How to Cut an Onion Without Tears – How to Cut Up an Onion

Are you sick and tired of the tears and burning in your eyes as you cut up an onion?  It is the age old question – how to cut an onion without tears? I’m going to share the secret of how to cut up an onion without tears.

Along the way I figured out I had been cutting up onions the hard way for many years.   I bet you are too! I’m also going to show you the fastest and simplest way to cut an onion.

Cut An Onion WITHOUT Tears

How to cut an onion without tears 1

Courtesy of Pixabay/Couleur

This is so simple, you’re gonna scratch your head in bewilderment. So…. the SECRET for no tears is to cut your onions while they are cold. I store my onions in the fridge. No room in your fridge? Put the onion in the fridge several hours before cutting it (or the freezer if you’re in a pinch, just don’t freeze it). I store my onions in the fridge and I never have burning or tears from cutting up onions.

How to Properly Cut an Onion

I bet you are cutting up your onions the hard way, just like I used to. I’m going to show you a trick to cut an onion fast and easily. I can dice an onion in half the time it used to take me. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

If you prefer step by step instructions with pictures, please scroll down toward the end of the post.

Other Tips and Tricks

I use a cut resistant glove on my left hand (I’m right handed and cut with my right hand). It has saved me from countless cuts. If you spend time in the kitchen you are bound to cut yourself. Save yourself some tears, pain and blood and get one. It is flexible, machine washable and a great addition to any kitchen.

To get rid of the onion smell on your hands you can rub them with a lemon or lemon juice. In the video I also demonstrated rubbing my hands with a stainless steel disk. You can pick one up from Amazon for under $10. It works really well – I don’t know the science behind it, just that it works.

Since you’re already in the kitchen cooking, check out my super simple fruit and veggie wash too. It costs pennies on the dollar, is safe (you can and do eat it), and works great!

Step By Step Instructions on How to Properly Cut an Onion

First you are going to cut your onion from root to tip. Probably the opposite way that you cut it now. This took me a little while to get used to.

How to cut an onion without tears - step 1

Your onion should now have two pieces that look like this.
How to cut an onion without tears - step 2

Now cut off the end of the onion that would have been the top of the onion that came out of the soil. You want to keep the root end intact.

Then peel off the outer layers of the onion that we don’t eat. It will look like this

How to cut an onion without tears - step 4

Next you cut the onion into strips from the cut end to the root end, but not all the way through the root end. The picture explains it a lot better than I can.

How to cut an onion without tears - step 5
Slice your onion all the way around so it is only held together by the root end that you did not cut.

How to cut an onion without tears - step 6

Now you can cut the onion like shown below for diced onion or cut it off only at the root end for strips of onions (like you would for fajitas).
How to cut an onion without tears - step 7

Now you will have a perfectly diced onion or strips of onion. You can make your cuts closer together for a finely diced onion or larger depending on your dish and your preference.

I think you’re going to be hooked and love the time it saves you in making those home cooked meals!

Give it a try and leave me a comment below on how it worked for you.

How to Cut an Onion Without Tears - the best way to cut an onion

How to Cut an onion without tears. Simple trick works EVERY time!

21 thoughts on “How to Cut an Onion Without Tears – How to Cut Up an Onion

  1. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Shannon,

    Brilliant site, and I love the blog name, everyone shout get on the path to natural living.

    Finally!, absolutely finally after years of friends making fun of me in a friendly running joke sort of way..I know why, exactly why I never cry when I cut onions!

    No prizes for guessing where I store them!

    But shhhh!

  2. Joon

    So you have to keep it in the fridge to not cry. I always thought some people that just get used to cutting onion that eventually it doesn’t bother their tear ducts anymore. Then I remember a friend was saying, jealous people usually cry when they cut onions and that her mom doesn’t cry when she cuts onion. Well either way next time I’m cutting an onion it’s gonna be in the fridge before I take it out.

    1. Shannon Post author

      I always cried when I cut them up before. As many as I’ve cut, my eyes never seemed to adjust until I changed where I stored them. Welcome to the no tears team!

  3. brian

    wow! what such techniques, you must have have been a mother with cooking skills for a long time. a mom would know steps like that whose in the kitchen quite often but I like cause I never to get rid of my tears now i can spread the word like you!!

  4. RoxySue

    Good tips! One of my challenges is that I often do food prep on weekends to make it faster to put together a healthy dinner weeknights. Getting veggies chopped ahead of time is so convenient but I generally don’t include onions because once chopped they stink up the fridge (or even freezer!) Ideas on how to solve for that smell?

    1. Shannon Post author

      Good for you – that is great to hear you do meal prep ahead of time. That is a great way to make sure you are getting a wholesome meal all week.
      Chopped onion in the fridge is tricky. A few suggestions
      -Double or tripe wrap them in a zip lock back.
      -Put an open box of baking soda in the fridge near the cut up onion.
      – Run the chopped onion under cold water – or you can even soak them in a sink full of cold water – pat try and then refrigerate as normal

      Great question!!
      Happy meal planning 🙂

  5. Brandy

    Awesome tips!! I have been cutting onions all wrong. I have such a difficult time dicing onions. Pieces usually end up all over the floor. I was cutting the ends off first.

    I always put my onions in the fridge for a couple hours before I cut into them to prevent the tears from happening. I read about that a couple years ago and have done it ever since. It really does work!

  6. Ali

    So intersting! I’m going to definitely start cutting my onions this way. I knew there had to be a simpler way but just never had the time to figure it out. This is great especially because I like using the knife to cut my veggies, etc. instead of putting them in a processor or using those gadgets. What a great article! Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

  7. Julie

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I usually rub a lemon on the sharp edge of the knife before cutting, or light up a candle. More than happy to know a third trick to prevent me from crying each time I slice up those onions. Looking forward to learning more tips from you!

  8. jmario

    Well is that right about the onions?? I can’t believe i never heard about storing them in the fridge, thanks a lot for the valuable information.

    I think your site is great and I’m looking to seeing what other useful information you will provide in the future. I know a lot of people will benefit from this site . thanks again

  9. Emily

    Excellent article. So glad I ran across this! I heard once that one way to cut up an onion without crying is to light a candle and have it burning near you while you work in the kitchen. That didn’t really work for me so I will give this a try. Does storing the onions in the fridge affect the flavor at all? Thanks again!

    1. Shannon Post author


      I had tried the candle trick too – also without luck.

      I have never noticed a change in flavor by storing them in the fridge.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Kristin

    Wow, thanks for sharing! What a simple solution. I’ve always hated cutting onions, even though I love eating them and using them in my recipes. What a great tip. I’ll definitely be using this one. I really enjoy your website. You have a lot of good information shared and I can’t wait to read more from you.

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