The most terrible thing about cooking is chopping onions. And you hate the fact that chopping onions makes you cry. If only there was a way to avoid these tears.
But did you know why cutting onions makes you cry? Onion comprises the outer leaves called tunic, the white juicy, edible part called scales and the shoot also called the basal plate. Upon crushing, it is this basal plate that releases an enzyme which reacts with the rest of the onion to further release a gas. Now when this gas comes in contact with water it results into an acid. So if you have water in your eyes, then you feel it sting and burn due to the acid.
We bring you five super hacks that will make your onion peeling and chopping experience tear-free. You don’t have to fret about cooking anymore!
1. Use a sharp knife
Since the crushing of the basal plate leads to production of enzymes, a sharp knife will slice through the onion instead of breaking or crushing it. In this process only fewer enzymes are released. And your work will get that much easier. Throw away those blunt knives from the kitchen cabinet, chop veggies particularly onions with a very sharp knife to avoid tears.
2. Freeze your onions before cutting them
How about chilling the onions for about 15 minutes in the freezer before you actually chop them? By doing this, the quantity of acid enzymes released by the onion in the air is substantially reduced. Don’t worry about their taste, it won’t change. But make sure there are no fruits or other eatables around when you chill it, for onions tend to diffuse their odour very quickly.
3. Cut by pointing the knife away from the tubes
Another way to enjoy a tear-free session of chopping onions would be to point the tubes in the opposite direction. With this the enzymes sprayed into the air by the action of cutting will not reach your eyes.
4. Put a piece of bread in your mouth
A lot of people have tried and succeeded in this practice of sticking a piece of bread in their mouths while chopping onions to avoid crying. You need to gradually chew this bread as you chop without taking the bread fully into your mouth. The action of chewing only partially will make your mouth water, but will keep your eyes dry.
5. Chop onions by a burning candle
Why not light a candle near the chopping board on which you chop onions. The acid enzymes released into the air by the onion will get drawn into the candle flame. As a result you won’t end up feeling the sting of tears in your eyes. It also masks the odour that onion releases and keeps you kitchen smelling fresh.
6. Chop onion under running water
This may not be the most ideal way of chopping onion but just the same it doesn’t make your teary eyed. The gas emitted by the enzymes are drowned by the water, and hence you will not break into tears while chopping onions. Though in the course of chopping the vegetable under running water the slices could go haywire making it quite difficult to manoeuvre your knife.
7. Stick your tongue out and breathe from your mouth
By doing this no tears are produced as the gas emitted by the acid enzymes is drawn to your wet tongue. As a result of this, the olfactory nerves that lie close to the tear duct are bypassed. So breathe loudly through your mouth as you chop onions to avoid tears.
Try one of these genius hacks and you will never end up crying again while chopping onions.