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I'm a pro at dicing an onion. My issue is always peeling it. The papery skin is so tough to get off, and I'm never sure just how many layers to peel off.

Does anyone have any sure-fire tips on how to peel an onion in 2.5 seconds every time?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted
  • Cut the sprout end off.
  • Place the cut end on the board, slice the onion in half vertically (i.e. place your knife on the root and cut down)
  • If the outer skin layer is nice and thick, pull it off from one corner. Repeat on other half.
  • If the outer skin is papery, pull it and one layer of onion flesh off from one corner. Repeat on other half.

If the first layer of onion flesh is slightly dimpled or has a kind of matte finish, it's probably turning 'skinny'. Strip that off too.

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This is exactly what I do –  nixy Mar 30 '11 at 15:45
    
Sounds perfect -- thanks! –  Pirripli Mar 30 '11 at 18:26
    
Spot on on method. I'd add to it that you can make the actual peeling part quicker and easier by taking the onion and putting it down on the chopping board, peel side down. You hold one side with the palm on one hand and put the side of the thumb on your other hand on the other edge of the onion where you want the layers to separate. Push down on both sides and the peeled onion will pop out. Might take a few goes to get right but is a real time-saver when you've a lot to do. –  Niall Jul 28 at 14:22
  1. Cut both ends off
  2. Score vertically, i.e. run the knife down from top to bottom gently so it only cuts through the first layer or two
  3. Peel off the outer layer(s) as needed.

I don't like to slice until I have the shell off and I find with scoring I have it all off in one movement.

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Scoring sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure I think cutting the root end off is -- I like it there to anchor the loose pieces of the onion while I chop them. I cut the onion radially (like a clock) first, then slice straight downwards. Without the root, it's hard to keep all that together. –  Pirripli Mar 31 '11 at 13:19
    
This is good if you want to cut full circles (For onion-rings etc.) but is a lot slower than the method given by ElendilTheTall above. –  Niall Jul 28 at 18:19

Cut both ends off. Use compressed air to peel

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How exactly is one supposed to use compressed air to remove onion peel? This simply doesn't make much sense to me. –  logophobe Jul 28 at 19:35

Soak the onions in plain or luke warm water for 15 minutes. This will help in peeling off the onions easily.

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Kind of crashes with the 2.5 seconds goal though –  martiert Jul 18 '12 at 12:59

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