HomeLifestyleTear-Free Onion Cutting Tips

Tear-Free Onion Cutting Tips

There’s nothing as basic or as satisfying as learning how to cut onions properly. Stir fries, soups, casseroles, pasta dishes—all have the aroma and flavor of onions. Cutting onions can be challenging, but it does not have to bring you to tears. Read on for several practical onion-cutting tips.

Use the Best Tools for the Job

The first and most crucial step in learning how to properly cut an onion is to choose a good knife. Santoku blades are great choices, as their built-in fluting and extended length keep onion bits off the knife and on the cutting board. It’s better to have a sharp knife than a dull one.

Onion Cutting Tips

Slicing Onions

Slicing is one of the most basic onion cuts, and it’s a straightforward process. Sliced onions are great as garnishes, but they are also delicious caramelized. Get picture-perfect thin slices by:

  • Trimming the ends. Start by trimming the stem and root of the onion, holding the knife in your dominant hand and the onion in the other. Trimming the ends makes peeling easier.
  • Cutting the onion in half. Resting the onion on a flat end, cut it in half lengthwise. Peel the skin from both halves and don’t forget the sticky, thin layer underneath the papery outer skin.
  • Cut perpendicular slices. Make several perpendicular cuts along the onion from top to bottom. This process creates a smooth texture and a better flavor.

It helps to keep the knife tip in contact with the cutting board, moving the blade upward and downward as you slice the onion.


Diced onions come in several sizes, each with different uses. Large pieces, for instance, are used on kebabs or as flavoring for stock. Medium-diced onions are typically used in stews or soups, while finely diced onions are used in salads, sauces, and salsas. Dice onions to any size by:

  • Trimming the ends. Follow the same process mentioned above, being sure to cut about a half-inch away on the top and the bottom.
  • Cutting the onion in half. Remove the skin and inner membrane. Rest the onion on one of the flat ends and cut it in half lengthwise.
  • Make horizontal slices. Lay the halves on the cutting board and make several horizontal slices. Cut almost the entire way through, stopping at the end near the root. Use a claw grip to keep your fingers away from the knife blade.
  • Cut vertically. Make vertical cuts from the top of the onion to about a half-inch from the root.

Finish dicing the onion by making more cuts until the pieces are the desired size.

Additional Onion-Cutting Tips

Now that you’ve learned how to slice and dice onions, there are a few other considerations to make. Build confidence and skill by practicing larger cuts before attempting finer ones. If you’re moving cut onions from the cutting board to a bowl, use the flat side of the knife blade, not the sharp edge. Finally, don’t let cut onions sit too long, as they’ll become more pungent.

Bryan Cunningham is a writer who explores many different types of stories. He is skilled at creating interesting tales in various categories, making his work enjoyable for a wide range of readers.

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