Tear-Free Tips to Cut an Onion

Please don’t cry! Here are some hacks to avoid watery eyes while chopping

From the LifeMinute.TV

June 18, 2021

Onions may be delicious to cook with but cutting them can cause your eyes to water. How do you avoid shedding tears? First, let’s look at why onions make our eyes water. When the skin of an onion is broken, the onion has a defense mechanism, which emits enzymes and sulfenic acid that produce the gas propanethial S-oxide. Propanethial S-oxide turns into sulfuric acid when it touches the water layer that covers and protects the eyes. When your eyes detect the gas, they defensively react by generating tears to flush it out. Here are 5 hacks to fight back the tears.

Chill it
Freezing an onion helps to slow the conversion of sulfoxides into the gas that hurts your eyes. You can also give your onion an ice bath 30 minutes prior to cutting.

Keep bread in your mouth
To absorb some of the onion vapor before it reaches your eyes, try putting a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting.

Use a sharp knife
A dull knife will cause more damage to the onion skin, which will result in more gas spreading. Therefore, make sure to use a sharp knife to avoid breaking the cell walls inside the onion’s membrane.

Cut it correctly
Avoid cutting an onion near the root end where the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds is found. You can also try slicing the onion away from your face so its vapor does not float directly towards you.

Use a fan
Turn on your oven hood or ceiling fan to help ventilate the room while cutting an onion.

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