How to Dice an Onion Properly (You’ll Still Probably Cry … But Only Just a Little)

In the dark recesses of the internet there are people who claim to have the secret to cutting an onion without tears. We’ve done the research and have found only two ways that truly work. The first is to encase your noggin in a diving bell. The second is to just get it done quickly.

Since you’re not likely to have a diving bell in your kitchen, we found the perfect technique for quickly dicing an onion. You may still shed some tears, but if you practice the technique shown in this great video from Chef Pierre, you’ll soon be dicing onions like a pro.

To help you out, we’ve broken down each of the steps below the video.

How to dice an onion like a chef: What you’ll need

Before you get started, this video assumes you have three things:

  • A paring knife, which is used for removing ends and outer layers of fruits and vegetables.
  • A chef’s knife, which is a large, general-purpose kitchen knife that’s about 8-10 inches long and has a sharp point.
  • A cutting board.

Pro tip: Keeping your knives sharp can help keep you safe in the kitchen. Believe it or not, dull knives are cause more accidents because the blades are less likely to go where you want them to.

1. Core out the ends of the onion

Remove the ends of the onion by inserting your paring knife at an angle into the stem of the onion. Then, hold the knife in place and turn the onion around the knife. Do this on the root end of the onion, too.

2. Remove the onion paper skin

Then you need to remove the onion skin. Slice into the skin with your pairing knife from root to stem. Then, cut into the skin and peel it away. Chef Pierre actually remove a couple of layers of the onion because the outer layers are slippery and makes dicing harder.

Now, you’ll use your sharpened chef knife to dice the onion.

 3. Slice down the length of MOST OF the onion

Cut the onion in half from root to stem. Then, place the cut side face down on your cutting board.

Next, begin cutting lines into the onion from just past the root to the stem, keeping the top of the onion intact (view this at 2:20 on the video). Do this until you have a bunch of cuts in the onion.

4. Slice across the width of the onion

Finish dicing the onion by cutting thin slices across the width of the onion. Remember, start at the bottom and work your way, so the top of the onion stays together while you’re dicing away.

What’s next?

Learning to cut an onion takes practice! Go buy yourself a few and start dicing. Then, join our Facebook group and tell us which recipes you’re making with all those tasty, only-slightly-teary onions.


Recent Posts