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I love pearl onions, but I'm always put off by the idea of peeling every single one. Are there any shortcuts to peeling pearl onions?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted
  • Dump pearl onions (with skin) into boiling water (on high heat)
  • Bring water back to boil
  • After 1-2 mins, take the onions out, and dump them in cold water (or ice bath)
  • After 1-2 mins, take the onions out of cold water
  • Take an onion, hold it between your index finger and thumb, and squeeze. The onion will pop right out of the skin. Repeat this step for each onion.

Hope you find this useful...

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I learned that trick after peeling a few pounds of them one year for thanksgiving. – Joe Aug 12 '10 at 12:20
This is the technique I use- it works perfectly – Eliza Aug 12 '10 at 15:29
Thanks! I can't wait to try this. – Neil Fein Aug 12 '10 at 17:14
After all this, the markets didn't have pearl onions today; a grocer at a Wegmans thinks they may be a seasonal vegetable around here (but this page indicates that they should be in season now). – Neil Fein Aug 14 '10 at 4:22
@AtticCrazy I don't think anyone else here was doing what you describe, getting only the small core. If the onions were boiled enough but not too long, a gentle squeeze should separate skin from onion, not onion from onion, especially if you squeeze from the root end and push the whole onion out the other end. – Jefromi Mar 24 '13 at 0:30

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