How to dice an onion in 30 seconds

James Cooper's picture

Dicing an onion seems like it should be so simple that writing about it is a waste of pixels. But since there are dozens of onion dicers on the market, there must be some cutting edge approach we need to understand.

If you think that you can dice an onion in a hurry, you probably saw Julia Child do it on TV 30 or 40 years ago. And if you think it is hard, you may have succumbed to the Ronco electronic onion dicer and non-stick omelet maker approach: an expensive, cheap gadget for every simple task.

For example, you can find an Onion-Chopper Dicer at Walmart for $15.97 and a Croc called an Alligator Onion Dicer being demoed on YouTube. There is also the pretty similar Progressive International Onion Chopper. What you mean these things cross national boundaries? Shades of Mr Rogers’ potato Washer-Drier-Sorter-Dumper, which was invented by Donkey Hodie and Mary Elizabeth Cow!

But enough technical background and literature review. How do you dice the fricking onion?

Here are the steps we took, and you can see all the pictures in an album here.

1. Cut the tip off the onion and peel the skin back to the root end. Leave the root end intact.

2. Carefully make a set of close parallel slices from the top almost all the way to the root.

3. Rotate the onion 90º and make another set of close parallel cuts.

4. Then lay the onion on its side and slice through the onion perpendicular to the two sets of cuts you just made.

5. The diced onion should fall off with each slice.

And there you have it. It takes about half a minute.

If you have a really large onion, cut it in half from top to root and make the cuts to each half separately. It still takes less than a minute, and you don’t have anything to wash up but the knife!

Now go make some spaghetti sauce or something with this really nice diced onion. It’s good for what alliums you!


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