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How to Slice Onions without Crying

So many recipes that we prepare, almost on a daily basis require onions.  And so many of us end up in tears the minute we try to slice one.

But it is very easy to slice onions without crying if you follow just a few easy steps.

It is easy to slice onions without crying if you keep one little trick in mind.

It is easy to Slice Onions without Crying.

There are many types of this versatile vegetable and most seem to make you cry when you chop them. Find out about the onion varieties here.

There are some time tested tricks to help with slicing onions without tears.  Some of them are:

  • Cut near the flame of a candle or turn on your gas stove – Martha Stewart (I don’t have a gas stove)
  • Place your cutting board on the stove and turn on the vent
  • Cut the onion under water (it is a bit difficult to maneuver)
  • Chew gum while cutting an onion
  • Wear swim goggles.  (works great but I’m not fond of having to go find something just to cut an onion)

All of these work to some degree, but the trick that I want to show you today involves understanding which part of the onion makes you cry when it is sliced.  

Onions have two ends.  One is the part that grew in the ground and the other is the cone shape at the top of the onion.

The bottom of the onion is the part that makes you cry.  It has a small bulb in it and when sliced, it releases gas which makes you tear up. 

onionThe tip for slicing an onion without crying is to remove the root end of the onion completely!

We will remove this part of the onionTo remove this, use a very sharp paring knife.  I use a Cutco paring knife and it works beautifully.

Cut around the outside of the root part at a slight angle in a sort of cone shape. Cut slowly and carefully about 1/3 into the onion.

This part of the onion makes you cry.When you finish, you will be able to lift out the whole bottom bulb of the onion in one piece.

bulb of the onionSee the pronged part? That is what makes you cry.  You will discard this into the trash can (not the garbage disposal, unless you really want to cry!)

onion with the bulb removedThis is what you will be left with.  If you are lucky and can manage to cut fairly close to the bulb, you won’t lose too much of the onion.

cross sectionThis cross section shows what I removed.   I then proceeded to chop the dickens out of this onion and did not shed one tear.  Believe me, it really works!

sliced onionsThat is all there is to it. Sure, you will waste a bit of the onion but, for me at least, that is a small part to pay for no tears!

One of the readers of my blog emailed me with a great tip.  Instead of throwing the end of the onion that was cut out away, try planting it to grow a new onion.

Susan says “Some will form a new bulb, some won’t, but they will just about all make greens. I plant mine in solo cups full of potting mix. 10 cups fit in a dishpan. Makes an easy onion garden.”

Thanks for the great tip Susan.  I hated throwing that much of it away, so it’s a great idea to try and grow a new onion!

Do you have a tip that will let you slice onions without crying?  Please share it in the comments below!

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Friday 17th of December 2021

My sister always held a mouth full of water while chopping onions and no tears. I’ve used this method myself and it works!


Friday 9th of January 2015

I need to give these tips a try!! Thanks for sharing this, Carol. :)


Friday 9th of January 2015

My pleasure Jennifer. Anything to keep the tears away is good in my book! Carol


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Then try regrowing the onion. Some will form a new bulb, some won't, but they will just about all make greens. I plant mine in solo cups full of potting mix. 10 cups fit in a dishpan. Makes an easy onion garden.


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

What a great tip Susan. I'll add this to my article. Can't believe I did not think about this! Carol

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