01 of 08
Start With a Firm, Smooth Onion
There are times when evenly chopped onions are key to a recipe's success: stir fries and sautées, tarts and quiches, and other dishes where the pieces of onion will be visible in the final dish or where even cooking is key. The following method is the classic chef technique for evenly chopping onions. It may take a tiny bit of practice, but it's worth mastering—it will make future cooking endeavors all that much easier.
Onions are great storage vegetables, when they're stored in a cool, dark... place. When exposed to heat or light, they spoil quicker. Look for onions with smooth skins, that feel heavy for their size, and that are very firm.
(If you just need sliced onions go here.)Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Trim the Onion
Use a very sharp knife to cut off and discard the root and stem ends of the onion. The onion doesn't have a flat side to set it on yet, so exercise extra caution and hold it steady.
And yes, you want a very sharp knife. The cuts are cleaner and it's safer. Yes, safer. The sharp blade will cut right through the onion, whereas a dull blade is likely to slip and cut you.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Cut the Onion in Half
Set the trimmed onion on one of the flat cut ends and then cut it in half lengthwise through the root end, which will hold the halves together.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Peel the Onion
Peel the onion, removing any and all of the papery skin and the external layer of onion if need be to get all of the skin off. (Doing this under running water can make getting all the papery bits off easier and reduce tears in the process if you're sensitive to onions.)Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Make Horizontal Cuts Into Onion
Hold the onion steady by pressing down with the palm of your hand or carefully by the root end. Using that same very sharp knife, carefully make horizontal cuts into the onion, leaving the root end intact.
The horizontal cuts you make will partially determine how small the final chop is, so make as many horizontal cuts as far apart as the size chop you want in the end. When you get to the final, top cut, hold the onion by the still-intact root end.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Make Vertical Cuts Into the Onion
Keeping your finger tips at the root end to hold the onion steady and to keep your fingers out of the way, use a very sharp knife to make cuts into the onion lengthwise, again being careful to keep the root end intact (and thus holding the onion half together).
Like the horizontal cuts, the number and spacing of the lengthwise cuts help determine the size of the final chop, so make them accordingly.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Cut the Onion Crosswise
Hold the onion by the root end and cut the onion crosswise—resulting in a perfectly evenly chopped onion!Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Marvel at the beauty and evenness of your chopped onions! Then use them in the recipe of your choice, knowing they will cook evenly and look fabulous.