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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2004 07:43 PM
borealis Last time I chopped up an onion, I rinsed it with cold water after I took off the outer skin. It worked great for me -- no burning or watering eyes.

See, you can learn useful things on VB.
07-13-2004 07:15 PM
ceryna I tried the "cutting under water" trick and I didn't shed a tear. On the other hand, it was a little awkward, because the cutting board tried to float, and all the onion pieces floated, too!

But I managed, and it worked out in the end. Next time I'll try the lit candle trick.
07-13-2004 07:12 PM
bethann keep a damp dish towel near you to wipe your face and eyes often, it's the only way that gets me through cutting onions. Fortunately, garlic doesn't cause the same reaction.
07-13-2004 03:45 PM
Originally Posted by tearhsong2 View Post

Always cut them with a very sharp knife. A dull knife will damage more cell walls which makes crying problem worse.

Exactly what I was going to say. I keep my onions in the pantry and my knives razor-sharp and I've never had a problem at all. Not even with the super-potent ones.

Keeping onions and the knife cold helps a bit, but not enough to warrant keeping my knives in the refrigerator. Besides, the only time one should keep onions in the fridge is if they've already been cut into. Otherwise, a cool, dark place is just fine for them.
07-03-2004 04:41 AM
MollyGoat What usually works for me--and I know this sounds crazy--is this: cut the onion in half so that the hairy part is on one half and the long tubular part is on the other. Now cut the one with the tubular part first.

That's it. I used to cry all the time with onions and now I almost never do, unless it's a super-potent one. Very strange.

I can't believe there are people refrigerating their onions! They get all rubbery and lose their snap--bleah.
07-02-2004 04:11 PM
Peter Parker bah!

A onion is suppose to be that way! suck it up and chop right in.

Hell, I eat them like apples.


I also thought this was, what I like to call, a "veggie gone mad" thread. Afraid cutting veggies caused them pain.
07-02-2004 03:43 PM
Galatea Gee, you're all quite creative. My solution to this was to just bend down where I was nearly eye-level with the cutting board (and onion) since the fumes don't really float sideways. Always works for me. I also try to use red onions instead since they don't seem to cause the same problem.
07-01-2004 09:24 PM
kpickell Yeah, I would get quite teary when I used to cut onions at my mom's house because she keeps hers under the counter. But I never have any problems with mine because I keep them in the fridge. They say they don't taste as fresh and pungent when they're refridgerated which is why most people don't, but they taste fine to me.
07-01-2004 07:33 PM
Joe I chop a fair amount of onions but seem to avoid eye sting. I dunno why.

maybe because I keep them in the fridge.

I think I read somewhere that if you put the onion in the microwave and "nuke" it for 15 to 20 seconds, that will reduce your tears.

I have not tried this.
07-01-2004 05:48 PM
antelope224 If you had a lot of onions, I'm not sure this would work, but I cut mine under water. Just fill up a dishwash tub (the same I use to wash the veggies) and put my cutting board in the bottom, no tears!
07-01-2004 04:45 PM
tearhsong2 Always cut them with a very sharp knife. A dull knife will damage more cell walls which makes crying problem worse. A cold onion and a cold knife help a lot, too.
07-01-2004 04:10 PM
cajunlibra I've heard soaking them in ice cold water after you cut off the ends and peeling them helps. It's also a good idea to put them in the freezer for I think 20-30 min before you want to chop them.
07-01-2004 03:26 PM
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

This probably doesn't help since you are someone who wears glasses (or so I guess from your current cartoon avatar ) but if you wear contacts while you chop they don't sting your eyes nearly so much.

Actually, I don't really wear glasses but I have them and I'm supposed to wear them while I'm reading. They look sort of like the ones in my avatar but not that cool. I think the last time I wore them was 2 or 3 years ago .
07-01-2004 12:41 PM
GhostUser i read somewhere if you cut an onion with a piece of bread sticking out of your mouth that will help. Sounds silly, but worth a try...Cutting onions doesn't really bother me but i refrigerate mine so maybe that helps.
07-01-2004 10:08 AM
GhostUser Chew gum while you cut onions. For some reason it works. I know there's a scientific reason because I heard it on Bill Nye the Science Guy one morning...just can't remember it.
07-01-2004 09:52 AM
plath A lot of people used to chop onions with a lit match in their mouth-- (not that I recommend that) supposedly the sulfur burns off the chemical which makes you cry.

I usually just buy the frozen chopped onions and use those, or if I want something special like vidalias, I chop up a bunch at once and then freeze the rest.
07-01-2004 09:43 AM
msbunnicula I don't know why a lit candle works, but I found this on the cook's illustrated site:

Tear-free chopping?

We tested over 20 methods for reducing the number of tears shed while chopping onions. If you wear contact lenses youre in luck theyre one of the surefire methods of preventing tears. The only other thing thats as good as wearing contacts is to sport swimming or skiing goggles, which may make you look like a kitchen terrorist, but is extremely effective. The next best thing is to keep a lit candle beside your cutting board, or if you have a gas stove and counter space beside it, do your onion chopping near a lit burner.
07-01-2004 08:45 AM
IamJen I too laughed at the title. I was like, geez.

I quick run mine under cold water and don't have any problems. Viva la onion!
07-01-2004 08:12 AM
qetta On Martha Stewart's show once she said it helped to cut an onion near an open flame, but I can't remember the reasoning behind that theory. She demonstrated cutting the onion near a gas stove, with one of the burners on. A lit candle nearby sounds a lot safer to me, though.
07-01-2004 08:04 AM
DancNSpin What does a lit candle do?
07-01-2004 07:43 AM
Vicky yeah, only onions stick to the sides of the dish and the blades don't cut all of them, that's why i add water
07-01-2004 07:38 AM
msbunnicula I used to put a lit candle by the onion, and that seemed to help a bit.

The other option (which I've been meaning to do), is to buy one of those mini-choppers. They're really cheap and they would be perfect for chopping onions.
07-01-2004 07:02 AM
Vicky misq17

i have the same exact problem ! i love onions but my eyes are WAAAY too sensative to chop them, so when i'm cooking for other people i make someone else do it i think that is the best way of dealing with the problem. i've tried cold water, and it doesn't work for me, haven't tried refrigerating yet but it sounds like i'd work better.

and when i need onions for soup or w/e i cut them in a few pieces and put them in a blender with a little bit of water.
07-01-2004 06:52 AM
missleigh I also try not to breathe through my nose when I'm cutting an onion, or I step back a bit to breathe more deeply.
07-01-2004 04:03 AM
Kiz This probably doesn't help since you are someone who wears glasses (or so I guess from your current cartoon avatar ) but if you wear contacts while you chop they don't sting your eyes nearly so much.
07-01-2004 02:19 AM
GhostUser The title of this topic and the first sentence made me laugh out loud Hehe, thanks.

I've never heard about the cold water/refrigeration thing, although rinsing the onion and my hands off has helped me a few times. What works for me is to just not breathe through my nose... sounds simplistic but it works for a lot of people I assume, since they recomended it in my cooking class. Between that and cold water I think you'll be all set.
07-01-2004 01:10 AM
brownieB26 Kpickell is right. If you refridgerate your onions they shouldn't burn as bad. RUnning them under a cool faucet should also help
07-01-2004 01:03 AM
borealis I used to have to chop lots of onions in one of my jobs. I found the best way to deal with it was with positioning in relation to the exaust fan -- so that the fan sucked the onion fumes away from me. If you don't have an exaust fan, putting a fan in the window might help.

I didn't know about refrigerating them, though, or the cold water thing -- I'd give those a try first.
07-01-2004 12:47 AM
kpickell takes the sting out
07-01-2004 12:40 AM
misq17 No, should I be?
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