Why do onions make us cry?
Syn-ropanethial-S-oxide acts as a lachrymatory agent, and we swear that’s the last big word we’re going to throw at you. When the agent contacts your eyes, it mixes with your tears to create sulfuric acid, which your eyes interpret as contamination (since, well, it is contamination).
To address the problem, your tear ducts go to work, creating enough tears to wash out the chemical. That doesn’t immediately make things better, so you may find yourself crying for quite a while.
Method 1: Wear goggles.
Method 2: Hold a wooden spoon between your teeth.
Method 3: Spray your cutting board with vinegar.
Method 4: Microwave your onions.
Method 5: Cut your onions underwater.
Method 6: Cut your onions differently.
Therefore, you can greatly reduce your onion gas exposure by cutting a bit more carefully. To minimize waste, you can cut the onion into halves lengthwise, keeping the root intact, then thinly slice perpendicular to the root, taking care not to cut all the way through the root itself. You can also simply remove the root and the inner bulb before you start cutting, but this method’s a bit wasteful.
Method 7: Sharpen your knife before cutting.