Onions are a delightful addition to so many recipes, but you might find yourself nixing them to avoid the annoying tears. Sometimes it’s just not worth sacrificing your mascara for flavor, y’know? So, when I stumbled upon a trick that claimed to make it so you can cut an onion without crying, I was obviously intrigued.
First, let’s breakdown why it is that onions make us so weepy. It’s something called a “lachrymatory process” — which according to ScienceDaily, is a series of chemical reactions that create a gas which gets released when we cut into an onion. Different onions have varying levels of this chemical combination, but yellow, white, and red ones tend to have the highest amount. The sweeter the onion, the less likely it is to make you cry.
Blocking the gas from ever reaching your eyes with things like RSVP International Onion Goggles ($18.91, Amazon) can help, but they aren’t the most stylish option. And even if you don’t care about how you look while cooking, you might not want to spend money to solve this culinary issue.
As a cheapskate, that’s exactly what made me so interested in testing out a trick from Buzzfeed. They had two of their writers attempt several different hacks that claim to nip onion crying in the bud, but one definitely stood out from the rest for me. They reported that tossing an onion in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing into it will stop any tears from flowing.
I happened to purchase a yellow onion the same day I discovered this trick, so I decided to try it out for myself. For me, this particular type of onion is the worst when it comes to tears. Sometimes I’ll find my eyes getting misty when I’m not even the person cutting them, or even in the same room. But this time, I let it cool down in the freezer before grabbing my knife and… it worked!
It felt a little odd handling the frozen bulb, but the chilly temperature didn’t make it any harder to slice. I also didn’t shed a single tear and they still cooked up just fine with the other veggies I sautéed for my dinner that night.
Of all the cooking tricks I’ve tried in the past, this one honestly might be the most impressive. I’m so glad I won’t have to worry about looking like a sobbing mess in order enjoy some onions from now on!
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