Chopping onions is one part of cooking I absolutely don’t look forward to, especially when I have to handle more than more bulb. The teary eyes makes me uncomfortable for at least 15 minutes during which time I have to abandon my cooking to get my eyes cleared again.
Onions contains an enzyme Syn-propanethia￼￼l-S-oxide, a sulfuric compound, which causes a burning sensation when it mixes with the moisture in the eyes, hence, the tears. To prevent your eyes from tearing when you dice or chop, you’d have to keep this enzyme as far away from your eyes as possible.
Here are proven ways of cutting onions without tears:
1. Freeze for Twenty Minutes
Freezing an onion before you chop makes some of the propanethia￼l-S￼-oxide enzyme evaporate into the air, making you less teary. The downside to this is that the onion becomes a little stronger from all the ice in its frozen state and might become a wee bit more difficult to cut.
2. Cut Under a Running Tap Water
When you cut onions under water, the water absorbs all or most of the sulfur released so none gets into your eyes. You can either turn your tap on and chop, or fill your sink with water, submerge the onion in this and cut.
3. Use Vinegar
Mix some quantity of vinegar with water and spray this on your chopping board and knife before you cut. Vinegar works by dulling the effect of the sulfuric content of onions.
4. Rub Lemon Juice on the Knife
This is another remedy for reducing the effect of propanethia￼l-S￼-oxide on the eyes. Cut a fresh lemon in two and rub the juice along the edge of the knife and a little on the chopping board just before you cut the onions.
5. Make Use of a Fan
Using a fan will blow the steam of the onion away from your direction. Direct the fan at the onions, away from your opposite end and you’ll have less teary eyes.
6. Wear Safety Goggles
Wearing these goggles as you chop the onions will protect your eyes, keeping the onions from getting in.
7. Cut with a Sharp Knife
Cutting onions bruises some of the membrane in the onions and this is when propanethia￼l-S￼-oxide gets released. Using a very sharp knife will ensure the onion is cut quickly and efficiently without releasing too much of this sulfuric enzyme.