Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Lauren Beck
Cutting onions is an essential part of cooking many dishes, but the resulting eye irritation can make even the most seasoned chefs teary-eyed. It’s a common problem that can be quite uncomfortable, and we’re here to help you out.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind eye irritation and offer some tips to prevent it.
Ways To Stop Eyes From Burning After Cutting Onions
Here are some ways you can try to prevent your eyes from burning after cutting onions:
- Use a sharp knife: Using a sharp knife to cut onions causes less damage to the cells, which reduces the amount of irritants released.
- Chill the onion: Cooling the onion in the refrigerator or freezer before cutting it can help reduce the amount of irritants released into the air.
- Use a fan: Positioning a fan near the cutting board can help blow the irritants away from your eyes.
- Wear goggles: Wearing goggles or other protective eyewear can create a barrier between your eyes and the onion fumes.
- Light a candle: Burning a candle near the cutting board can help burn off some of the irritants.
Why Do My Eyes Burn So Long After Cutting Onions?
The burning sensation in your eyes after cutting onions is caused by a gas that’s released when you cut into the onion.
This gas reacts with the water in your eyes, creating sulfuric acid. The acid then causes your eyes to tear up as a natural defense mechanism to flush out the irritants .
The burning sensation can last for a few minutes or longer, depending on how sensitive your eyes are to the gas.
How to Cut an Onion Without Crying?
Cutting an onion without crying can be a challenge, but there are a few techniques you can try:
- Cut the onion under running water: Running water can help wash away the irritants before they can reach your eyes.
- Cut the onion in cold water: Submerging it in cold water before cutting it can help reduce the irritants released into the air.
- Cut the onion near a flame: Cutting the onion near an open flame, such as a gas stove, can help burn off some irritants.
- Use a sharp knife: Using a sharp knife can reduce the amount of cell damage and irritants released.
- Cut the root last: Cutting the root of the onion last can help reduce the amount of irritants released.
Tips for Cutting Onions
Here are some tips that can help make cutting onions a little easier:
- Use a stable cutting board: Make sure your cutting board is stable and won’t move around while you’re cutting.
- Cut the onion in half first: Cutting the onion in half first can make it easier to peel and cut.
- Slice off the top and tail: Slicing off the top and tail of the onion can make it easier to peel.
- Use the right knife: A sharp chef’s knife is the best tool for cutting onions.
- Cut with the grain: Cutting with the grain of the onion can help reduce the amount of irritants released.
Can Onions Damage Your Eye?
Onions can’t cause permanent damage to your eyes, but they can be quite uncomfortable.
The sulfuric acid created by the gas released when you cut onions can cause temporary eye irritation, tearing, and redness. However, this irritation typically goes away on its own after a few minutes.
Why Are My Eyes So Sensitive to Onions?
Some people are more sensitive to the irritants released by onions than others. The sensitivity can vary depending on a person’s individual tolerance and the freshness of the onion. As onions age, they release more irritants, which can increase their sensitivity.
How Do Chefs Not Cry When Chopping Onions?
Professional chefs have a few tricks up their sleeves to prevent onion tears:
- Practice: Experienced chefs have built up a tolerance to the irritants in onions, so they’re less likely to tear up.
- Use a sharp knife: Using a sharp knife creates less damage to the cells, which reduces the amount of irritants released.
- Cut quickly: Cutting onions quickly can reduce the amount of time the irritants are in the air.
- Breathe through the mouth: Breathing through the mouth can help prevent the irritants from reaching your eyes.
Does Chilling an Onion Prevent Crying?
Chilling an onion before cutting it can help reduce the amount of irritants released into the air, reducing the amount of eye irritation. However, it’s not foolproof and may not work for everyone.
What Do You Soak Onions in to Stop Crying?
Soaking onions in water before cutting them can help reduce the amount of irritants released into the air. Adding a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to the water can also help neutralize the irritants.
In conclusion, cutting onions can be a frustrating experience, but there are ways to prevent eye irritation. Using a sharp knife, chilling the onion, wearing goggles, and cutting under running water are all effective methods. Additionally, practicing cutting onions and breathing through the mouth can help build up a tolerance to the irritants. Try out these tips the next time you cut onions and see which ones work best for you.