I hate chopping onions. Hate it. I’m not sure if I have super sensitive eyes, or if I’m just a bit of a wuss, but onions stinging your eyes is painful! Over the years I got so sick of looking like a crazy person with mascara running down my face and a large kitchen knife in my hand, that I decided to see if any of the so-called hacks actually work.
And there’s good news, I’ve found 3 onion chopping hacks that actually worked for me (if you’re prepared to look a little ridiculous). Here’s a fun fact, It’s not the whole onion that makes you cry. Cutting just the root and attached shoot part of an onion releases an enzyme into the air. When that enzyme combines with water (like the water in your eye) it creates sulfuric acid, which irritates your eyes.
- Put the Onion in the Freezer
Put the onion(s) in the freezer 15 minutes before you know you’ll need to chop it up. The theory with this one is the cold inhibits the onions’ release of its eye-irritating chemicals. I know. I hear you, you’re busy. Ain’t nobody got time to remember to put an onion in the freezer 15 minutes before you actually need it. But hear me out, if your eyes are super sensitive and you have a few to chop, this could be the hack for you.
- Suck on a Teaspoon
I love this one. Put an upside down teaspoon in your mouth and suck on it, whilst you chop. I’ve found this old family trick works about 90% of the time.
- Matchstick between your teeth
This one is our winner. It’s genius, and it works! It’s an old wives tale, and all you have to do is hold a wooden matchstick between your teeth, match head out, while you chop – the sulfur in the tip of the match repels the enzymes in the onion that cause the irritation. This works like charm for me, every time.