Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to Cut Onions with Less Tears

I love cooking -- this you have probably figured out after reading my previous posts. But what I don't like is the cleaning up after everything's done. Oh, and I also don't like cutting onions. I don't like the "crying" it causes, that's why. But I've learned several tricks to lessen the crying through the years, thanks to some friends who shared their ideas. Now, I'm going to share with you these tricks.

Before I go into that let me tell you first why cutting onions makes you cry. You see, when you cut onions, a certain chemical is released in the air. It is this chemical (in the form of gas) that triggers your tear ducts. The more you rupture the onion, the more gasis released.

The first trick is very practical -- you need to choose the best knife to use. It is best to use the sharpest knife you have -- wait, this has more to do than just making the job easier and faster. You see, a sharper knife causes less rupture into the onions (sharp knife leads to smoother cuts). The lesser the rupture, the lesser the amount of gas released.

Another trick is to put the onion in the refrigerator (but not in the freezer) first before you cut it. When it is colder, the release of gas into the air is slower.  This I think has something to do with molecules mowing slower in lower temperatures.

You can also light a candle when you are cutting an onion. I got this idea when a friend told me that a lighted candle lessens strong scents/bad odor. I thought that maybe, the light absorbs something in the air to tame the bad odor down and maybe this will also do the same thing with the gas coming from the onions.

You can also put salt on the chopping board before you start cutting. The onion will somehow absorb the chemical released.

Lastly, do not remove the outer skin right away. Halve the onion first and put the cut side down. Once done, remove the  outer skin and start cutting. 

Please do not take these tricks as scientific or the gospel truth. I did not do scientific testing to prove them although I used  some prior knowledge in science when I thought of  them. But I can guarantee you they worked for me.

And last reminder, there will still be tears. But they'll definitely be lessened.

Happy cutting.

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