such a pain! Luckily, though, these tears can be easily avoided if you know what you’re doing and you have the proper equipment. Read on for the proper way to cut an onion. As an added bonus, discover the best techniques for caring for “onion eyes” on the following page.

So why do onions make you cry in the first place? Well, it’s all about the enzymes. Cutting into an onion breaks cells, and causes different enzymes to interact with each other to produce a whole new enzyme. This enzyme irritates your eyes, which creates tears.

Earlier: 12 Ways to Enjoy Arugula

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Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, Green Kitchen Tips, Raw, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
4:46AM PDT on Sep 23, 2015


3:57PM PDT on Apr 14, 2015

I will try this.
Thanks Katie.

8:49AM PDT on Aug 18, 2013


8:58AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

water works

6:23PM PDT on Aug 16, 2013


1:24PM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Thanks, often wondered how that was done. I put my onion in the fridge before I cut it which seems to work well.

6:29AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

Emma K. very good tip! T.Y. and yes, looks fun imagine someone using something like that :)

I put onions on the frezzer and keep my hand with water...

5:20AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

I don't seem to have this problem...

2:55AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

I always cut the onions when I'm at people's houses who cry from that. I wear contact lenses! it took me a long time to figure out why I don't cry cutting onions, and that's the answer!

7:58AM PDT on May 28, 2013

I always wear swimming goggles, personally. Works perfectly and gives my housemates a laugh!

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people are talking

@ Harry S - I can't believe anyone is really that stupid. You must be pulling our leg...

Thanks for the reminder.

thank you, interesting


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