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How to Cut an Onion Like a Pro

As Julia Child said, “It’s hard to imagine a civilization without onions.” Almost every savory dish calls for onions, and with sweet onions you can use more because they’re milder and tear-free; they’re also delicious raw. But, no matter how you use onions, they almost always need to be cut up first. Here you’ll learn the best way to cut an onion, whether you need them diced, cut in wedges, rings or strips. Follow these step-by-step directions and soon you too will be an onion-cutting pro.

Lesson 1: Dicing an Onion
Lesson 2: Cutting Onion Wedges for Grilling or Roasting
Lesson 3: Cutting Onion Slices for Grilling
Lesson 4: Cutting Onion Strips for Sautéing


Here are everyday tips on cutting onions:

The bigger and firmer the onion, the easier it will be to cut.

Always start with a sharp knife—a dull knife can slip and will mash rather than slice through the onion.

Use a chef’s knife, if you have one, rather than a serrated knife, for cleaner cuts.

Be sure your cutting board is positioned securely on the counter. If necessary, place a damp kitchen towel underneath to keep the board from sliding around.

If cutting onions ahead of time, pack them in a plastic zipper-lock freezer bag, squeezing all the air out, then enclose in a second plastic zipper-lock freezer bag, and refrigerate, to keep everything in your fridge from tasting like onions.

Use pre-cut onions within 2 days.

Save onion trimmings, including the papery brown skin—for golden color, store in a well-sealed plastic zipper-lock freezer bag in your freezer and add to soup stock.

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