How to Peel an Onion Quickly

Two Methods:Peeling with a Vertical SlicePeeling by Applying Heat

Few people enjoy peeling onions, especially not when the tears start to fall. To get around this, try one of the following ways to cut and peel any sized onion in seconds!

Method 1
Peeling with a Vertical Slice

  1. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 1 preview
    Cut an onion in half vertically.
  2. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 2 preview
    Place the halves "cut side down" on the cutting board.
  3. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 3 preview
    Cut off the unusable portions at the top and bottom of each half.
  4. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 4 preview
    Peel back the top layer of each onion half.
  5. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 5 preview
    Rinse the onion halves under cold water to remove any peel residue. Rinsing also reduces the residue that causes your eyes to water when handling onions.
  6. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 6 preview
    When an onion is halved, it is much easier to cut into thin slices.
  7. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 7 preview
    Turn your cutting board ninety degrees after slicing, and you can easily dice your onion as well.

Method 2
Peeling by Applying Heat

  1. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 8 preview
    Preheat a frying pan.
  2. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 9 preview
    Cut the onion in half. Cut off the unusable parts (top and bottom).
  3. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 10 preview
    Stab the cut side with a fork. Hold the skin side against the base of the warming frying pan.
  4. Image titled Peel an Onion Quickly Step 11 preview
    Wait until the papery part of the skin loosens. Lift the onion right and and you'll be able easily pull off the skin.


  • If you leave one of the ends attached from the beginning, it is much easier to dice. For slicing however, it is best to remove both ends. Don't forget to remove the end when you are finished slicing.
  • You can remove the topmost layer of onion along with the peel, as its easier to do.
  • If you don't want to cut onion in halves, make a single shallow cut from top to bottom, just enough to slide the knife tip in and lift off the topmost layer to peel it off.
  • If you wear goggles (used by swimmers) you do not have to cry while cutting onions in pieces... it looks silly, but it helps!
  • Dip onions in cold water for 10 minutes and then cut... this way, you will not cry.
  • You can also chew gum or put a piece of bread in your mouth so it is visible to prevent crying.
  • If you find it more effective to stick pieces of tissue into both nostrils to prevent crying when cutting onions, rather than wearing goggles. Or you can hold your breath.
  • Not feasible for everybody, but wearing contacts can protect your eyes while chopping.


  • If possible, use a separate cutting board for each of the following: raw meats, poultry, cooked foods, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and dairy, to avoid cross-contamination (for example, bacteria found in raw meat juices can contaminate vegetables, if you use the same board). After each use, scrub the cutting board with hot, soapy water.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables before you cut them to prevent dragging whatever is on the skin through the food along the knife blade.
  • Use a non-serrated knife: a serrated knife will twist in the onion as it cuts, and create uneven slices, and if you're not careful, injure you!
  • Washing your hands with the stainless steel knife after slicing an onion (or garlic) will remove the scent from your fingers.
  • Always use care when using kitchen knives to avoid cutting yourself.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Peeling Food