Chopping onions makes the best of us weep like infants. According to the Daily Meal, this is because onions house an enzyme called synthase, which turns sulfoxide molecules into sulfenic acid, which "floats in the air, comes into contact with our eyes, and causes irritation — enough irritation to make us cry."
However, there are workarounds, and — wondrous thing that the internet is — they now sit at your fingertips. Here are our top eight hacks for cutting out the waterworks while also cutting onions:
1. Submerge the onion in water.
According to the Daily Meal, the water will trap the sulfenic acid that makes us tear up during onion slicing. It's one of the riskier methods available, so make sure to choose a vessel that gives you enough knife-wielding room.
2. Find yourself an open flame.
According to culinary maven Martha Stewart, fire is key to tearless onion cutting. "Slice onions as close to an open flame as you can possibly arrange," she advised — "and then you can cut up to 20 or 30 pounds of onions" without crying even a little bit. Acceptable flames include: candle flames, the flames on your stove's burner or a match, the Daily Meal adds.
3. Freeze the onion.
As LifeHacker reported, placing an onion in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to chopping will result in a cutting experience that is "painless and tear-free, like Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo."
4. Microwave the onion.
Placing a whole onion in the microwave for 30 seconds drastically reduces tear count, according to the Daily Meal.
5. Position yourself under a vent.
This makes sense. According to LifeHacker, cutting an onion with the overhead vent on makes for "mostly painless" and relatively dry-eyed dicing.
6. Get yourself some onion-cutting goggles.
They can be swim goggles, shop goggles or specially designed onion-chopping goggles, according to LifeHacker. However you seal off your eyeballs, the result will be the same: a tearless onion-cutting experience.
7. Put a piece of bread in your mouth.
Slicing with a slice of bread between your lips will prevent water from leaking out of your eyes, according to The Secret Yumiverse. This is because the sulfenic acid is absorbed by the bread before reaching your eyes.
8. Don't cut the root.
Because that's where the sulfur is — avoid it and you'll avoid the tear-inducing sulphur release. According to the Huffington Post, if you cut around the root, you'll cut down on your onion-related crying considerably.