The Right Way to Chop an Onion

Time to learn the right way to chop an onion.

Every day, thousands of people in Toronto and the GTA grab an onion from their fridge, place it on a cutting board, peel the skin and start chopping it up (usually horizontally).

That’s the wrong way to do it. Here’s why:

  • It’s dangerous: Cutting sideways through an onion (especially towards your fingers) is just asking for trouble. Don’t do it. Or you’ll be running to the bathroom looking for a bandage.
  • It’s unnecessary: Look at your onion. It already has naturally occurring horizontal lines within it. It doesn’t need any more.

Here’s how to chop an onion properly (and safely):

What you need to properly chop an onion 

Step 1: Cut the ends off the onion

Place the onion on the cutting board, on its side. Cut off the top and bottom ends so they’re flat on both sides.

This prevents the onion from rolling around on you. A good thing when handling a sharp knife.

Cut the ends off your onion prior to chopping it.

Step 2: Cut the onion in half

Stand your onion up on one of its flat ends. The other flat end should be facing up, towards you.

Plunge that knife into the onion. The blade of the knife should cut right through the little circular knot that’s in the onion’s centre.

Step 3: Peel the skin off and cut

You should have two halves of the onion (and all your fingers) in front of you. Take one half of the onion and put it aside.

With the other half, peel the skin off. When it’s naked, place it so that it’s sitting flat on your cutting board. Flat side on the board; curved side up.

Now it’s time to cut:

  • If you’re right-handed, start on the right side of the onion
  • Lefties will begin on the left side

Step 4: Cut across the onion

From whichever side you started on, make your way across the onion by cutting though until you’re at the other side.

You should then have a sliced onion in the same position as it was when you started.

The flat part of the onion should now face upwards

Step 5: Flip it and cut it

Take that sliced onion and flip it on its side. The bottom flat part of the onion should face outwards.

The domed part of the onion should be facing your non-cutting hand. The bottom flat part should be lined up nicely and facing your knife-hand.

This part can be tricky, because all the little cut up pieces want to slip and move about. Just take your time. You’ll get the hang of it.

Step 6: Cut downwards in a straight line

We can use those circular rings inside an onion to our advantage. Those rings have already cut the onion, so to speak. Now we’re cutting against them.

Simply slice across the flat bottom edge of the onion. Because of the onions natural perforations, you’ll end up with nicely cut onion cubes.

Step 7: Keep slicing

Keep cutting away toward the top of the onion’s domed part. Those little onion cubes you’re making should fall onto your cutting board.

The closer you get to the end of the onion, the closer you are to your fingers. So please, be careful.

Step 8: Ta-Da

You are now a lean, mean onion chopping machine

Still got all your fingers? Great!

That’s all it takes to properly chop an onion in your kitchen. You are now an onion-chopping guru.

Bonus Step: Cook in a beautiful kitchen

Part of the joy of cooking is discovering new recipes and gaining confidence as you gain new food preparation skills (like properly chopping an onion).

A big part is also working in a remodeled kitchen with stunning granite countertops and quality cabinet refacing.  You’ll feel better as you cook in a stylish (and functional) kitchen.

If you’re serious about upgrading your kitchen, then contact NuStone Transformations today for a free Toronto, Oakville or Mississauga in-home consultation.