Quick tips
Comments 9

How to chop and julienne an onion safely without tears

Freshly diced yellow onion

QuickTips4csMuch as they like to help out in the kitchen, every last one of my grandchildren–except the wee babe, of course–leaves the moment I break out the onions. “Eeee-ewww!” The smell! The tears!

Well, I’ve got a tip to help with that, but safety comes first, and with it the best way I’ve found to dice or julienne an onion. I don’t have the tools to make a decent video yet. Some day! Chef Brian from Dominick’s To Go does. Here he shows us how to chop an onion quickly and safely, as well as how to make those lovely julienne crescents. I especially like his careful attention to safety tips. Take a look.

What about the tears?

About those tears. Over the years I tried lots of different methods–soaking the onions in a cold-water bath, peeling them under water, setting them in the freezer for five minutes just before cutting.

The only method that worked for me, and worked well consistently, is also the easiest: Keep my mouth shut and breathe through my nose–No talking!–while peeling and cutting the onion. Forget and open my mouth to say one word? Pain and tears!

So try that when you dice or cut onions: Breathe through your nose, keep your mouth shut, don’t say a word. If you’re especially sensitive to the juice of the onion, do as my sweetheart does and cover the bowl of diced onions with a clean kitchen towel until you’re ready to add them to your recipe.

Let me know in the comments if this method works for you as well as it has for me.


  1. Well, now I know a better way to dice onions! Never too late to learn something new. As for tears, the chef that taught my international cuisine class says a lot of that is due to using a dull knife, which makes a lot of sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to make an eye-catching, mouth-watering stir-fry supper fast | YayYay's Kitchen

  3. This reminds me that I need some new kitchen knives. The only onions that don’t bring tears to my eyes are vidalias. Alas, we can get them only in late May and June; and sometimes in July. I love your tips about keeping your mouth closed. I’ll definitely be doing that from now on. Thanks for a great tip.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seeking Joyful Simplicity says

    Oh I wish my knives were as sharp as his! My 12-year old for some reason loves to cut onions. So I guess that’s my way of avoiding the tears ; )

    I love his technique and will share it with my daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.