Cooking Fundamentals: Essential Know-How For Cutting an Onion

Cooking with onions can add flavor and texture to many recipes, but knowing how to cut the onions is necessary. Onions, like other vegetables, can be cut in a variety of shapes and sizes, but care does need to be taken to make sure it’s done right. Use the following tips to learn how to cut an onion properly to keep you safe while you cut and make sure it’s ready for the recipe. 

Make Sure You Have a Sharp Knife

When cutting an onion, chemicals are released, which is what causes people to cry. The chemicals are released when cells inside the onion are cut, but there is a way to minimize this. Using a sharp knife helps cut cleaner, which reduces the amount of chemicals released. This won’t prevent crying entirely, but it definitely helps. Using a sharp knife is also much safer, though it is important to practice knife safety when cutting anything in the kitchen.

Slice in Half From the Root

Stand the onion up so that the root is on top. Slice downwards, cutting the root and then the onion in half. Hold the onion carefully during this step to prevent it from moving and to keep your fingers safely away from the knife. This step is important for making it easier to set the onion down on the table without it moving and to make it easier to peet the onion before cutting it further. Skip this step if you want to cut onion rings, but for any other cut, this is a crucial step to allow the onion to sit flat on the table. 

Remove the Peel

Once the onion has been cut in half, it’s time to remove the peel. There are some tricks to make sure the entire peel is removed as easy as possible. Do not skip this step, though, as it is much easier to remove the peel now rather than try to remove all the small pieces after the onion is cut further. Take the time to make sure the entire peel is off, so you don’t find any small pieces during the next step. You can also cut the root off now, so it’s not in the way when you cut the onion further. 

Cut into the Right Sized Pieces

The last step is to cut the onion into the right-sized pieces. What are the right sizes? That depends on the recipe you’re making. Check to see if the onions need to be minced, diced, or just cut into smaller pieces. This can help you make sure it’s right for the recipe. Only cut the amount of onions needed for the recipe at this point. The rest of the onions can be stored whole, allowing them to be cut to the perfect size the next time you need them. 

Onions can add quite a bit to any recipe, but it is crucial to make sure you cut them properly. Doing so can help you ensure you are safe while cutting, help cut down on the potential for you to cry while cutting them, and make sure they’re the perfect size for whatever you are making. Now that you know how to cut an onion, take a look at the many recipes where they’re used to find the perfect one to try with your family. 

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