Eye Health

19 September 2017

How to dice an onion without crying your eyes out

Look Mom, no tears!

Onions are in basically everything. From chilis to pasta sauces to salads and burgers, it’s an ingredient that is pretty essential to know how to deal with. But cutting them can get tricky, fast. The dozens of layers can be tough to work with, they’re annoying to peel, and yeah, there’s the whole crying thing. What’s an amateur chef to do?

We enlisted the professional help of Emily Hankey, Whole Foods Market Produce Butcher, to show us how to dice one without crying (or, you know, cutting yourself):

Read more: What’s actually worse for your body? Sugar or salt?

1. Cut off the top and bottom of the onion (Emily is using a seven-inch Santoku knife).

2. Peel off the outer layer of the onion – just use your hands!

3. Cut the onion in half vertically and lay it flat on your cutting board.

4. Press down on top of the onion to keep it steady and use your knife to slice across. Do not slice all the way through – Hankey says to leave enough uncut for you to hold while dicing.

5. Repeat a few times depending on the size of the onion so that you have a few slices through the onion.

6. Cut straight down to make a series of vertical cuts over what you just cut through the onion.

7. Rotate your onion 90 degrees and slice straight down, dicing into cubes.

Hankey’s biggest tip? “The sharper your knife, the less tears,” she says. You could also wear glasses while cutting to prevent any This Is Us-level weeping while chopping up your onion.

Chopped that onion? Now use it in a delicious recipe like this butternut, pine nut and feta pizza.

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock


Ask the Expert


Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules