Soak Onions In Water For Tear-Free Cutting

Soak Onions In Water For Tear-Free Cutting

If you’re looking for a way to decrease the eye-stinging power of cut onions without resorting to wearing a dive mask, a simple soak will do the trick.

The sting of onions is so powerful that people are always on the look out for new ways to banish it without suiting up like a bio-hazard team. At the cooking-centered blog TheKitchn they highlight a trick shared by Rick Bayless of the show Mexico: One Plate at a Time:

His sous-chefs were busy prepping onions and he quickly stopped the camera operator to make sure he got a shot of their large buckets filled with water and drowning onions. (Onions can’t swim without water wings – didn’t you know?) He said that all the onions in his restaurants get a quick dip in the “pool” before being used in any dish: fresh or cooked. They don’t need to soak long, just enough to get them washed off after being peeled and having their ends cut off. Not only does it eliminate tears, it also brings out their true flavor without being so harsh.

This is definitely an interesting twist on cutting onions under the water and certainly easier. Have a clever kitchen trick to share? Let’s hear about it in the comments. Oz ed note — I still find the best way to avoid onion tears is to have a decent sharp knife.)

Soak Onions in Water To Reduce Tears [TheKitchn]


  • I’d heard of this trick but I always thought that soaking onions in water would kill the flavour.

    I talk, whistle or sing while I’m cutting onions. I was told as a kid that doing these, or even simply blowing air out your mouth blows the vapours away which get into your eyes and make you cry. Always works for me.

    Or if you leave them peeled in the fridge overnight, they never seem to sting when you’re cutting them up

    • All you have to do is breathe through your mouth – you only cry when the vapours get into your sinuses therefore don’t breathe through your nose and no tears.

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