One of my favorite meals to make is onion soup. Unfortunately when cutting onions I am usually forced to wear swimming goggles or end up with tears running down my face and feeling like my eyeballs are on fire. Somehow my onion cutting goggles went missing a while ago and making my yummy onion soup became pure torture. The pain from the onion fumes was so horrible that I forced my husband to take over the onion cutting duties. I figured there had to be a way to cut onions without pain and suffering. There are many methods on the internet that claim to prevent tears when cutting onions and I tried a whole bunch of them. Now I am going to tell you what actually works.
So why do onions make you cry anyways? Well not to get super technical but here is the explanation in a nutshell: Onions contain an enzyme that gets released when you cut them. When the enzymes combine with the acid in the onion it creates a gas. When the gas hits the water in your eyeball it reacts and creates sulfuric acid. So, no wonder it burns like hell.
Okay, how do we get the burning to stop? Here is what works for me:
Take your onions and chop off the ends then immediately run them under cool water and peel the outer layer off the onion. Take the naked onions and place them in a bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to an hour. Rinsing off some of the onion juices will help reduce the enzymes that are being released and chilling the onions slows the chemical reaction time and changes the chemical composition of the onion.
When I am ready to cut the onions I place the cutting board near the stove and turn the fan on high before I start chopping.
Not a single tear shed! Do you have any tips to prevent tears when chopping onions?