Simple tricks to avoid crying when we peel or chop onions. In another article, we talked about how to remove bad odors. Today we tell you tricks to peel onions without crying.
It has happened to almost all of us, you are about to cut an onion and soon after, whoosh! Your eyes start to sting and cry. This happens because when we split an onion, we release enzymes called alliinases. These enzymes are rich in sulphur. When the onion is split, the sulphur is released in the form of gas, which is what reaches our eyes and makes us cry.
It is essential to use a very sharp knife, the more precise the cut, the better, if we have to use force and crush the layers of the onion, the faster our eyes will water.
Step 1: Get under the extractor hood, as the air is running this will mitigate the action of the sulphur that is released when splitting the onions. It also helps to peel them somewhere in the house that has a good draft.
Step 2: Peel the onion under running water. This trick works, you can put a container underneath and then use that water to scrub, or to water the plants, in this way you do not waste water and you avoid tears when peeling onions.
Step 3: Put the onions in the freezer for about 10 minutes. When undergoing a variation in temperature, this slows down the action of the enzymes. When you cut an onion that has been in the freezer for a few minutes, the enzymes are released more slowly, so the sulfuric acid that makes us cry will take longer to arrive.
Step 4: Put the onion in vinegar water. Being an acid, it can denature the enzyme, so having a small pot of water and vinegar put the onion in, cut it and put it back in this water mitigates the effect of the enzymes. If you have to cut a lot of onion it can be useful. If it is only one, the process is quite fast, and it works.
Do not forget that the knife, the cutting board or any other element that has been in contact with the onion is impregnated with these enzymes. So be careful not to use the knife or cutting board with other foods without first rinsing the knife and board. It will not be the first time that I have cut a hard-boiled egg with the same knife with which I had just peeled an onion and then when you ate it you noticed a ‘slight smell of onion’ in the hard-boiled egg.