Working at Lifehacker means questioning everything, and being open to the fact that “the way we’ve always done it” isn’t always the best way to continue doing anything. But “best” is a relative term, particularly when we’re talking about food, as there are often multiple ways to arrive at the same end point; not to mention that culture, historical context, and personal preference all influence what we perceive to be “the best.”
For something like a diced onion, however, the criteria are pretty straightforward: the method should be as safe as possible, and result in even, uniform pieces, with minimal waste.
And while I love that Lyndsey from the United Kingdom has found an onion-dicing method that fits her needs, I’m not sure I would recommend it as a good practice for every home cook.
Lyndsey’s technique isn’t as different from the traditional as it appears. She does, however, skip a couple of steps, and essentially makes a bloomin’ onion before slicing it into smaller pieces. If you’ve ever had a bloomin’ onion, you know that the “petals” are slender on the ends and fatter in the middle, so the resulting pieces come out quite uneven.
But not every dish calls for a completely uniform dice, so my larger issue with this method is one of safety: That onion flower is wobbly, unwieldy, and constantly trying to bloom. Without a flat portion to rest on the cutting board, you have to fight to hold the onion together as you slice and dice, which is a recipe for finger lacerations.
But Lyndsey’s method does have its merits. I like that she leaves the root — or “hairy bits” — intact, and I like that she follows the ridges in the onions when she’s “slicing it like an orange.” Both are good onion cutting practices, but trying to dice a wobbly bloomin’ onion is not. Check out the video to see exactly how our trial run of her onion-cutting hack went down.