How to Slice and Dice Onions Like a Pro


You need to make a barbecue sauce for the weekend – chop a medium-sized onion. Fancy a perfect omelet – chop a large onion. Have a craving for French onion soup – chop 4 onions (of course).

With a regal place in cooking, onions are used in almost every exquisite recipe as well as day-to-day meals. It is arguably the most widely used ingredient in kitchens around the world.

But don’t forget, onions are also one emotional vegetable. They can make you teary-eyed (like you’ve just finished watching “La La Land”) every time you cut them. And you know how hard it is to do anything with tear-filled eyes, let alone cutting a vegetable.

intro image how to cut onions

The more time you spend slicing and dicing them, the more you cry. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. All the crying is a small sacrifice when you want to prepare good food.

To help you slice and dice onions like a pro, here are two quick and easy methods that will make your teary-eyed session end early. Then, you can savor the flavor this vegetable has to offer that is incomparable to any other. You can choose either method, according to your need and preference.

Method 1: Use a Knife

If you’re one that believes more in the power of your hand work than a machine doing it for you, these knife methods are for you.

Things you’ll need:

things you need how to cut onions use a kniffe

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Onion

# Dicing an Onion

Step 1. Cut the onion in half

cut the onion in half

  • Cut the onion in half, starting from one end (the root) straight through to the other end (the stem) as shown above.

Step 2. Peel off the outer covering and trim off the stem end

peel the outer covering and trim off the stem end

  • The outermost layer of an onion is the papery protective covering known as the tunic. Peel it off each of the two halves.
  • Trim off the stem end (the non-hairy end of the onion) and discard it.

Note: Do not trim off the root end (the one with the bit of hair on it) at this stage. The root end is the glue that keeps the onion together and you don’t want it to fall apart. That would only make dicing more difficult and time consuming.

Step 3. Peel off the skin

peel off the skin

  • Peel off the skin (the first layer) of the onion, without damaging the root end.

Step 4. Make vertical cuts in the onion

make vertical cuts

  • With the flat part of the onion lying on the chopping board and the trimmed end facing you, make vertical cuts across the onion, while keeping the root end intact.

Remember, do not cut away the root end. It will help you when dicing the onion in further steps.

Step 5. Rotate the onion and cut again

rotate the onion and cut again

  • Rotate the onion (90 degrees) and make similar vertical cuts. These cuts come together with the previous cuts and will give you diced onion pieces that are perfect and uniform in size.
  • Cut all the way to the root end, which you can now discard. The root end has done its job well to keep the onion from falling apart in the dicing process.
  • Repeat the same procedure (Steps 2 through 5) with the other half of the onion as well.

Step 6. Collect the diced pieces in a bowl and use

collect the diced pieces in a bowl and use

  • Collect the diced pieces in a bowl.

They are ready to be used in the salsa you are going to make for the weekend, or any other recipe you are working on.

# Slicing an Onion

Slicing an onion is easier than dicing one, and takes less time as you only have to cut through the onion once and it’s done.

Step 1. Cut the onion in half

cut the onion in half

  • Cut the onion into two halves, from the stem end through to the root end.

Step 2. Trim off both ends and peel away the outer covering

trim off both ends and peel away the outer covering

  • Trim off the stem end as well as the root end and discard them.
  • Peel the tunic (the papery outer protective covering) off the onion.

Step 3. Cut in slices

cut the onion in slices

  • Keeping the flat side of the onion down on the chopping board and the trimmed ends facing you, slice the onion through to the end.
  • You can make the slices thick or thin, depending on how you will be using them.
  • Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the other half.

Step 4. Collect the sliced onion in a bowl and use

collect the sliced onion in a bowl and use

  • Collect the onion slices in a bowl.

Your sliced onions are ready to be used in your favorite mouthwatering quinoa pizza. Use them as needed and enjoy a delicious meal.

Method 2: Use an Onion Holder for Onion Rings

Using an onion holder will help you cut perfectly sized rings for making onion rings at home. Plus, you’ll be saved from the pungent smell it leaves on your hands.

Things you’ll need:

things you need how to cut onions use an onion holder

  • Onion holder
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Onion

Step 1. Trim off both the ends and peel away the outer layer

trim off both the ends of the onion and peel the outer layer

  • Trim away both the ends of the onion, and peel off the papery, outer protective layer.

Step 2. Affix the onion holder into the onion

affix the onion holder into the onion

  • Affix the onion holder deep enough into the onion so that it holds it firmly.
  • Do it in such a way that the ends – the root and the stem – are inserted, and not the other way around.

Step 3. Cut the rings with the knife

cut the rings with the knife

  • Insert the knife between each of the bars of the holder, and cut it into slices.
  • Do this for the whole onion, and pull the onion holder out when done.

Step 4. Ready to be used

onion rings are ready to be used

You now have evenly shaped rings of onion to use in making mouthwatering onion rings.

Tips

  • A good chef always keeps his or her weapons sharp. Always use a sharp knife to cut onions. Dull knives may prolong your teary-eyed session and may also lead to uneven cuts.
  • Some people suggest making horizontal cuts in the onion, when an onion is naturally horizontally layered. There is no specific need to do that and playing with nature will do nothing but only cost you more time and energy.
  • Instead of putting the leftovers – the root end, the stem end and the skin – into the trash, you can add them to your compost bin and give your garden a healthy fertilizer.

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