‘Literally life-changing’ onion hack – how to to dice onions perfectly

James Martin reveals how to avoid crying while chopping onions

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The hack was posted by Melanie Lionello who runs the TikTok account @frommylittlekitchen. The nutritionist and author detailed how to perfectly dice an onion.

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The food expert has a Bachelor of Human Nutrition and a Bachelor of Human Nutrition with Honours. She has also authored two cook boots, The Recipe is Simple and From My Little Kitchen: recipes That Taste Like Home. Her onion hack currently has an enormous 5.8 million views on her TikTok account.

The food expert wrote: “I was today years old when I learned that you could dice an onion like this. Please tell me I’m not the only one.”

The cook holds the onion facing upright, after chopping a slice off the bottom for stability. She then holds the hairy tip of the onion and slices it into the onion in segments.

She then turns the onion onto its side and chops through it. The result is perfectly diced onion. TikTok users were quick to post praise for the hack.

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One wrote: “Omg, 57 years of onion tears for this lol.” [sic] Another said: “This should honestly be taught in like kindergarten to save us all!!”

One fan commented: “Best part is it doesn’t release the juices that make you cry when you cut it like this. “I’ve learned more on TikTok than I have at school,” one noted.

Some, however, had been taught the trick as a child. One said: “My grandmother uses this technique literally since she was a little girl.”

“My grandma and my mum who was living in a village used to cut onions like this 30 years ago.”

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Why do onions make you cry?

Cutting into onions breaks open the cells of the onion, which are full of liquid. This liquid meets with the sulfur the onions as absorbed from the soil – along with other minerals.

This meeting creates syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which turns into a vapour and hits the eyes. This causes a burning sensation, stinging, which causes tears.

How to stop onions making you cry

There is a number of methods supported to help prevent onions making you cry.


Freezing onions is supposed to prevent the syn-propanethial-S-oxide from evaporating so quickly, potentially saving your eyes – depending on how quick you chop.


It suggested soaking the onion in cold water might slow down the production of eye-tingling chemicals.


It is claimed by some that holding bread between your teeth while chopping onions can help as the bread will absorb the chemical released by the onion.

Wear goggles

Simply prevent the gases from hitting your eyes with goggles and happily chop away.

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