How to chop an onion without crying

I love Jamie Oliver, I own most of his cook books… I like how he now tries to cook for everyone rather than fancy pants 25 exotic ingredient that you only use once.

Back in his naked chef days, off camera a producer asked him how he managed to cut up onions without crying. He said something like he didn’t know but didn’t mind a good cry.

Chefs don’t cry when they cut up onions from what I’ve seen. I think it’s because they have the knife skills to cut it up pretty quickly.

I do not have good knife skills. In fact I have the knife skills of someone likely to cut themselves or others in the attempt. When they say dice finely, I think rustic/homestyle will be much better.

A winner of Masterchef I would never be. Thus a sharp object and running eyes are to be avoided at all costs.

I cannot claim my technique for cutting onions without crying is foolproof, I can say it works for me most of the time… when I remember how to do it.

So here it is.

Place your onion with the root bit pointing towards you on a cutting surface. The pointy bit should be stick away from you. It doesn’t matter if you peel the onion or not at this stage.

Just in case you think you know what’s coming…. Do not cut the onion in half from the pointy bit to the bottom, repeat do not. I don’t know why but this sets off the strong smell, stinging your eyes, resulting in sniffles and tears.

Instead cut your onion in half through the middle horizontally. Leaving the pointy bit and the root bit intact but seperate.

If you haven’t peeled your onion you can do this now. And then slice, chop or dice your onion as required by whatever you’re making. But just like magic you’ll be doing this without crying.

The first time I did it (by accident it must be said), I was so surprised but it’s worked almost every time and I now claim this as my one and only culinary party trick.

Hurrah – for no more tears onion cutting.

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