Good Things to Know About Onions
- One large onion = about one cup chopped onion.
- One medium onion = about 3/4 cup chopped onion.
- For onion juice: place half an onion, with the skin still on, in a lemon squeezer.
- The National Onion Association has provided a useful guide for cutting onions available here
- Have a selection of small, medium and large onions on hand to match your recipe requirements.
- For optimal flavor, use all of a freshly-cut onion immediately.
- Use a sharp knife—a dull knife can slip and will mash rather than slice through the onion.
- Use a straight-edge chef’s knife, 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.
- Peel onions after they have been halved lengthwise, and the top has been trimmed off.
- Trim off the root or the bottom end last as it is believed that most of the tear-causing compounds are stored in the root end of the onion.
- Freezing whole onion for about 20 minutes before cutting will help reduce eye-tearing.
- The food processor is an option if you need a lot of chopped onions, but beware as it only takes a few seconds to go from chopped onions to a soggy purée.
- To slice onions, place the peeled, onion-half cut-side down, and cut crosswise into half moons as thin as you like. This shape is good for caramelizing onions to use in onion soup.
- For onion rings, peel the onion without halving it, but be careful to get the onion as stable as you can on a cutting surface, and keep your fingers tucked in.