What are the proven ways to cut an onion without crying?

This article will answer the following questions:

why do onions make you cry?

how to stop crying after cutting onions

how do chefs chop onions without crying

how to get your eyes to stop burning from onions

how to cut an onion without crying

But first……………

Why Do Onions Make You Cry?
Why Do Onions Make You Cry?
Credit: Mental Floss

why do onions make you cry?

The reasons why people cry when cutting onions has been best scientifically explained by the following mechanisms: 👇

– Lacrimatory-factor synthase is released into the air when we chop onions.

– The synthase enzyme converts the amino acids sulfoxides of the onion into sulfenic acid.

– The unstable sulfenic acid re-arranges itself into syn-ropanethial-S-oxide.

– Syn-propanethial-S-oxide gets into the air and comes in contact with our eyes.

The lacrimal glands in our eyes become irritated and produces tears and burning sensation.

20 proven ways to cut an onion without crying

1. Keep the onions in water after taking off the peel

The theory behind this is, that the gas released from onion gets absorbed by the water rather than the eyes. Many also suggest cutting onion near running water as this way water will absorb all the gas. But this is not a good method as it will lead to wastage of clean water.

2. Stick out your tongue out while cutting onions

Taking out your tongue while cutting onions will stop your eyes from tearing. This way the gas will be absorbed by our tongue. Any kind of irritation or problem in tongue due to this has not been reported yet. So it’s safe to do so.

Keep onion in freezer before cutting

Doing so will slow down the amount of acid that is released while cutting onions. This does not mean you need to freeze onions, you just need to keep them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before you cut them. This will not damage the nutrients.

4. Wearing goggles

Gas tight kitchen goggles will not let the gas reach your eyes while cutting onions. Swimming goggles will also serve the purpose. By wearing goggles you can cut as many onions as you want without a single tear.

ways to cut an onion without crying
One of the numerous ways to cut an onion without crying
Credit: Lifehacker

5. Gums: Chewing a gum during cutting onions can help.

6. Whistle away: Whistling can help but not all the times.

7. Controversial contact lenses: Some people suggest wearing contact lenses but this is controversial.

8. Chopping fast: Some professionals such as chefs often don’t face this problem as they chop fast and do not give time to the gas to reach the eyes.

9. Candle magic: Burning a candle near yourself while cutting onions can also be of great help.

10. Proper aeration: Use a ventilator or fan to blow the allyl sulfide away.

11. Sharp knife: Use a sharp knife to cut the onion to reduce the amount of damage to the onion cells and release of the tearing gas into your eyes.

12. Under water: Cut onions under cold water or lukewarm water. Water will dissolve the tearing enzymes and prevent it from reaching your eyes.

13. Mouth breathing: Breath through the mouth while cutting onions.

14. Bread: Put a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting onions. It helps to absorb the sulfuric gases secreted by the onions.

15. Window slicing: Cut onions close to a window. This provides ventilation and blows away the tearing gas from your eyes and lacrimal glands.

16. Salted water or vinegar: One of the many proven ways to cut an onion without crying is by soaking the onion on salt water or vinegar before cutting. The salt water and vinegar will provide acidic environment that will denature the tearing enzymes in the onions.

17. Use fresh onions: Fresh onions are less likely to make you cry than old ones.

18. Lighting Match may help: Light a match before you peel or slice the onion. The sulfur disables the compounds in onions that make your eyes water.

19. Adhere to standards: Cut onions properly. There is a standard way of cutting onions. Learn it.

20. Remove the root before slicing: The root contains a large concentration of syn-propanethial-S-oxide that makes your eyes tear. Check how to do this below…

ways to cut an onion without crying
ways to cut an onion without crying; remove the root. Credit: Food Hacks


Times of India


National Onion Association


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