In the Kitchen – Crying Over Onions

Are you thinking Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart) would be just about perfect for your Mothers’ Day brunch? … but don’t want to deal with the tears from slicing two pounds of onions. Sweet onions, red onions or yellow onions, they all contain sulfides that are released into the air as soon as you start to chop, dice or slice them. These sulfides irritate your eyes which defend themselves with a flood of tears to flush away the irritants.

Unless you are in need of a good cry (and who isn’t from time to time), here are a few tips to help you battle the tears. Give them a try and see which one works for you!

Chill the onions first. Either store them in the refrigerator or toss them in the freezer for ten minutes before cutting.

Give the onions a good soak in cold water before slicing.

Use a good, sharp knife for a clean cut. Dull blades release more onion fumes. In addition, a sharp knife will make short work of an onion, giving you less time to cry.

Open a window or plug in a fan and cut your onions in a well-ventilated room.

Light a candle and set it next to your cutting board. The heat will attract the onion fumes.

Breathe through your mouth and not your nose when you chop.

Cover your eyes with onion goggles. And if you don’t feel like plunking down another $20 for another kitchen gadget? Just slip on your swim goggles or your kid’s snorkel mask.

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite herb? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

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2 thoughts on “In the Kitchen – Crying Over Onions

    • Thanks Jeannine. I find the best trick is working fast with a good, sharp knife. If I’ve got a huge mound to do, I light a candle – I’m not convinced it works but it makes the kitchen seem more homey on a cold winter day. Glad to hear you are experimenting and getting out of your rut! Have fun – Susan

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