How To Cut An Onion Without Crying

onion chopping
(Photo: iStock)

At the end of a long work day, sometimes it takes all the strength we can muster to get ourselves in the kitchen preparing a healthy dinner. But once we’ve started, the last thing we need is for our mascara to start running rampant once we slice into an onion. Now you don't have to choose between onions and ruining a perfectly good makeup job; there's an easy solution for those unwanted tears.

What You Need

A very sharp knife
A freezer
A flat cutting board
An open flame


Now What?

  1. Chill the onion in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Position yourself as close to an open flame as possible while still being safe – maybe a candle or close to a flame on your gas stove.
  3. Point your knife away from the tubes and slice the onion.
  4. Breathe through your mouth while cutting the onion.

Why It Works

Chilling the onion reduces the amount of acid enzyme released into the air. The enzymes that make you cry are released when cells are broken or crushed; using a sharp knife slices through the onion instead of crushing, resulting in fewer enzymes being release. Because onion flesh is tubular, pointing the tubes away from you while cutting will keep the onion from spraying in your face. Lastly, breathing through your mouth allows the gas to be bypassed over the olfactory nerves, which are closely located to the tear duct nerves.