There is nothing more irritating than chopping an onion without proper equipment. You know what I'm talking about; the terror of slicing through onions with a ridiculously sharp knife only to develop teary eyes. Every self-respecting cook will know that to get an evenly cut onion; it's best to use a good cutting board and make sure your knife is sharp.
But let's face it: most of us don't bother with any of these things and - in a frantic rush to get the onions chopped-we opt for chopping it in a bowl with a large chef's knife. Now, professionals have a better option: slicing or chopping onions using a food processor. Keep reading to know more about this innovative way.
What Is A Food Processor?
A food processor is a kitchen appliance that facilitates repetitive chopping, grinding, kneading, and puréeing tasks. It can also be used to grate onions or as a cheese greater. The term can refer to both the machine and its blade(s), depending on the context. It has the added ability to make dough mixed bread, dough for perfect pie crust, batters, creams, and many other coarse mixtures.
Processor blades are incredibly sharp and are ment to cut through hardest ingredient (see food processors for nuts), so using them with reckless abandon is not recommended - you can quickly lose a finger or inflict serious harm upon yourself. The same applies to the design of the cutting cup, which leaves no margin for error. Make sure your food processor is unplugged before removing the blade.
How Do You Dice With A Food Processor?
One of the most popular techniques is to dice in a food processor by using a special attachment:
- Remove both disc and blade from food processor and place in sink or over a trash bin.
- Place the onion on the cutting board and slice in half through the root end, leaving skin intact - do not peel, but leave skin hanging on either side of the onion. Grating onions will not work as well.
- Place one half on the cut side and slice the onion forming vertical lines in the halved onions, working from non-root end to root end.
- For dice, make horizontal cuts in opposite directions at 1/2 inch intervals, still working from non-root end to root end. Dice can be cut depending on the size of one's choice.
- Slice out central pieces that are non-usable and rotate the onion, once the root end is facing away, slice it off using downwards movement to remove it in step 6.
- Place diced onion in food processor bowl - see 7 cup food processors for larger capacity - and repeat steps 1-5 for the other half, or use the other half to start another batch.
- Scrape all remainders off of the cutting board and discard them; this will prevent onion juice from seeping into any wood grain that may remain on the board.
You can use many tricks with a food processor to make shopping easier, including using it with other kitchen utensils.
Can A Food Processor Finely Chop?
Yes, a food processor can finely chop onions. If you plan on using your food processors for chopping onions, we recommend using the S-blade and pulsing in short bursts instead of running the machine continuously. It will give you decent results with no noticeable change to the onion's flavor or smell. Make sure to slice the onion into thin pieces before you try this.
How To Chop Onions In A Food Processor? Essential Tips From Kitchen Professionals!
1. Pick The Best Onion To Cut in A Processor
When cutting onions, the number one consideration is to use a firm onion with a strong, sharp flavor. The larger they are, the better, as this will reduce the number of slices you have to make and allow you to cut larger chunks at a time.
2. Peel The Onion
Peeling an onion is never fun, but using a food processor will make it much more manageable. Make sure to take your time and do it properly at least once, as there's no going back after you start slicing up the peeled fruit. Pinch the tip end of the onion with one hand, making sure your fingers are out of the way of the blade.
With your other hand, hold down the back end and begin to cut from tip to root, making sure you get a clean cut so that no bits remain on the onion. Rotate the onion until it is completely peeled.
3. Cut The onion Into Segments
Cut the onion in half from top to bottom. Set one half aside and place the flat side of the other half down on your cutting board, making sure it is steady and can't move while you work. With a part of the blade facing up, make a slice downward until you reach the middle - this will be where your food processor is widest.
Pivot the onion and make a second slice in the other direction, again until you reach the middle. Now take your knife, separate the two halves of the onion, and cut each half into four segments (with flat sides on your cutting board), making sure they are steady as you work.
4. Attach The S-blade
The S-blade is the only one capable of chopping onion correctly. You may find inconsistencies in your pieces, with some large chunks and others almost minced. If this is the case, use the pulse function to get a consistent size.
5. Place The Onion In The Food Processor
Begin with turning on the food processor and start at a slow speed. Push down the ingredients using the plunger until it starts to chop, then stop and use your other hand to pull them back into the center of the blade while keeping them from spinning around in circles.
After a few pulses, turn the speed up and continue to push the ingredients down. Pulsing also helps to shred chicken and other meats.
6. Remove Any Onion Pieces That Are Sticking Out From Under The Plunger
If this happens, stop the machine and pull the pieces back into the center by hand. If you can't do it with a simple twist of your fingers, use a spoon or spatula to get the pieces back under control. Once the onion is chopped finely, stop the machine and check for any large pieces.
Turn it on again if there are any leftovers big enough to jam up your device and turn it off immediately afterward; we recommend pulsing a couple of extra times to be safe. If you miss one, you can always turn the machine back on and give it a few additional pulses.
7. Season And Serve
Chop your onion as close to serving time as possible because the longer it sits, the more the strong flavor develops. If you have to chop it up in advance, store it in a sealed container with a touch of water or oil on top to keep the cut onions from turning brown. Sauces and other recipes that contain onions should be prepared the same way.
Three Ways To Chop An Onion In A Food Processor
Spiralize horizontally - Cut the top and bottom off of the onion, then place it on its side so you can see the middle. Slice down from top to bottom, stopping when you reach the center, but leave it in one piece. Pivot so that the uncut half is now facing up and slice downward again until you reach the center point.
Now rotate the onion, keeping the uncut side facing up, and make a final cut. This method is optimal for spiralizing (for zucchini noodles etc.)
Chop Vertically - Cut the top and bottom off the onion, then place it on its side with the flat edge facing up. Slice downwards from one side to the other, stopping when you reach the center, but leave it in one piece. Make sure the uncut half is facing down and cut through it until you reach the center. Turn the onion and slice through the uncut side.
Slice onions in Quarters - Smaller onions can be cut in quarters through the middle, while larger ones should be quartered lengthwise. Place the onion flat on your cutting board in one of the two positions noted above and slice it vertically or horizontally, depending on how you've chosen to cut it.
Rotate the onion so that the uncut side is facing up or down and make a final cut. Keep the root end of the onion attached for each quarter because it holds all the pieces together.
After you've finely chopped your onion, please place it in a jar or plastic bag and add a teaspoon of water to keep the cut/grated onions from turning brown. Store cut onions in the fridge for up to five days; we recommend using them within two since they will lose flavor as time passes.
There's no need to cry over spilled (chopped) onions when you can use a food processor to chop them up in a fraction of the time. We recommend using the horizontal or vertical cut for best results, but feel free to experiment with whatever method is most comfortable for you.