Okay, today’s post is about one of life’s annoyances: Experiencing the water works while cutting onions! So apparently, when cutting onions, the onion releases some sort of gas which I don’t remember the name of (and most of us don’t really care), but what we do care about is that the annoying gas burns our eyes (or at least it does mine). So HOW DO WE STOP IT?
Well…if you are really into making fashion statements in the kitchen, you could always do as one of my good friends and go with the goggle method::
But if that’s just not you, here are some other suggestions:
Cutting Onions Without Crying:
I have heard from various sources that running the onion under cold water works. This however does not work for me. If this is a successful method for you, let me know how you do it! I usually end up running back to the sink several times in hopes that another rinse will reduce my tears! I did however hear that you are supposed to leave the root end attached, which I have not tried so maybe that’s the trick!
- Put your onion in the fridge either the day before using it, or a few hours before. This one works best for me. Apparently a cold onion does not release gases like a warm one does! Who knew? Also, after cutting onions, they are good for 5-7 days in the fridge, so if your recipe only calls for a half, just cut the whole thing and save the other half (already chopped up) for later.
- Cut in a well-ventilated area. If you’re desperate, running a small fan while you are cutting onions will also help. I however, do not have a small fan and even if I did I would probably be too lazy to go get it. If you’re like me, just run the fan on the hood of the stove and call it good.
- Keep the exposed cuts away from you. These next two tips I got from thekitchn.com as I had not heard them before. According to them: “As soon as you cut an onion in half, turn both halves down on your cutting board. Leave the side you aren’t currently chopping unpeeled. Once you’ve finished with one half, move the diced onion into a prep bowl, and set it on the opposite side of the kitchen, before proceeding with the rest of the onion.”
- Use a sharp knife. Also from thekitchn.com, using a sharp knife while cutting onions will cause less damage to the cell wall out of the onion, releasing less gassy irritants. Makes sense. Maybe that’s why I cry so much when cutting onions. I chop the heck out of the thing as quickly as I can in a frenzied rush to have it done and over with!
- While cutting, don’t open your mouth. Breathe through your nose and don’t talk (I have not personally tried this method).
- Ask your husband to cut them for you (okay, okay…I have done this one).
- Just forget that your recipe called for an onion in the first place, or use a food processor 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the tips! What works for you when it comes to cutting onions?
When To Use Which Onion: The Difference Between Yellow, White & Red Onions
I tend to be a little behind when it comes to useful knowledge in the kitchen, so if I’m the only one that didn’t know this, just ignore everything from this point on. When I first got married I had no idea when I was supposed to use which color of onion. If my recipe generically called for an onion, I would sit in the produce aisle in a panicked stupor: “WHICH ONE? There are THREE colors!” And then I would wonder if it was even worth it to risk ruining my recipe by getting the wrong one. Okay, so I wasn’t quite that dramatic about it, but close.
So if that’s you, fear not my friend. I’m here to put an end to your worries. Keep in mind, it really comes to personal preference but this is the general guideline:
YELLOW ONIONS: This one is your standard, and is most common for cooking. If your recipe calls for an onion and doesn’t specify which one, most likely you will be choosing yellow. Yellow onions are also the strongest, and will be the ones that make you cry when you cut them!
WHITE ONIONS: White onions have a more mild flavor, but you can use them in place of yellow in a recipe if you don’t have a yellow on hand, or if you don’t want the onion “taste” to be as powerful. White onions are also the ones that are typically used in Mexican foods (white onions are usually what you see in pico de gallo, etc.).
RED ONIONS: Red onions have a more mild flavor and are mostly used in fresh/cold recipes like salads, sandwiches and burgers.
*When shopping for onions, look for ones that are firm, without dark spots, and without a strong smell (sign that it is starting to go bad).
Oh, and if you’re like really enjoying this post and feel like you just want to keep learning more and more, here’s an article all about onions 🙂 Enjoy!
Not quite sure how to chop an onion? Fear not, I got you covered (okay, okay…Youtube has you covered). Here’s a short entertaining little video on cutting onions to help you out: