How To... Dice an Onion

Woohoo! We are over halfway through this week!! It seems to have flown by for me... what about you guys? Is your week going by fast too? Hope so! Its always nice when the weekend sneaks up on you. :) This week's how to post is how to dice an onion. A lot of people don't really have much technique when they chop onions and the result is non-uniform pieces of onion that don't cook at the same pace because they're different sizes. This technique results in uniform dice and uses really basic knife skills to get it accomplished. Hope these step-by-step photos help you to visualize the technique and process so you can have perfect dice every time. Remember, knife skills take practice! So the more you do it, the better you'll get.

Step 1: Cut off ends of the onion
 Step 1: Cut off the ends of the onion - just the top 1/2 inch or so. Stand the onion up on one of the cut ends (as pictured above).

Step 2: Cut Onion in Half
 Step 2: Next, cut the onion in half (starting at a cut end and finishing at a cut end). This makes the onion really easy to peel. You should peel both halves if you are using the whole onion.

Step 3: Slice the onion horizontally
 Step 3: Now you need to slice the onion horizontally at even intervals without cutting all the way across the onion. I usually do 1/8 - 1/4 inch intervals which for a medium onion results in 4-6 slices, leaving about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the onion in tact at the end so it doesn't fall apart on you.

Step 3: Slice the onion horizontally

End result of step 3 - onion should have even horizontal slices - leaving about 1/4 - 1/2 inch in tact at the end of the onion

Step 4: Slice the onion Vertically
 Step 4: Slice the onion vertically - similar to step three, but going the other direction! Slice at regular intervals (usually about 1/8 - 1/4 inch depending on the size of the dice you want) leaving the same 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the onion in tact at the end.

End result of step 4 - see how the onion is set up for perfect dice?! Cool eh?

Step 5: Lastly, just slice the onion as pictured above - again at about 1/8 - 1/4 inch intervals depending on the size of the dice you want. The end result is pictured below - uniform, perfect dice that will cook evenly.

Finally, a few words of wisdom for cutting, chopping, dicing and slicing:

Use a Sharp Knife - its way easier to dice an onion nicely when your knife cuts through it easily without much pressure being applied. And believe it or not, you have less chance of cutting yourself when your knife is sharp because again, you don't need to lean into it or apply much pressure to get the knife to move through the item you're chopping.

Use the Knuckle Trick - this doesn't work for everyone, but a good protective measure is to use the knuckle trick when cutting. Bend your fingers so your finger tips aren't exposed to the edge of the knife and use your knuckles as a guide for your knife - this way if the knife slips it will just rub along your knuckle instead of slicing into the tip of your finger.

Stabilize your Cutting Board - Place a slightly damp tea towel or dish cloth under your cutting board if it is sliding around on your surface. This will secure the board and ensure it doesn't slip while you're cutting.

Hope this post was helpful! If you have any other good tips and tricks for cutting, dicing, chopping and slicing, I would love it if you left a comment to share your knowledge!

Happy Cooking my Friends!

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