Helpful Onion Preparation Tips & Tricks

Peel Onions

Cut ½-inch off the neck end of the onion, leaving the root end intact. Peel off the outer layers of the onion until all the thin, papery layers are removed. If the outer skin is very thin, peel the onion under warm running water to make the skin easier to remove.

Onion Blooms

The easiest way to create an onion bloom is with an onion bloom cutter. These can be purchased at most retail stores. If you do not have an onion bloom cutter, follow the instructions below using a sharp knife.

Cut 1/2-inch off the top and peel the onion. Slightly trim the root end, but do not cut into the root base. Place the onion on its root end and slice downwards to cut into quarters, making sure to stop within 1/2-inch of the root base each time. 

Next, place the onion on its neck end. Insert the knife 1/2-inch below the root base and slice downward, cutting each section into 4 to 6 more sections. Turn the onion back over and gently pull the petals open, leaving the core intact. If the onion petals do not open correctly, cut deeper into the onion’s outer layers, angling the knife deeper on the outer layers. The core should remain intact while cooking, but should be removed before serving to allow petals to become individual units.

Onion Rings

Place a peeled onion on its side and slice downwards. Cut the desired thickness and carefully separate each slice into individual rings. If the slices are difficult to separate, hold them under very warm water; the layers will become more pliable and easier to separate. Save the centers of the rings for dicing or mincing.

Onion Shoestrings

Place a peeled onion on its side and cut the onion lengthwise, stopping at the center. (This allows the onion rings to become strings.) Slice the onion very thin with a sharp knife or electric slicer. Coat with flour and seasonings and then fry for an appetizer or topping.

Onion Wedges

Place a peeled onion on its bottom and cut the onion in half from neck to root. Cut each half in half again. Repeat until desired size is achieved. The root plate will hold the wedge together in one unit.

Diced, & Minced Onions

Cut a peeled onion into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices. Stack three or four slices in a pile with larger slices on the bottom. Cut the onion pile into 1/4-inch strips in one direction. Cut strips again in the opposite direction to create chopped onions.

Or place a peeled onion on its root end. Make six to eight cuts across the exposed face, cutting towards the root end but stopping three quarters of the way through the onion. Do not cut through the root base of the onion. Then cut the onion in the opposite direction in a checkerboard pattern. Turn the onion on its side and slice to create small diced onions.

To mince onions, continue cutting diced onion pieces into smaller portions. 

How to Avoid Crying

Biochemists have spent years studying why onions make us cry. They’ve determined that once an onion cell is pierced, a series of rapid chemical reactions take place that release sulfur, which irritates our eyes.

To avoid tears, chill an onion 30 minutes before peeling. Start cutting the onion from the neck first and use a stainless steel knife (not iron). The onion will have a stronger flavor at the root end. Cut onions can be placed in sealed plastic bags and kept in the refrigerator for several days.

For storage and handling tips, please visit our Storage & Handling page.