This question addresses onion crying

But no one seems to say what should you do when you finely chop an onion. See, not cutting the onion core, using the Gordon Ramsay technique and generally pivoting away from the onion helped so far. But now I have upped my dicing skills. I can chop finer, but alas I am a victim of my own success where the smell of the fine onion is almost like the obscenity of grated onion (horrible).

Sharp knife, not cutting to the core, pivoting away etc all stop working when you are good enough to fine dice an onion. Short of goggles, what do you do?

  • 3
    I think this is still a duplicate of the linked question.
    – Debbie M.
    Mar 18, 2016 at 6:38
  • @ Debbie M. I agree. Finely chopping onions and just chopping onions is absolutely the same thing.
    – Pork Chop
    Mar 18, 2016 at 13:16
  • @debbiem. not quite since the more finely an onion is chopped the more severe is the tear gas it is spreading.
    – Bar Akiva
    Mar 18, 2016 at 15:15
  • They're not exactly the same thing -- when dicing the onion, I also take a few other precautions: (1) prep the onions (take off blossom end, peel, cut in half and place cut-side down on cutting board but do not cut the root end). (2) do the initial cuts (I tend to do diagonal rather than vertical & horizontal, but whatever you like ... the goal is to keep the onion together). (3) do the final cross-cuts, but keep the onion together (this requires a really sharp knife, and holding both sides of the onion as you're cutting). ... the goal is to not expose cut, wet surfaces.
    – Joe
    Mar 18, 2016 at 16:37
  • 1
    TL;DR from the chaotic set of answers to the linked question: Crush cells as little as possible. Do so by using sharp and thin tools. Apr 3, 2017 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Breathe through your mouth.

The tear-causing chemicals in onions are absorbed through the nasal mucous membrane. By breathing through your mouth, they don't get much contact with the fumes and won't absorb nearly as much.

  • I'd actually rather see this as an answer on the linked question, because it's equally relevant to chopping onions in general.
    – logophobe
    Mar 18, 2016 at 14:02
  • @logophobe I'm pretty sure a diamond-mod (contacted by flagging for mod intervention) can move the answer over. Philipp however cannot, except by pasting it in as a new answer. [Not doing myself as I have no idea if its a good answer—note the other question has an answer saying the opposite!]
    – derobert
    Mar 18, 2016 at 16:46

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