How to Dice an Onion

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Dear Home-ec 101,

I hate cooking. I make a bloody mess (literally!) everytime I have to do anything involving onions. Can you help?

~Stubby in St. Petersburg

Heather says:

Dicing onions shouldn’t make you cry, in pain that is.

First peel off the papery layers, this is easier if you cut off the root end, although some say this releases more of the chemical that burns the eyes. If you can cut quickly in a well ventilated space, it shouldn’t be a problem

Slice the onion in half, like so. half onion on cutting board

onion sliced in planks on cutting board Then cut the onion into planks, depending on the size of the dice (large dice, one slice).

When you grip the planks, be careful to hold it so your fingertips are not exposed to the blade of the knife and would be protected by your fingernails. Or, if you are a pansy like Ivy, you can use a fork to hold the onion.

holding onion on cutting board with fingers folded back Slice the onion with the grain.

Finally, turn the onion 90 degrees and slice again.

Knife slicing through onion Congratulations, your onion is diced.


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2 thoughts on “How to Dice an Onion”

  1. Another onion tip: Once you peel the papery layers off, if you core the onion like you would a tomato, and toss that chunky core part, you’ll remove most of the tear-causing scent.

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