The goal when chopping an onion is to obtain evenly sized pieces that will cook at an even rate. Professional chefs often slice, dice, and chop at record speed, and this can make the task seem very intimidating to the home cook. But as you'll learn with practice, you can easily chop an onion down to size with methodical cutting techniques.
What You'll Learn
Use your knives properly for safe and efficient ingredient preparation.
How to Chop an Onion
Many chefs lop off both the top and the root end before chopping an onion. However, for the average home cook, we find that leaving the root intact makes it easier to keep the layers together as you make each cut. The distance between the cuts made in steps 2 through 4 will determine the size of the final pieces. For chopped or diced onions, leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch between each cut. For minced or finely chopped onions, leave 1/8 to 1/4 inch between each cut. Learn more about understanding cutting terms.