Do you soak your onions before you cut them up?

Discussion in 'Vegetables, Salads and Mushrooms' started by Shermie, 26 Jun 2019.

  1. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Location:
    Brighton, MA.
    I found that doing this before they're cut up helps to save a lot of tears & greatly reduces the acidity that get in the eyes!

    I was at my nephew's house one Thanksgiving & his wife had asked me to cut up some onions & green peppers for the stuffing. I decided to put the onions in some cold water after they were peeled. When I was ready to chop them up, I noticed that there was no acidic juices released from them!! I had stopped them cold!! Thjis was a great trick. Been doing it that way ever since! :wink:
     
  2. Elawin

    Elawin Veteran

    I don't do this, but then my eyes don't produce tears :giggle:
     
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  3. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    The only time I tear up anymore is when I grate horseradish. Onions I'm fine with.
     
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I've never tried this - but like @CraigC I don't really find a problem. I think I once or twice have been caught unawares by an extra strong onion though. How long do you soak them for @Shermie?
     
    Last edited: 26 Jun 2019
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  5. detroitdad

    detroitdad Senior Member

    Location:
    Ypsilanti, MI.
    I cry like a little baby when I'm cutting up onions. I'll definitely try this.
     
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  6. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Veteran

    Location:
    I had also heard about this method and it seems to work just fine, and you are another witness to it ... I haven't tried it yet but I'll do it soon.
    How long did you put the onions in the water?
     
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  7. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Location:
    Brighton, MA.
    About 45 minutes. I had quite a few of them to prep, so I allowed extra time for them to soak. :wink:
     
  8. Yorky

    Yorky Uncomfortably numb Recipe Challenge Judge

    I've washed peeled onions (but not soaked) since my 14 year old son advised me to do so to minimise tears (he's 44 this year). It doesn't always work - some onions are much stronger than others. If I'm cooking a large chilli con carne (8 to 10 onions) I may need to take half time respite on the stoep whether they are washed or not.
     
  9. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    Am I the only one who actually likes the sting in the eyes? It tells me I have a nice strong onion instead of the watery ones I used to get in the UK.
    I had to finely slice 3kg of onions recently and it was great that there were tears. I knew I had decent onions for my onion chutney.
     
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  10. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    You wanna try peeling up to 50 kgs of onions for pickled onions. Lol.

    Russ
     
  11. timmyc

    timmyc Regular Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I don't no, I just use a super sharp knife.
     
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  12. TastyReuben

    TastyReuben Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio, US
    I don't. Onions generally don't make me tear, and cooking for two, it's rare that I'm working with more than one onion anyway, and most times, probably less than that, and even a slow bee like me can dice a half-onion in about 30 seconds.

    I think tearing is equal parts the onion and the person. Some people are way more susceptible to it than others.
     
  13. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    That's also a massive country factor to take into account. Back in the UK, I found that onions were very bland and were not causing me issues anymore. They used to a couple of decades ago, but even I left the UK 3⅓years ago, no tears. Overnight almost that vanish and onions bite back here in Australia. I'm back to tears and once or twice I've actually had to leave the room and come back. Hubby had commented on it a few times as well. Virtually all cause some irritation and stinging but we just joke about it, comment that is 'a g'd 'un is that one' and get on with chopping them up.
    It will be interesting to see what they are like now in the UK again soon.

    As for cooking for 2, same here though often more like cooking for 4 or 6 really because of the way we cook, we still use a lot of onion. If it says ½ an onion I'll just find my smallest and put the entire onion in. We just a lot of onions in this house, including me making onion chutney. Now that really does make you cry. But I find it reassuring thay I've got good onions.
     
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  14. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    Same with onions here as well, they are very strong, I blitzed a whole onion the other day in the kitchen to add to a tomato paste, my wife was in the lounge and about 5 mins later started complaining about sore eyes. I said mine were as well. One onion?

    Russ
     
  15. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member


    I suppose the question is - why? The onions we get in the UK are not all from the UK yet most are, as you say @SatNavSaysStraightOn, not very tear inducing. I do find an exception occasionally with the cheaper brown onions and some of the cheaper red onions.
     
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