Is there anything more annoying than the burning in your eyes while chopping onions? And it can be highly embarrassing (or hilarious) when people tear up while handling onions. Sometimes, it almost feels like we have an emotionally complicated relationship with onions.
It’s no secret. Even the strongest people break down and shed a tear or two when dicing onions. And it just won’t stop until you’re done with them. If someone finds you in that state in the kitchen, well, I can feel the awkwardness from here! No one wants to be part of that conversation.
So, there you go. We HAVE to find a way to stop onions from burning our eyes and ruining our day. No more burning, no more tears, and of course, no more awkward encounters in the kitchen. With that admirable goal in mind, I set out to find out the best ways to stop this nuisance, once and for all.
I did find a few great solutions. Now, I have to share the secrets with you, too:
Table of Contents
How to Cut Onions Without Crying out your Eyes
1. Get Goggles
Let’s start with something obvious but very effective. Goggles can be a perfect option to protect your eyes from the cruelty of onions. Regular shades won’t work as they don’t cover the area around your eyes. But goggles do, and they create a seal around your eyes. So, the onion vapor can’t wiggle its way into your eyes. How nice is that?
There are special goggles available in the market designed to solve this problem specifically. However, if you ask me, swimming goggles work just as well. In any case, these are some of the best onion goggles I could find:
- RSVP International (TEAR-BK) Black Onion Goggles, 6″
- Haoun 2 Pack Onion Goggles Tear Free Kitchen Eye Glasses
- RSVP International 5380 White Onion Goggles, 6″
- Barbecue Goggles Onion Goggles for Grilling BBQ Food
2. Freeze Your Onions
You’re going to love this solution. Just put the onion in the freezer for at least an hour before cutting it. The cold of the freezer takes the sting out of the onion chemicals. So, when you take them out of the cold and peel them, your eyes don’t burn as much. Try it out the next time you get groceries, and be prepared for your life to change overnight!
3. Open the Vents
If you have a ventilator in your kitchen, this method might just do the trick. Take the chopping board to the vent, turn it on, and stand right under the vent while chopping your onion. Hopefully, the fan on the vent will redirect the stinging fumes from the onion outside to somewhere far away from your eyes.
I know it sounds too good to be true, but this is a quick hack that works pretty well in reality. Don’t come for me if you do get an odd sting or two in your eyes! But overall, it’s one of the quickest ways to cut the drama from chopping onions.
4. Soak ’em in Water
This one’s similar to the freezing technique. Here, you’ll be soaking the onions around 15 minutes before you get to work on them. Soaking beforehand removes the chemicals that burn your eyes. And it works. There will be very little stinging happening in and around your eyes if you follow this technique. However, let me remind you of one thing, this can leave the tasting a bit milder. That’s not a big issue for me. If it is for you, then keep reading, my friend!
5. Cut Under Tap Water
What’s the difference between this one and the previous technique, you ask? Quite simple. If you don’t have the time (or patience) to wait around for the onions to soak in water, this method will be more up to your speed. Take the chopping board under an open tap. Cut onion as usual under the flow of water.
And voila! The vapor doesn’t get the chance to hit your eyes due to the running water.
This method has its downsides, however. The onion gets slippery with the water flow, and it’s hard to keep cutting. So, be careful! And if you’re feeling unsure, skip this one.
6. Get a Lemon
I’m serious, just get a lemon. I am a big fan of this technique. Get a lemon, cut it in half, and rub it all over the chopping board. Do the same with your knife. Now when you cut your onion, the vapor won’t sting your eyes for some reason. The scientific reason behind it escapes me to this day. But I know one thing, and that is this trick works.
On the plus side, using lemon gets rid of the onion-y smell that usually lingers on the board and the knife. So, now your entire kitchen won’t start smelling of onion. I’d say that’s a major win!
7. Boiling Water
As you can tell, many of these tips involve water in some shape or form. This time again, it’s a bit different. Take water in a pot and put it on the stove. Please wait until it starts to boil. Now cut the onion right by the boiling water. The trick is to let the evaporating water dissipate the onion’s fumes. Give it a try before you discard this one, you’ll thank me.
8. Light a Candle
No, this isn’t to make the chore of cutting onions more romantic. Light a candle before getting on with your onion work. Lighting a candle makes the process a bit easier as the flame eats up and takes the fumes away. On top of it all, the candle will make the entire activity feel much more special. Win-win?
9. Vinegar and Salt
If none of the techniques so far have helped, this one surely will. All you need is vinegar and salt. The vinegar you put on the cutting board. The salt you add to the water before soaking the onion. Both these items will help you eliminate the stingy chemicals from the onion. But fair warning, the onion might taste a bit unusual.
I don’t think any of these methods are too complicated. If anything, you most likely have most of the required items in your house. So, why not give them a try? I’ll admit some of the tricks are a little more elaborate than others, but hey, no more tears! They do give results, and that’s a fair compromise.