Who doesn’t tear up while chopping onions?
I used to cry hot tears when I cut onions… So much it was ridiculous. I hated it. For the longest time, I tried to avoid cooking with onions. Which was even more ridiculous!
For a while, I used vegetable choppers that were fast but they are hard to wash and they turn your onions into mush.
Over time, I learned a few tricks for tear-free onion cutting that one might consider as old wives tales. Hold on though! I did some research to find the scientific truth behind this mystery and I discovered some facts. Aha!
It turns out that the cut up onion releases vapors, a volatile sulfur that reaches your eyes and reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The acid burns your eyes and causes more tears. One way to avoid this reaction is by absorbing gas in water before it reaches your eyes.
Here are the tricks:
1- Plan ahead to soak the onions in water after you cut them open.
2- Slice the onion directly under running water. This works only for large slicing, not coarse dicing.
3- Before cutting the onions open, fill up your mouth with clear water. Do not swallow it for as long as you can while breathing through your nose. If you are chopping a large amount of onions, you may need to repeat the process until you’re done. This one may seem awkward, but it works especially if you’re in a hurry.
Though unusual, these tricks worked for me. And they are backed up by scientific proof! If you’re still not convinced, go ahead, try them for yourself!
(From Abee’s bag of tricks)