Do you know how time-consuming it can be to chop onions by hand? It worsens if you have to chop other vegetables or prepare ingredients for a dish. If you have a lot of onions to chop, it’s best to use a food processor. But how can you best use a food processor to chop onions?
Before addressing that, it’s essential to talk about the need for chopping onions in a food processor. Processing food not only hastens the process but also protects your eyes from onion juice, which can lead to tears.
This article discusses all the issues surrounding chopping onions in a food processor, its importance, and how to go about it. Keep reading for more information:
Chop Onions in a Food Processor to Avoid Tears
Onions contain sulfuric compounds, which can trigger tears when they come into contact with your eyes. That’s why people tend to have onion tears as soon as the compounds hit the eyes. Most tears come from varieties with bulbs and rarely from leeks or green onions.
What’s the Cause of Onion Tears?
Cutting onions can make you cry due to exposure to syn-propanediol S-oxide, which activates the lachrymal glands in the eyes. The compound exists in all types of onions. In addition, onions absorb sulfur, forming amino acid sulfoxides, which irritate the eyes.
5 Ways of Reducing Onion Tears
Luckily, you can avoid crying when cutting onions if you take a few steps. Here are five ways to avoid teary eyes when cutting onions:
1. Wear Rubber Gloves
Wearing rubber gloves can protect you from tear-stimulating compounds to a certain extent. That’s because the gas that causes tears is airborne. However, rubber gloves can curtail some vapors from reaching your eyes.
2. Chill Onions Before Chopping
Did you know that keeping fresh onions in the refrigerator before chopping can reduce harmful gases? However, it would help if you were careful to chop the onions. Moving your head too close to the cutting board can expose you to unwanted gases.
3. Chop Onions Under Cold Running Water
One way to avoid teary eyes is to chop your onions under cold, running water. As the sulfur compounds rise, they get captured in the running water and washed away.
4. Chop Onions in a Food Processor
Chop onions in a food processor to reduce the effects of the harmful sulfur compounds. A food processor locks in the chemical, preventing them from spreading in the air. Many food processors can protect your eyes from tears.
5. Wear Goggles
Regardless of the method you use, wear goggles as you cut onions. Goggles block the gas and prevent it from reaching our eyes.
What Is the Best Way to Chop Onions in a Food Processor?
A food processor helps you slice onions quickly to help you include them in your recipe. But what’s the best way to chop onions in a food processor? How you approach this process affects how finely chopped the onions can be.
Whether you like your onions in finely diced pieces or coarsely chopped chunks, you should chop them in the right way. Here are three ways to chop onions in a food processor:
1. Slice in Quarters
Slice the onion bulbs in quarters if you like large, square onion chunks. Take an onion and slice it from one end to the other until you cut it into half. Cut the half onions into halves until you have quarters.
Take each quarter, in turn, and slice it vertically. You can use large, square chunks in dishes like tajine but not salads due to the time it takes to cook them.
2. Chop Vertically
You could also chop the onions vertically, top-to-bottom, without rotating the blade. As a result, you’ll get thinly-striped pieces, perfect for quick sauteing and raw salads. The method requires cutting each onion slice into smaller pieces before passing them through the blades once again.
3. Spiralize Horizontally
One of the most effective ways to avoid teary eyes is to chop onions lengthwise. With that, you get thin, long strands perfect for soups and salads. Depending on your needs, you can chop the onions further into uniform tiny squares before passing them through the blades again.
How to Chop Onions in a Food Processor?
Before you can utilize a food processor to chop onions, choose the S-blade. Food processors come with more than one S-blade attachment made of metal or plastic. Since you do not intend to make onions juice, use toggle the food processor’s pulse option.
Here are steps you can follow when using a food processor to chop onions:
Step 1: Attaching the S-blade
Attach the S-blade to the working bowl and lock it as you prepare the onions for chopping.
Step 2: Peeling Onions
Peel onions by removing the dry skins and cut into quarters. By the time you start cutting the onions, you should have only the succulent parts.
Step 3: Placing Onions in the Working Bowl
Put the peeled onions inside the food processor bowl of the food processor machine. The purpose of the working bowl is to hold the onion as it gets chopped by the blade. Check that you have correctly attached all the necessary items before turning on the food processor.
Step 4: Press the Pulse Button
Turn on the blender to the pulse button to chop onions effectively. Most food processors have a pulse button, which you can press toggling the on/off switch. It enables the blade to chop the onions instead of blending them.
Please press the button in short intervals so that it does not overheat. Then, repeat the process four to seven times. Be sure to avoid over-blending since the onions can take onto a bitter taste and flavor.
Step 5: Draining Onions if Necessary
As you cut the onions in the food processor, they get deposited at the working bowl’s bottom with a few onion pieces on the walls. Carefully remove the onions from the working bowl and store or use them for cooking.
Do not use the food processor’s automatic setting to chop onions for your safety. That can help you avoid creating off-flavors or increase the likelihood of the food turning stale. Remember, the food processor doesn’t cut and dice onions into tiny, evenly-sized squares. So, expect various-size pieces from the food processor.
How to Grate an Onion Using a Food Processor?
Did you know that you can also grate onions with a food processor? Even though the process is similar to dicing an onion, you need to know the steps to take. Here is how food processors can help you to easily grate an onion.
Step 1: Peel and slice the onion in half. Remove dry skin from the onion and cut it in half. Ideally, it would help if you cut the onion from top to bottom.
Step 2: Cut the onions’ ends to make the halves even on all sides. That makes it easier for the onion half to fit into the blender.
Step 3: Peel one layer of the skin on each half onion. Remember, onions have different layers, so it’s still okay if you accidentally peel both layers.
Step 4: Place a half onion piece on the cutting board, the flat surface going first. Cut horizontally into thin slices until you’re through. Use a sharp knife to slice onions quickly. Rotate the onion, repeating the process until you finish cutting the second half.
Step 5: Grate onions by placing one onion piece at a time into a food processor blade. Alternatively, use a small cheese grater if you can’t feel all the onions at once. Rotate the machine as needed, ensuring that you grate onions ensuring that pieces do not get stuck inside. Discard any small amounts that can’t fit through the holes.
Step 6: Store or use the cut onion. Now that you’re through with chopping, store cut onions in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Scoop the onions directly into the stew or soup with a spoon if you’re already cooking.
Chopping Onions with a Vegetable Chopper
Yes, you can chop onions with a vegetable chopper. Even though it takes longer to do it, vegetable choppers are excellent if you’re not in a hurry.
As you may know, the chopper effectively slices other vegetables into uniform pieces. It has a rotating blade operated by pressing down a button. As a result, it chops all the parts of the vegetables evenly, giving you uniform pieces.
Put your onions or other veggies inside the chopper, ensuring you submerge them partially. Then, please press down the chopper with some force until it cuts the onions into pieces. You’ll have chopped onion pieces in about a minute and store them in an airtight container or use them for cooking other foods.
Wash the vegetable chopper blades to prevent the buildup and spread of harmful bacteria on other food surfaces. Chopping vegetables in this manner works well for those who wish to stay in control by using their hands to cut onions. Besides, it saves you from accidentally cutting your hand with a sharp knife.
How to Store a Cut Onion?
Be sure to store your chopped onions in an airtight container. Once you’ve put the onions in an airtight container, seal them and keep them in the fridge. Please don’t accept the myth that onions attract bacteria when cut or that you shouldn’t keep them in the refrigerator to avoid the accumulation of toxins. Keeping onions in an airtight container prevents them from getting quickly spoiled, prolonging their shelf-life.
Chopping Onions in a Blender?
Just like a food processor, the blender is effective in chopping onions. Since the blender is narrow and with smaller blades, it’s necessary to cut onions into quarter or eighth pieces before processing them in the blender. Press the pulse button let it run for a while before stopping. Repeat the process until you have your desired size. Like a food processor, a blender cuts onion into various pieces.
The Bottom Line
Even though you have many options, the best way to chop onions in a food processor is to peel and cut the onions into quarters. You can then put the quarter pieces in the food processor, one at a time, until you finish dicing all of them. You may use the chopped small pieces to prepare a final dish or store them until the time you’ll require them. If you have no idea where to start, you can use a Cuisinart food processor to do the work.