Best Way to Stop Onion Tears? Put Bread In Your Mouth

Do you know this tip? To stop stinging eyes and tears when cutting onions, put a piece of bread in your mouth and let it hang out while chopping. Have you tried this, and does it work for you?

I had never heard this tip until I took that cooking class in Paris in the fall. One of the participants mentioned it, and so of course I had to try it as soon as I was in my kitchen at home.

Now, usually I wear contact lenses and have no trouble with crying or stinging while cutting onions. But if I am not wearing contacts, my eyes are extremely sensitive to onions. Sometimes I have to turn around and wipe them with a damp towel before continuing to cut the onion. So I was very curious to see how this would work for me.

I read a little about it; many people on messageboards felt that it was an old wive's tale and that it didn't do a thing. Others swore by it.

When I tried it for myself, I put a big chunk of bread in my mouth and let it hang out part way. My mouth began watering immediately, which was a little uncomfortable. But as I chopped a big, fat, pungent onion, I didn't tear up at all. My eyes didn't sting, and as long as my mouth was watering around the bread, my vision stayed clear.

I've done this several times now, with good success. I don't know why it works — but for me at least it seems to work well.

Have you ever tried this method? How did it work for you?

(This post is dedicated to my husband, who was a good sport to let me take such a goofy picture of him late at night!)

More on cutting onions:
Five Tips on How to Cut Onions Without Tears
Tip: Soak Onions in Water To Reduce Tears
How To French Cut an Onion
How To Dice An Onion: The Video

(Image: Faith Durand)

Recommended by Apartment Therapy

Around the Web

Categories

Advice, Tips & Techniques

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

72 Comments