You all know that chopping onions is guaranteed to produce a few tears, but why? You can blame it on synthase.
Synthase is a tear-inducing enzyme, that converts the sulfoxide molecules that are released when an onion is cut, into sulfenic acid. The sulfenic acid, on the other hand, rearranges itself into a chemical that floats in the air. When it comes into contact with your eyes, it can cause an irritation, which can make you cry.
Though there is still much to be considered, when it comes to cutting onions tear-free, there are 6 effective methods that will reduce your urge to tear-up, the next time you are chopping these tasty alliums.
How to Cut Onions Without Tearing Up
1. Cut the Onion Under a Vent
Turning on the overhead vent or microwave ventilation fan, is supposed to redirect the eye-irritating gases of onions produce away from your eyes.
2. Freeze the Onion
You can place the onions in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Doing this will reduce the level of irritation while cutting.
But it will also be a little tougher to cut the onions, due to the fact that it is partially frozen. Also, it will be difficult to remove the papery and outermost layer.
3. Rub Lemon Juice on the Knife Blade
An easy way is to cut a lemon in half and rub it on the blade of your knife before cutting your onion. The only thing to remember? You will have to rub the lemon on the knofe after every few cuts of the onion.
4. Slice Onions Near an Open Flame
Martha Stewart suggested to slice onions close to an open flame. You can use the flame of a candle or right beside a high flame of your gas stove.
How do this help? The sulphur from the flame can help disable the compounds in onions.
5. Soak the Onion in Water
Cut off the ends of an onion and and then peel it. After peeling, give it a short soak for 15 minutes in a bowl of water.
This draws out the sulfuric compounds from the onion surfaces into the water. But, this also results in a milder-tasting onion.
6. Use a Sharp Knife When Cutting Onions
Cutting an onion damages its cells, which causes it to release irritating compounds. If you use a sharp knife, it will damage fewer cells and can help you avoid unnecessary tears.