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  • Rashmeet Kaur
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Try These Easy Hacks For Cutting Onions Without Tearing Up

If crying while cutting onions is a constant struggle for you, then need to try these hacks!
Published -30 Jan 2022, 12:05 ISTUpdated -30 Jan 2022, 12:02 IST
  • Rashmeet Kaur
  • Editorial
  • Published -30 Jan 2022, 12:05 ISTUpdated -30 Jan 2022, 12:02 IST
hacks for cutting onion no tears main

Do you dread cooking with onions? Or are you fed up with those tears of irritation while cutting onions? Then, you’ve landed at the right place!

While preparing for Indian recipes, usually the first step involves chopping raw onions which means that the next few steps would be accomplished with blurry eyesight, right? 

No doubt, cooking with onions proves to be a double-edged sword. Though, they add an incredible amount of flavor to everything from meats to soups, and salads. But, on the flip side, they bring literal tears to your eyes. 

But have you ever wondered why do these onions make you cry or more importantly, how do you make it stop? No? 

Fret not! We have some hacks up our sleeves that can help you to have a far more pleasant and tear-free experience while cutting onions.

Why Do Chopping Onions Make You Cry?

onion cutting tears

Image Courtesy: greatist.com 

We all hate how the onion stings us with tears of irritation and leaves some of us sobbing uncontrollably. But why does this happen? 

In a word, it is the ‘science’!

When you cut an onion, you break through its cells. It then releases an enzyme that combines to form acids. The enzymes produce a series of chemical reactions that unleashes the propanethial S-oxide, an irritant that causes the eyes to fill with tears.

This gas reacts with the water present in the tear glands of your eyes to produce sulphuric acid. Then, it is the sulphuric acid that is the main culprit which further causes the burning sensation that stimulates your eyes to form more tears.

The Best Onion-Cutting Hacks To Prevent Crying

Now, if you are wondering if there is any way to cut onions without crying. We’ve got you! Though not all techniques work for everyone, but here are a few hacks that are worth trying to stop the waterworks.

Chill Your Onions In The Refrigerator

Extreme temperatures inhibit the release of chemicals from onions that irritate your eyes. So, if you refrigerate your onions for about 15 minutes before cutting them, it will take away the sob factor. 

With a chilled onion, less propanethial S-oxide will evaporate in the air. This further slows down the reaction and changes the chemistry of the enzymes present inside the onion. 

Always remember, refrigerate your onions, don’t freeze. As frozen onions may turn mushy when thawed.

Soak The Onions In Cold Water

soak onion in water

Image Courtesy: jewelpie.com

Another effective technique is cutting off the tops of the onions and soaking them in cold water for about 20-30 minutes. Just like refrigerating them, a cold water bath chills the onion, which further slows down the production of the sulfuric compounds.

But this method is not very easy for the newbies in the kitchen as it can make the onion a bit slippery, so they need to be careful while cutting. Also, some people believe that this method may lessen the strong onion flavour.

Fan Away The Fumes

If working with chilled onions is difficult for you then you can try this method. For this, you need to cut the onions under a fan or near a vent. The circulating air will blow the gas away from your eyes and help keep you tear-free. It will surely work, as long as you have a good overhead vent.

Don't miss: Start Adding Onions To Your Diet For A Slew Of Health Benefits

Keep A Piece Of Bread In Your Mouth

There are actually two methods that you can try with the mighty bread!

First, you need to hold it between your front teeth with your lips slightly open. It is believed that the spongy texture of the bread absorbs some of those chemicals before they get the chance to attack your eyes.

Second, if you are feeling uncomfortable while doing the first method then you can also just chew a piece of bread while cutting the onions. The reasoning behind this theory is that you should be breathing through your mouth, and not your nose, and chewing bread helps you to do that. 

Cut The Onions Near An Open Flame

light a candle while cutting onion

Image Courtesy: RecipesAreSimple

For this hack, you need to slice your onions near an open flame.  You can just move your chopping board next to the flame on a gas stove or a candle. Why? 

Actually, the fire is supposed to draw in and burn off some of the sulphuric compounds from the onion before they reach your eyes. 

But for following this method, you should follow the safety precautions and be careful about moving the cutting board too close to the flame. 

Don't miss: Add Some Flavour To Your Meals With This Recipe Of Masala Onions

Use A Sharp Knife

sharp knife onion cutting

Image Courtesy: reviewed.com

Last but not the least, you can try this method if your knife handling skills are on point. If you use a sharp knife for cutting an onion, it will cause less damage to the cell walls of the onion skin, and fewer irritants will be released. 

You will certainly be free from all the tears by trying these hacks!

Do you cook a lot? Which of these hacks are you going to try? Do share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. For more such stories, stay tuned to HerZindagi!


Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at compliant_gro@jagrannewmedia.com