Why do onions make you cry? When you chop an onion you release fumes that irritate the eyes. This triggers a response to wash away the fumes, and thus you cry. Some people are affected badly and some not at all. Here are some tricks and methods how you can chop onions and avoid or reduce the crying.
Use a very sharp knife and cut quickly. The shorter the time you are chopping, the less time there is to cry.
Use an onion chopper. This slightly covers the onion and also helps you chop the onion quicker, thus leaving the fumes in the air for a shorter period of time.
Chop in the food processor. This is the same idea as the onion chopper, the onion is slightly covered and the chopping is quicker. When you have chopped the onion, quickly dismantle the food processor, rinse it under water, put it in the dishwasher and close the door, or the smell of the onion will hang around your kitchen.
Put the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes before chopping
Put the onion in water for 10 minutes before chopping.
Cut under water, if you can. The onion will be more slippery and you wonít be able to see as well, but you wonít cry. Mind your fingers.
Breathe through your mouth. You will smell less onion smell by breathing through your mouth and thus cry less.
Wear swimming goggles, or contact lenses. For those who donít already have contact lenses handy, you might be more likely to have some swimming goggles lying around that you can put on.
Cut a lemon, light a candle, put vinegar on the chopping board. All are supposed to absorb the onion fumes.
Chew gum or bread. If you salivate more, your eyes will leak less.
Chop a lot of onions once a month with a food processor. Put into individual ziplok bags and freeze. Have a good cry once a month and have dry eyes the rest of the time.
Turn on the fan. Either turn on the fan on your cooker hood or have a small electric fan to blow the fumes away.
Get someone else to cut them for you. If you cry a lot and your friend or family member doesnít, then persuade them to cut the onions instead of you. But donít hang around and watch.
Buy frozen pre-chopped onions. These can now be found in some supermarkets.
Use dried onions. You get the onion taste without the onion bulk.
Cover the onion soon after chopping. The less time the onion is exposed to the air, the less fumes there are to attack your eyes.
Cook your onions with the lid on the pan. After cutting you donít want those onion fumes to waft about your kitchen and make you cry even more.
Clean all your utensils quickly after using them or the smell will linger in the kitchen and the tears will linger in your eyes.
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