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Cutting an onion is challenging. Not only can onions slip from your grip, but irritating chemicals can make it hard to focus on the task at hand while teary-eyed. Using the best knife for cutting onions can make prep easy and quick. To get you equipped for cutting onions, we’ve researched the best type of knife for the job.
Use a chef’s knife with an 8 to 10-inch blade to cut onions. A sharp chef’s knife, when used properly, will evenly slice and dice onions every time.
You probably have a chef’s knife in your kitchen, but do you know how to hold it to cut an onion? Keep reading as we discuss what makes a quality chef’s knife and how to use it to execute a cut properly. We’ll also answer some of your other burning questions about how to cut onions.
How To Cut An Onion With A Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is an essential kitchen utensil because it is versatile enough for slicing, chopping, and dicing various foods. First and foremost, make sure your chef’s knife is sharp before cutting. A dull blade can easily slip, making the user prone to injury.
Most importantly, to cut an onion with a chef’s knife, you should know how to hold the knife and hold the onion. So, let’s get started.
How To Hold A Chef’s Knife
Comfortably holding a chef’s knife is a matter of personal preference, but there are acceptable methods used by chefs for safety and efficiency. A secure hold prevents user fatigue by allowing the design of the knife to do the cutting for you and also prevents accidental slips of the blade that could cut a finger rather than the onion.
Hold a chef’s knife:
- with your hand wrapped around the handle,
- with your thumb over the bolster, or
- with your thumb and forefinger gripping the blade just above the bolster.
How To Cut An Onion With A Chef’s Knife
Now, let’s put that expert hold on your chef’s knife to use on an onion. Whether you want to slice, horizontally slice, chop, or dice onions for your recipe, watch the video below to cut an onion like a pro! We’ve found the best techniques from Rajshri Food.
How To Select The Best Chef’s Knife
You have the know-how for cutting onions, and these skills will come in handy for using a chef’s knife for other firm vegetables too. But, if you want to find the best chef’s knife for the job, look for:
- Size: An 8 to 10-inch blade is most versatile for home kitchens.
- Steel: Harder steel is sharper, but delicate vs. softer steel is heavier-duty but dulls quickly.
- Balance: An Evenly weighted handle provides stability.
Wüstoff Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
An exemplary chef’s knife, Wüstoff’s Classic 8 inch blade proves durable and precise. The seamless handle offers a comfortable grip for you to cut effortlessly. Click here to see on Amazon.
Global G2 Chef’s Knife
Global’s 8-inch chef’s knife is a lightweight, simple to maintain powerhouse. Evenly balanced, this style lets you make an accurate cut every time. Click here to see on Amazon.
Please read our post, “Are Shun Knives Single Or Double Bevel?” to learn the finer details of these top-quality knives.
What Is The Fastest Way To Cut An Onion?
Remember, always use a sharp knife to prevent slips and avoid injury. To cut an onion quickly, save time by not peeling it first. As you’ll see in the demo below, you will achieve diced onion pieces within minutes using this technique.
We’ve summarized the steps for you here:
- Cut the top off the onion.
- Cut the onion in half vertically.
- Peel away the exterior layer.
- Cut several horizontal slices, do not cut through the stem.
- Cut several vertical slices, do not cut through the stem.
- Finally, cut through your slices entirely and cut off the stem.
If you need to prep now and cook later, read “What’s The Best Way To Store A Cut Onion?” for expert tips on keeping onion slices and pieces fresh.
How Do You Prevent Crying While Chopping Onions?
Onions make you cry because when you cut through them, a chemical irritant is released. This chemical is called syn-propanethial or S-oxide, and when it gets into the air, it makes contact with your eyes causing tears. To prevent crying while chopping onions, you’ll want to minimize the amount of chemical released and try to protect your eyes.
If you don’t have a pair of goggles handy to wear as a barrier between your eyes and the onion, you can rinse the freshly sliced onion beneath cold water for a quick solution.
But, if you have some time to plan ahead before chopping an onion, the best way to prevent crying is to blanch, refrigerate, or freeze the onion before you cut. These tactics slow down the release of the chemical so you can chop without irritated eyes.
Should You Use An Onion Chopper?
Using an onion chopper can expedite the preparation for your recipe, particularly if you need to chop a large batch of onions. Razor-sharp blades make quick work of chopping and create uniform pieces. Because the chopper contains the onion while you work, using it will also cut down on teary, irritated eyes.
Onion choppers are compact devices, so they don’t require much storage space. Select from manual or electric types. You’ll need a bit of strength to operate the hand-press of a manual onion chopper.
Some choppers feature a catchment container that can double as a storage container. A catchment container makes it handy to transfer onion pieces directly into a measuring cup, bowl, or pan. Look for dishwasher safe choppers for ultimate convenience; otherwise, cleaning the chopper could require disassembly.
Cuisinart Manual Chopper
You don't need to dirty a cutting board when using Cuisinart’s onion chopper. Just peel the onion, press to chop, and pour into your recipe. This chopper is dishwasher safe. Click here to see on Amazon.
Black & Decker Electric Chopper
Power through tedious chopping with Black & Decker’s electric chopper. Onions will be prepped in seconds, and this appliance is a cinch to disassemble with dishwasher safe parts for an easy clean. Click here to see on Amazon.
Now that you are fully equipped and well informed on cutting an onion with a chef’s knife, you’ll be slicing and dicing your way through every favorite recipe!