Onions are the base of so many dishes – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – so learning how to chop them is a basic cooking skill that every amateur chef needs to know. You might not be able to speed chop like Gordon Ramsay right off the bat, but everyone has to start somewhere!
Here are our two favorite ways to cut an onion that are the perfect introduction for beginners. Not only will this tutorial give you some options for different cuts, but it will help teach you the proper technique for correctly cutting everyone’s favorite root veggie.
Pro Tip: The first thing you want to do before making ANY cut is make sure your board is secure. You can easily do this by dampening some paper towels and putting them under your board for a safe hold.
Also, try using a chef knife for a better, safer grip and more control. Once you’ve got your station all set up with the best tools, you’re ready to get started!
Technique #1: Dicing
Step 1: Get your onion prepped by slicing off one end; this will create a flat surface so your onion will stay still while you’re cutting, making cutting simple and helping you avoid some injuries.Once the onion is on the flat side and stable, slice it right down the middle.
Step 2: Once the onion is on the flat side and stable, slice it right down the middle.
Step 3: Take off the papery skin and we also suggest taking off the top layer of onion as well. This top layer is leathery and doesn’t cook as well in your pan, so it’s best to just nix it.
Step 4: Place the flat half of the onion down and beginning cutting by making two or three shallow slices going horizontally. Once you have some slices, secure the onion by pressing down on the top with your palm firmly, then make some deeper cuts; these cuts will go straight through the onion, but will not cut through the root on the other side.
Step 5: Next, make vertical cuts across the top of your onion. Position your hand like a claw, so the knife is being guided by your knuckles; this will protect your fingers from misguided cuts.
Step 6: Turn the onion once more and make nice rolling cuts straight through the veggie. Make sure to keep those fingers tucked in! Once you get to the point where you can’t hold the onion anymore, flip it over and cut right to the root.
Technique #2: Slicing for Cooked Onion
Step 1: Start by repeating Steps 1-3!
Step 2: Chop the root of the onion right off, as you won’t need it as an anchor in this technique.
Step 3: Turn the cut root-side away from you and cut vertically across the onion. A good way to tell you’re cutting the right way is looking at the lines on the onion and cutting with the lines.
Step 4: Once you can’t hold the onion anymore, flip the flat side down and slice the rest of the onion. Feel free to pull it apart into smaller slices if you’d like.
For two more ways to cut onions like a pro and tons of helpful tips, make sure to watch the Tasty video below!