Before we even begin discussing what the best way to slice an onion is, we need to go over some parameters. In the interest of keeping this article as focused as possible, it should be noted that we will be discussing only yellow onions here. It isn't that other types of onions aren't delicious.
Quite the contrary. But for the sake of consistency and brevity, we will assume that most people use yellow onions, and therefore it is an important category all by itself to tackle. Second, we will be dealing with slicing in particular.
Naturally, the way an onion is cooked can drastically affect its taste and texture. But again, for the sake of consistency, we will be dealing solely with different slicing methodologies.
Who knew raw onions had such potential!
COMPETITION TIME: So we’ve been wondering if there was an easy way to avoid crying every time you cut an onion. Lots of suggestions out there........ You can wear swimming goggles (and some do) or chop in front of a fan or cut under water, might work. We’ve even heard that clenching a smoking wooden match stick in your front teeth helps. The idea suggestion is to avoid the toxic fumes you first just cut out the root end in a cone. That’s where the “gland” for the toxic fumes are. Make the cut about a third of the diameter of the onion and about a third deep. Once it’s out dispose of it immediately and get to choppin’ like “normal. Other suggestions include are using milder onions or wiping you knife with lemon juice before cutting. Does it work ? Do you have a way that works for you? Share with us in the comments below how you cut your onions to avoid the tears and tag three friends to go into the draw to win an AWESOME Ceramic Knife from Bear Grills BBQs. http://www.bear-grills.com.au/6-inch-ceramic-knife.html #onions #cuttingonions #bbqcompetition #slicedonions #beargrills
Grating your onions is the ultimate way to release the maximum amount of lachrymators, that chemical in onions that makes you cry as well as opens your smell receptors to allow you to experience maximum taste enhancement.
So if you are looking to add a lot of onion flavor while still limiting the texture of the actual onion in your food, this is a good option for you to experiment with.
2. Dice or Chop
Dicing onions can be a huge pain but it doesn't have to be! This little #protip will change your onion-chopping life! Step 1. Cut top of onion off. Step 2. Slice down the middle of the onion through the root, leaving the root in tact. Peel papery skin off. Step 3. Cut 3-4 slices through the plain of the onion, cutting towards the root but not all the way to the root. Step 4. Cut vertical slices evenly across the onion, again leaving the root in tact. Step 5. Turn onion 90 degrees then make slices crosswise. Voile! Diced onions!
This is the most common method for chopping an onion, especially if you are a new cook. Just as useful information, a dice is technically a small chop, but often times they are used interchangeably.
The reason that this difference is noteworthy though is because of its effect on the chemical properties of an onion. Basically, the smaller that your chop the pieces the further you destroy the individual onion cells and the more intense lachrymators you're releasing.
To properly chop and/or dice an onion, begin by chopping your onion in half and then cutting the halves into thin slices. Next, slice the slices horizontally. Simple as that.
This particular type of cut is great if you are going to cook the onions. Eating them raw when they have been sliced in this form will cause you to experience an intense onion flavor. Sprinkle a few on a salad or top a burger with several chunks. You may find that you enjoy the intensity of the flavor.
This method of dissecting an onion is probably the most versatile as well as the most palatable.
The only caveat here is that you have to decide in which direction you prefer your slices; the direction you slice an onion will affect the number of flavor-heightening cells you rupture and thereby affect the flavor profile of your dish.
Orbital slicing is the name for the action of slicing an onion from north to south and leaving you with half moon shaped slices.
While there is no doubt that this slice is aesthetically pleasing, it is also incredibly sharp in flavor when compared to the alternative of pole to pole slicing. However, if you really like onions or are planning to pickle them, then this slicing method is sure to serve you well.
Pole to Pole
For the best tasting, best-textured raw onions on your dishes try pole to pole slicing. To achieve this slice, chop on the short side of the onion to create a julienne shape.
When you slice your onion in this fashion you can use the raw slices in almost any situation. From salads to burgers and chicken to caramelized toppings, you really cannot go wrong with this slicing method.