How To Cut An Onion Without Crying

Onion cut the stem.

Have you ever cut an onion without crying?

One of my sisters was visiting for a few days. We were having a meal that included a big bowl of chopped onions as part of the menu.


I mean…some like it with onions. But not I.

I plopped three very large onions down on the counter and told my sister, “Here, chop these.”

I went about my business with other “kitcheny things” like you do preparing a meal, when suddenly I realized that I was crying. No, actually bawling…a full on four Kleenex cry! I didn’t want to cry. I wanted to be composed and elegant while I cooked, like Mrs. Beaver…or was it, June Cleaver?

I thought, “What in the world is wrong with me?”

Casting a sideways glance across the kitchen toward my sister, I saw that she was crying too.

Tears were screaming down her cheeks in spite of eyelids that were clamped tightly shut. Her nose was daintily tipped in the air and turned toward the side. Her arms were stretched as far away as possible to still be able to chop the onion… never mind that she was chopping without looking.

I mean, by the looks of things, you would have thought our sweet little kitty (we didn’t have one) had just reached a tragic demise and we were trying to comfort ourselves in the confines of the kitchen by cooking a delicious family meal.

With tears running like fresh rain showers down both our checks, I apologized profusely for making her cry.

I had no idea that chopping onions would have such an emotional effect on her…


or myself for that matter!

“I never cry when I chop onions! I wouldn’t have asked you to do it if I’d have known they made you cry.” I wailed sorrowfully!!! hahahaha

All I knew in that moment was that I was as miserable as a cat on a hot tin roof and the pungent odor of the onions was about to drive me right out the kitchen door to the back porch in a wild teary eyed frenzy.

“Well, then, how do you chop onions?” she questioned me, intrigued.

Grabbing a knife and an onion I started to show her.

Then we began to laugh.

We laughed and we laughed.

We laughed that silly-slap-happy kind of laugh that makes you double over at the waist and snort and twist…and in this case wipe tears and blow your nose! Laugh, snort, sigh, repeat. Laugh, snort, sigh, repeat!

How could I possibly show her that my way of chopping an onion doesn’t make you cry…we were both in a full on cry at that very moment!

A few days later and hundreds of miles away she sent me a text message. She’d cut an onion for a meal, MY WAY, and she hadn’t cried!

Cut the onion root and outer layers.


We were chopping an onion MY WAY…

I didn’t even really realize that I had “a way” until I started to show her, then Ah ha, it hit me…I do this the same way…

Cut the onion crosswise with the stem up.

every.single.time. every.single.time

I had never even realized!

I chopped an onion and I could feel the “onion juice” spray on my fingers and I thought, “Oh no, I’ve put myself on the line here and now I’m truly gonna cry.” But the sensation went away and I didn’t cry.

Then the onion is chopped.

I was a tad bit grossed out with the idea of getting onion juice on the camera.

And speaking of onion juice, when I finish chopping, I put a tiny bit of dish detergent in my hands and hold a stainless steel spoon under the running water while I wash the soap off of my hands…no stinky onion smell! I have no idea why that works.

I also have no idea why cutting an onion that way works either.

So, now I’ve told you all I know about chopping an onion in about 8.7 minutes. I’d love to know if this works for you too.

1. Cut the stem of the onion off first.

2. Peel down the papery skin and the first layer of the onion sorta like shucking corn. You know what that is right?

3. Cut off the root and the papery skin stuff and the first layer or two of the onion all a the same time…just cut right across all of it and separate it from the bottom of the onion.

4. Set the onion down on a cutting board,  keeping the root end down on the board..

5. Make a slice through the onion with the stem end up…remember to keep the root end down on the cutting board.

6. Then lay both halves of the onion cut side down.

7. Begin to make slices through 0ne half of the onion, starting at the stem end, cutting so the slices make little arches.

8. Turn the onion half that is sliced in little arches around,  and make another cut across the arches to make little onion pieces. You can make all of these slices as big or as little as your recipe demands. For stir fry I make big slices and for meat dishes, I try to make little tiny slices.

9. If you have a food processor, none of this matters anyway.

10. Hurry stop reading this and go chop an onion. Do a happy dance if you don’t cry. Be sure to wash away the stinky onion juice while holding a stainless steel spoon, and then rush right back to your computer and tell me if it works for you too.

If it does…I think I’ll just set right down and have myself a good cry, a full on 4 Kleenex bawl my eyeballs out kind of cry!

So that’s how I cut an onion without crying.

I wanted to be all smart and elegant like Mrs. Beaver or June Cleaver and tell you why this works, but I honestly have no idea!


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  1. Hearing you tell this brings tears of laughter all over again! It truly does work to cut onions this way! I think of you pretty much every time I cut an onion! Plus many other times, of course! Love you!

  2. Interesting, informative and funny ! I keep trying to accomplish chopping without crying !
    Have a wonderful Spring day.

  3. Love you dearly!! Useless information for me though!! Happy to NEVER cut an onion in my life!! That particular experience isn’t worth an ER trip!!

    1. Oh Naomi… for those allergic this is a bad news tale for sure. But thanks for dropping by. Love you too.

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