How to Cut an Onion (VIDEO)
Everything you ever wanted to know about how to cut an onion, from finely chopping onion for Ceviche, to slicing for French Onion Soup and cutting into Onion Rings. Watch the video tutorial and learn how to chop an onion the easy way.
It’s true, I have an onion complex. Onions are never in short supply at our house. I think they make everything taste better; except dessert, I haven’t found a way to put those together… YET.
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I recently discovered that onions are considered a superfood. Oh yeah! That’s especially exciting because onion is a staple in my cooking and especially in Ukrainian cuisine; baked, stewed, broiled, boiled, tossed into salads, sautéed, seared, marinated, and even raw with a bit of salo (not that I eat salo, but it is customary in Ukraine).
Salo probably cancels out the superfood onion though, so forget that last part. This means I probably won’t be making a salo tutorial. Please stop crying.
Watch How To Cut an Onion:
I hope you found the onion cutting video tutorial helpful. Thanks for stopping by my blog to watch the videos, cook the recipes, and for leaving your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I’m so happy I started blogging or I may never have met you. You are wonderful.
Before you start…
Use a sharp knife – For safety and to minimize tears, it is critical to use a very sharp knife. A dull knife is more likely to slip while cutting. Check out our tutorial on How to Sharpen Your Knife and learn basic knife skills to protect your fingers while slicing and dicing.
How to finely chop an onion
Here’s a quick photo reference from the video tutorial above.
- Cut the onion in half from root to stem.
- Set the onion on the flat side and cut off the stem end, leaving the root intact.
- Slice the onion parallel with the lines of the onion, going as close to the root as you can without cutting all the way through.
- Pull the onion together and cut halfway into the center of it with your knife at an angle.
- Chop the onions crosswise into fine dice or to your desired thickness.
How to thinly slice an onion
- Cut the onion in half from root to stem/
- Set the onion on the flat side and cut off both ends.
- Thinly slice the onion, cutting parallel with the lines of the onion (root to tip)
How to cut an onion into rings
- Cut the stem off (leave the root intact).
- Use a pairing knife to pull back and remove the peel.
- Optional – remove a small slit from one end to give the onion a more stable surface.
- Cut the onion into rings to your desired thickness, parallel to the root.
How much chopped onion does an onion yield?
Some recipes call for measurements in chopped onion, i.e 1 cup onions, finely chopped. Here’s a helpful guide for choosing the correct size of onion based on its yield when chopped.
- Small Onion = 4 oz (1/4 lb or lemon-sized) = 1/2 cup chopped
- Medium Onion = 8 oz (1/2 lb or apple-sized) = 1 cup chopped
- Large Onion = 12 oz (3/4 lb or orange-sized) = 1 1/2 cups chopped
- Jumbo Onion = 16 oz (1 lb, or grapefruit-sized) = 2 cups chopped
I’ll do my best to stay on track with this chart throughout my recipes to minimize confusion (my mom grows plenty of onions for the whole family and those can come in cute extra small and extra small, baby sizes also.
How to store chopped onions
Once onions are sliced, transfer to an airtight storage container (to contain the strong onion aroma) and refrigerate for up to a week. Refrigerated onions tend to get more potent in flavor the longer they sit. If you want to enjoy them raw (in Homemade Salsa, Guacamole, etc), they should be used within 2 days of refrigerating. Onions stored for longer should only be used for cooking.
How to cut an onion without crying
I have read countless tips over the years for how to not cry cutting an onion. The only tip that works every time is to use onion goggles, and although it always gives someone a good laugh, it’s definitely not practical. Here are my best tips to reduce tears:
- Do not cut off the root or it will cause the onion to juice and make you cry.
- Use a sharp knife to make clean strokes through the onion (do not saw through the onion)
- A kitchen range hood vent can help reduce some of the fumes that are released from the onion. Slice the onion near the vent.
If you have any tricks up your sleeve to prevent onion tears, let me know in the comments.
How to Cut an Onion
Cut the onion in half lengthwise from the root to the stem.
Set the onion on the flat side and cut off the stem end, leaving the root end intact.
Slice the onion parallel with the lines of the onion. Get close to the root but don't cut all the way through.
Pull the onion together with your fingers and cut halfway into the center of the onion with your knife at a slight angle.
Chop the onions crosswise into fine dice or to your desired thickness.