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Here's Everything You Need To Know About Chopping Onions

This guide will make you feel like a pro!

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Watch the full video instructions here:

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Securing your board:

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The more secure your board is, the safer you'll be. If your board is wobbly, it's more likely to slip and you're more likely to end up accidentally cutting yourself.

You can easily secure your board by placing a nonslip mat underneath it. If you don't have one of those, you can place a damp paper towel under your board. It can really do the job when you're in a pinch.

Which knife to use:

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A sharp standard chef's knife is your best option when chopping onions. When a lot of people first start cooking, they're more comfortable using a small knife, like a paring knife. However, chef's knives tend to have a better grip, which allows you to use more force and have more control when chopping onions or dense vegetables. They also tend to be a bit sharper, which will make chopping a lot easier and will be a bit safer. You're more likely to get hurt working with a dull knife than working with a sharp one.

* Pro tip: The sharper your knife is, the less likely you are to cry while chopping your onions!

Protecting your fingers:

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The best way to protect your fingertips is to use the "claw hand" method.

To use a claw hand, place your thumb and pinkie back to the sides and curl your fingertips in, keeping your knuckles upright. Your knuckles should stay in contact with the side of the knife as you're slicing to act as a guide. And as long as your fingertips are curled, you won't get cut!

1. Cut off the tip.

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Whenever you're chopping onions, you want to make a flat surface that you can lay the onion on. This way, it'll be more stable and won't roll around while you're working.

3. Peel the outer layers.

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In addition to peeling the skin, peel off the first outer layer or two of the onion. These layers tend to be a bit leathery and dry, and they won't break down well when cooking or have a good texture.

4. Make one or two horizontal cuts.

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Lay the onion on the large flat side you've created by cutting it in half. Place your hand flat on top of the onion (remember to keep your fingers up to protect them).

Make one or two horizontal cuts, going almost all the way through the onion, but stop before you reach the root. You want the root to stay intact, because this will help keep the onion intact and make it easier to chop quickly.

6. Turn and slice across the onion.

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Using your claw hand, place your thumb and pinkie on either side of the onion to hold it together. Slice across the onion and you'll get those small, even pieces.

7. Flip it over to get the most out of your onion.

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When you've chopped enough that it's a little hard to hold on to the onion, you can just turn it over onto its larger flat side and continue chopping up toward the edges of the root. This way, you'll have the least amount of waste.

8. Bonus tip: Don't scrape the sharp side of your knife to get the onions off the board.

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This is a common mistake, but it can dull and damage your knife very quickly. One easy trick is to flip your knife over and use the top edge to scrape the onions off the board. This way, you'll protect the sharp edge.

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There are two different ways to slice onions, depending on how you'll be using the slices in your dish. One method is for dishes with raw onions (like salads), and the other method is for dishes with cooked onions (like caramelized onions and onion soups).

For dishes with raw onion slices:

1. Cut off the tip, cut the onion in half, and peel off the outer layers.

2. Cut across the lines of the onion.

When you cut across the lines of the onion, your onion slices are more likely to break down when cooking and become mushy. So you want to only use this method for dishes with raw onions.

For dishes with cooked onion slices:

1. Cut off the tip, cut the onion in half, and peel the outer layers.

2. Cut off the root.

We don't need it to hold the onion together for this method.

3. Cut along the lines of the onion.

When you cut with the lines of the onion, the slices will stay more intact and retain their structure while cooking.

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Great for fried onion rings and burger toppings.

1. Cut the tip off and lay the onion on its flat side.

2. Leave the skin and outer layers on.

For this method, you don't want to peel the skin off until later.

3. Cut a small slice off the side of the onion.

Only cut through the skin and first one or two layers of the onion. This is why we left these layers on. We won't be using them anyway, and this way you've created a flat surface that will be much easier to work on. And the inner layers of rings will maintain their perfect ring shape.

5. Press out individual layers and discard outer layers.

The layers should pop out pretty easily, and once you discard the skin and outer layer or two, you should have perfect onion rings.

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