How to Grate An Onion

Before I discovered this method of grating I absolutely dreaded the task. Though, who doesn’t dread cutting onions? I figured that I could go ahead and share my technique with all of you and make your lives just a tad bit easier.  The quicker you grate the onion the quicker your eyes will start tearing!  The technique that we have below is the quickest most efficient way to get the onion grated chopped and into the pot.

If you continue to have sensitive eyes while grating onion then should try some of the following techniques that will help stop the tears from flowing.  My aunt insisted that if you keep a bowl of water next to where you are dicing the onion and wet your hands before you begin then your eyes will not burn.    You also can try chewing a minty gum and this for some will stop your eyes from tearing up.  Perhaps the most modern and best way is wear onion goggles.  These look a mix between swimming goggles and rec specs.  Some of the following are recommended models that you will be thankful the next time you are grating an onion.

ORKA A24610 Onion Mask

If you have small farm glasses or wider face then this is a great choice for you.  With its wide frame you will be able to see everything that you are grating.

Pros

  • Wide frame that seals around glasses
  • Strong elastic strap
  • multiple colors
  • scratch resistant
  • Full foam edges for extra comfort

Cons

  • Have to hand wash

Rsvp Onion Goggles

These goggles are the cream of the crop for grating an onion completely tearless.  They come in multiple colors and are also very comfortable.  If the cook of the house has everything then this is a must.

Pros

  • Antifog
  • Storage case is included
  • Foam seal for comfort and functionality
  • For men and women

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Will not fit over glasses

Alright, before getting to the grating, make sure that you have a good onion. Onions will start to go bad after two or three months- so if you’re anything like me and grabbed an onion at the supermarket with hopes of using it in one of those new recipes you found on Pinterest but never actually got around to it until now, you better check that sucker out before you grate it! If your onion smells a little funny, has dark spots, looks like it might be a little wet, or has a soft spot or two, throw that little guy in the garbage and grab a different one. There’s nothing like cutting into a smelly onion only to find out it’s gone bad.

Let me give you a few tips on how to store your onions real quick and then I promise we’ll get on to grating them! Your green onions should be put in the fridge and you should try to use them within two weeks. Dry onions should be kept in a dark, dry space. I keep mine on a shelf in my broom closet- odd, but it does the trick! Try not to store potatoes and onions together, the chemicals in them cause them both to spoil when near each other.  There recently has been been a surge of new products to keep your onions fresh, if you do not just want to leave them on the shelf in a closet like me.  They range from simple plastic containers, such as Hutzler Onion Saver.  This is simple inexpensive and keeps the onion from rotten fast.  Another simple solution to keep your onions is a Burlap Onion Sack.  The burlap sack is durable and is a earth friendly material that can be repurposed many times. If you are a cook who has everything then you may want to take a look at the S&P Onion and Garlic Keeper.  This is porcelain and has two compartments, one for onions and the other for garlic.


First of all, make sure you have a clean cutting board and a nice, sharp knife. I take my onion and cut just enough of the end off to leave your basal plate intact. The basal plate is the bottom of the onion where the roots grow of which you might have scene in some old onions. This way, your onion layers aren’t falling apart. This makes it so much easier and will save you tons of time! Turn your onion vertically and cut right through the middle of your basal plate, so that you have two halves of an onion, and all of your layers are still intact.

Now, make sure that you have a clean grater and a bowl, pot, or skillet of some kind to catch the bits of onion. Remember- anything you use in the kitchen should be cleaned before use, and if you’re dealing with any kind of meat, it should be kept separate from any produce you’re handling. Don’t forget to wash your hands! Alright, now that you have your two halves of the onion, grab one half of it by the basal plate and grate away!  Make sure that you keep your fingers away from the grater, we only want to grate onions, not fingers. Keep grating until you’ve just about reached the basal plate and then stop and do the same with the other half. Voila! You’ve successfully grated an onion.

While this technique is fast, efficient, and time saving, there IS a better way to do it if you’re working with a bigger recipe and have more than just a few onions.

How To Dice An Onion In A Food Processor

If you’re lucky enough to have your kitchen stocked with a food processor then the onion dicing just got 10 times easier for you.  When I was making a bigger meal than usual a few weeks ago, I decided to FINALLY use the food processor to dice some onions. After some trial and error (LOTS of trial and error) I almost gave up. Turns out, I wasn’t using it right at all, go figure. I was trying to use the shredding disk to do my onions and they were turning out to be an absolute disaster, which often happens when I try to cook new things. Instead of tiny slices of onion I kept getting a nasty sludge. Of course at first I blamed the onions because there was NO WAY that I was doing it wrong. Turns out, I was. After some reading online, I found out that instead of using the shredding disk I should be using the slicing disc. Which at the time didn’t mean a thing to me, until I started digging through my dust covered box and pulling blades and discs out.

So, after I realized that I was using the wrong disk, I switched it out and my onions turned out SO much better than the watery sludge they were before. Using a processor instead of hand slicing or grating is easier, but the clean up almost isn’t worth it. So I would personally recommend that you grate them instead, unless your recipe calls for quite a few onions or you need to use the processor for multiple things.

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