How To Peel an Onion

Learn how to peel an onion. It can be one of the most frustrating parts of prepping food for cooking. Not only does it come off in little pieces but it will also get under your nails and you will get that onion smell following you all day!

I am going to show you the fastest and easiest way to peel an onion.

how to peel an onion

Video – How to peel an onion


  • onion


  • chef knife
  • cutting board

3 Steps for peeling an onion

Follow these 3 simple steps so you can peel your next onion with ease. It is real important to only cut one end off so that the onion is not falling apart as you peel it.

Cut in half

onion being cut with knife

Have a sharp knife and cut the long way through both the stem and root end. This is important you do not want to cut it across the center avoiding the stem and root end.

Cutting it this way will come in handy later when you decide to chop or dice.

Cut the stem end off

stem end cut off of an onion

Now that you have two halves you are going to want to cut the stem ends of the onion off. You want to leave the root end intact so if you plan on dicing or chopping the onion you have something that is going to leave it intact.

You can cut as little and as much as you like.

Peel the first layer

peeling of the first layer of onion

From the end that you cut off, you should be able to grab some of the first layer and peel it towards the root end. This is the part of the onion that feels real papery.

Now if you can not grab the papery layer go ahead and try to peel it back with a knife.

If you still can not peel this layer I go ahead and grab the next layer that is thicker and pull it all off. I do it this way a lot because you avoid the green part of the onion that does not have a ton of flavor.


Do you have to peel onions before cooking?

No, but if you’re going to eat the onion it is a good idea to peel it because you most likely will not like the taste or the texture if it is not peeled off.

Also, onions can be pretty dirty and who knows what else is on it from being processed and transported. Seeing that you can’t really wash them I say its good practice to peel.

How do you peel onions without crying?

A few simple steps can help you with this.

  • Soak the onion in cold water before you start to peel them.
  • Use a sharp knife so you’re not damaging the onion and releasing the juices that make you cry.
  • Ventilate the space that your working in.
  • I really think you just need to buck up and go for it. I think when they make you cry it’s a good sign that you have a strong onion.

How to peel a red onion?

The steps that I illustrated above cover most onions that you will use for cooking. Peeling a red onion is no different than peeling a white or yellow onion.

holding a peeled yellow onion

How to Peel an Onion

Learn how to peel an onion. Peeling it will get you ready for whatever way you want to prepare the onion.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to peel an onion, how to peel an onion quickly
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Bob


  • 1 Onion
  • `1 pinch salt optional


  • Cut the onion in half from root to stem.
  • Cut off the stem ends leaving the root ends intact.
  • Peel the skin back from the cut end ripping it off at the root end.


This is the best way so it keeps the onion intact when you go to chop it.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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