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I’m constantly chopping onions for my famous sausage and fried potatoes – a staple of my dinner rotation. But the process always seems tedious and makes me cry. According to professional chef and culinary instructor Frank Proto, this should not be the case.
The title is in the Epicurious YouTube video. The best (and worst) way to peel and cut onionsChef Frank explains his favorite onion-cutting methods – not necessarily aligned with traditional culinary schools – that he claims will make the process faster and easier.
In the 10-minute clip, Chef Frank explains that onions are the “backbone of many delicious foods” and that each meal requires a different kind of cut. Those cuts will determine how much your onion tastes. Break here.
Frank’s number one tip to avoid tears while chopping onions
As Chef Frank explains in the video, onions contain both sulfur compounds and an enzyme called synthase. The moment you cut an onion, the two things combine to form a chemical compound called sin-propenthial-s-oxide. It irritates the glands in your eye, causing you to cry.
There are many myths to stop the tears while chopping onions, but Chef Frank says the only sure thing that helps him hold back the tears: wearing contact lenses. Of course, we don’t all wear acquaintances, so other hurdles (such as a COVID face shield or goggles, no matter how ridiculous you may look) can help.
In addition, having a sharp knife is key because a dull knife can break the onion, cause further damage to the onion cells and release more of the torn compound. Cooling your onions for 30 minutes in the fridge or in an ice bath can also reduce the effects of chemicals.
Onion peeling: Traditional method vs. Chef-approved method
Chewing onion peel is not Chef Frank’s favorite method in culinary school, but he says it is something that every home cook should know.
The traditional method involves pruning the roots and carefully peeling them up to the roots.
Chef Frank doesn’t like this method because it requires two knives and is more time consuming. So, what’s the secret? According to Frank, his favorite peeling method was something he learned from his cook, Alberto, who told him, “Chef, you’re doing it wrong.”
Being a humble experience, Chef Frank listened.
Using just a chef’s knife, cut both ends of the onion and then cut in half. Next, pull out the first layer of onion with the peel, store it in the fridge or freezer to make stock.
He admits that this method doesn’t really work for onion rings or onion grate. But for every other cut, the method of his choice works well and much faster.
Cutting Onions: There are three genius ways to cut onions fast
First and foremost, using a sharp knife is not only to help reduce tears, but also to make the process of chopping onions easier. In the video, Chef Frank appears to be using a Victorinux Fibrox Pro chef’s knife, an incredibly affordable knife with a dedicated fan base in the culinary world.
No matter which knife you use, it must be sharpened regularly. Chef Frank recommends using a weightstone, which he says is the most effective tool to use when sharpening a knife at home.
1. Using a knife
Chef Frank first outlines the traditional culinary school method for chopping onions. This is a technique that many of us are familiar with, using the root as an anchor when slicing and dicing.
Yet using his preferred peeling method, you can assume that the root was removed in the process. And according to Chef Frank, that’s not a problem. Although similar to the culinary school method, he claims that his way of cutting onions is “at least a third faster”.
To start, make vertical slices running parallel to the edge of the onion, making sure that the knife does not cut completely on the other side. Next, make vertical slices perpendicular to the edges following the natural curve of the onion.
Of course, there are other tools to make the process easier, and Chef Frank gives them a demo.
2. Using a vegetable chopper
As a professional chef, Chef Frank admits that he is not a very gadget guy. But many of us are not trained with knives, some of the tools in this kitchen can actually help a lot.
In particular, Chef Frank Mueller examines vegetable choppers. Choose the plate for your desired size, place half an onion on the plate and press. With wide eyes and a jerk in his voice, Chef Frank noted that “it worked much better than I thought.” We will consider it a victory.
3. Using a Box Greater
Another tool that is needed for every kitchen, for Chef Frank, is such a box great of OXO. This single tool allows for fine shredding, large pieces, grating and slicing এবং and it happens quickly.
It is the chef’s go-to tool when making meatballs, meatloaf and potato pancakes. The trick is to hold it properly উপরে next to it on a tray — and push the onion with your body weight for quick cutting. This method is efficient and will not make you tired, unlike the “granny method” of using the box grate directly.
To get all the helpful tips from Chef Frank, be sure to watch the full video below.