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Preventing Tears When Chopping Onions

The tears from slicing onions can be so annoying. These tears are caused by releasing the gasses from the onion when it is cut and them making their way up to your eyes. Stop these gasses in their tracks just by sprinkling a bit of salt on your onion before chopping away. The salt dissolves the sulphur in the vapors. It also helps to use a sharp knife on a refrigerated onion, as less of the irritating enzymes will be released into the air. Happy chopping!

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Supplies:

  • onion
  • salt
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10 More Solutions

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September 23, 2010

Onions have been a part of my cooking for 50 years, and I'm still amazed at those who cannot cut one up without getting runny eyes. Here is how I avoid that.

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Before slicing or chopping an onion, put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes. It won't burn your eyes since the liquid will be partially frozen!

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I have no idea why this works, just that it does. When chopping onions, hold a wooden spoon in your mouth and you never have painful, teary eyes.

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August 30, 2010

To peel onions without tears, soak onions in water for 2 minutes and peel. Process by chopping some and slicing the rest in the food processor. Then store in separate air tight containers in the refrigerator. Use as needed.

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March 14, 2008

Fed up with the tears when cutting up onions? Put your cutting board on the stove (while the burners were off, of course) and turn on the range's vent fan. Now you can chop your onions tear-free!

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October 8, 2018

Squirting lemon juice before cutting onions is a good way to reduce tears. This page is about using lemon juice to reduce onion tears.

Lemon, onion and kitchen knife on a wooden board

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May 15, 2017

Onions produce a chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This substance causes the common eye watering we experience when cutting onion. There are some ways to help keep this from happening. This is a page about cut onions wearing swimming goggles.

A man wearing swimming goggles while cutting an onion.

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September 23, 2010

Keep onions in the refrigerator for 4 days to stop tears when slicing onions. This is a tried and true tip.

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December 16, 2009

I love cooking and cook all the time, often with either onions or garlic. My complaint is how do I keep from shedding tears when cutting onions?

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October 14, 2009

When you are cutting onions, simply keep your mouth closed. Don't talk; and try not to breathe in too heavily.

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