Cutting onions is one of the most challenging and tear-inducing tasks in the cooking process. An onion produces a chemical called syn-Propanethial-S-oxide, which irritates the eyes. The chemical stimulates the lachrymal glands in the eyes, causing them to release tears. There are numerous methods for preventing tears while chopping onions. These techniques include using a sharp knife, freezing the onions, chopping them near a vent or fan that blows the air away from you, and many more. However, some techniques work while others don’t. These simple methods on how to cut an onion without crying are helpful and work wonders.
Onions are one of the main ingredients in any recipe, but cutting them can be tricky. Onions are rich in sulfur compounds and have a sharp and strong smell and taste. Organic sulfur has health benefits, including low cholesterol, fighting gout and other arthritis conditions, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Also, onions are an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Regularly eating onions can boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and protect against diseases and illnesses.
Why Does Onion Cause Watery Eyes?
As we know, onions are rich in sulfur and possess a distinctive flavor and pungent smell. In addition, the onion contains an enzyme called synthase. When cut, synthase reacts with a sulfur-based compound. Combined, they form an eye-irritating gas called syn-Propanethial S-oxide that causes tears. It irritates the eyes, triggering a reflex that releases tears to flush out the irritant.
How to Cut An Onion Without Crying
Cutting onions is indeed a daunting task. However, several tips and tricks can reduce tears. While there are many methods available, here are some that actually work:
Tip 1: Thaw The Onion In Cold Water
An effective way to reduce tears is to soak onions in cold water in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cold temperatures slow chemical production. When the onion is chilled, the molecules move slower compared to when they are at room temperature. Thus, the onions will be less pungent and cause fewer tears when cut.
Tip 2: Use A Sharp Knife
Another way to reduce tears while cooking food is to use a sharp knife. A sharp knife is preferable to a dull one because it causes less cell damage and releases fewer irritants into the air.
Tip 3: Cut An Onion Near A Window Or A Fan
Cutting the onion near a fan will disperse the irritant, eye-tearing gas, away from your face. Also, if you slice an onion near the window, the air will disperse the irritating compound.
Tip 4: Wear Protective Eyewear
Although it sounds silly, it works. Wearing glasses or protective eyewear shields the eyes from syn-Propanethial S-oxide, which causes onion fumes.
Tip 5: Chewing Gum
Chewing gum while cutting onions is another fun way to avoid tears. Cutting onions releases chemicals that irritate the lachrymal gland, causing tears. When you chew gum, you breathe through your mouth, and saliva neutralizes the gases. In addition, chewing gum can distract you from onion smells, reducing their impact on your eyes.
Tip 6: Chew On Bread
Eating bread also prevents tears. However, eat slowly and hold it between your front teeth. The spongy texture of the bread absorbs chemicals that attack the eyes.
Tip 7: Cut The Onion Near The Steam
Cut the onions near the kettle’s steam. The steam vapors will dissipate onion fumes and not cause tears.
Tip 8: Selecting the Right Onion Type
Spring and sweet onions (Vidalia) are less likely to tear eyes. Spring and sweet onions are generally milder in flavor, making them better suited to raw dishes like salads. Also, they tend to be less pungent, which reduces eye irritation. Usually, people recommend using spring onions in the summer and switching to sweet onions in the winter and fall.
How to cut an onion without crying? There are many ways and techniques. The shared methods work like magic. Despite this, tricks such as freezing onions or microwaving them for 30 minutes have not been effective. Another strange but effective technique is to slice the onion underwater. It eliminates the contact between enzymes and the air, preventing irritation. Try these kitchen tips and tricks, and don’t forget to share your feedback.
Also Read: Eye dryness can cause discomfort and visual disturbance. These facts, treatment, and prevention of dry eyes syndrome, will help you overcome this problem.