Use Your Stove Vent To Curb Onion Cutting Tears

Use Your Stove Vent To Curb Onion Cutting Tears

We’ve previously suggested tongue-holding, and soaking to keep you from looking like an emotional wreck when cutting onions. For an on-the-fly solution, though, you might consider chopping your onions on your stove.Image via wickenden.

We received an emailed tip from “The Douglas Brothers,” who also signed off as “3 Ninjas”, suggesting that moving your cutting board onto your stove and turning on your overhead vent, or your microwave ventilation fan, could help keep tears at bay. Making a Southern-style dish Sunday, I tried out the technique. I didn’t feel anything resembling a tear come up, but then again, I’m somewhat averse to onion-crying in general. So I handed the last bit of my mincing over to the wife, who also seemed to make it through one shallot and a big Vidalia without a tear.

Anything that keeps the onion’s essential oils out of your sinuses seems to help, and having a stove fan whisk away the air above your cutting board would seem to work in a pinch. If you’ve had similar success, or can’t stop your crying with any onions, commiserate in the comments. Oz ed note: I still find a properly sharp knife the best way to avoid onion dramas.


  • In a fit of extravagance I got a $5 fan, just for the onions – otherwise they cry to you know. Directed to blow just above, but not at the onions this works perfectly. As to how, I believe creating turbulence dries out the oils so while they’re still around they won’t adhere to eyes. An improvement would be to get someone else to do it, or you could lay on your elbow for 10 min prior to chopping so you can pretend someone else is doing it….

  • The easiest way is to keep your from making you cry is to store them in the fridge. This shouldn’t be relied on for long term (> 2wks) storage and they shouldn’t be stored in a moist crisper (which will make them rot).

    However, if you use onions regularly, storing onions in the fridge will reduce the impact of the volatile sulphur based gases on your eyes by slowing the chemical reaction. This will significantly reduce the tearing response.

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