Shallots bringing me down

ynnejJanuary 25, 2012

I love shallots but man do they burn! I'm trying to find ways to make them easier on the eyes. I read something about putting them in the freezer for 30 min, has anyone tried this? BTW, a few years ago I made Rachael Ray's pasta with 10 shallots. She swore the crying would be worth it, it sooooo was not.

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susytwo

I've also heard putting them in the freezer will help. Also, make sure your knife is razor sharp. A dull knife will crush the shallot more, and release more tear-inducing vapor.

If I cut a lot of onions/shallots, I cover the cut pieces under an upside-down bowl as I go, to contain the odor and gasses while I continue to cut more.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:33PM
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centralcacyclist

Use a sharp knife, ventilate well, and rinse your knife blade in water every few cuts. This last trick was told to me by a long time friend and it really works.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:40PM
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woodie2

I have just two words for you.................

Here is a link that might be useful: ONION GOGGLES

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:41PM
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cloudy_christine

I'm puzzled by this. The shallots I buy are very mild, much less likely to sting my eyes than onions.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:44PM
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ynnej

cloudy christine, I've heard this as well, but it's certainly not the case for me! Onions bother me, but shallots just kill. Woodie, I've never heard of onion goggles, I wonder if swimming goggles would work just as well? I'd feel a bit silly but it's worth a try! Suzytwo and barnmom, thank you for your advice!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:51PM
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publickman

I've never made a recipe that used 10 shallots, and so they have never bothered me - especially not the way onions do.

Onion goggles may help, but a mask and snorkel will help even more. Alternatively, you can breathe through your mouth instead of your nose while chopping, as the fumes reach your eyes more quickly through your nose than through your mouth. Swim shops sell clips that close your nose - I have some that I use with swim goggles, which can also be substituted for onion goggles.

This may also be a case where a mini-food processor would help.

Lars

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:01PM
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lindac

What makes onions and shallots burn is that when you damage the cells ( as in cutting!!) you release a sulfur compound that combines with the tears in your eyes and forms sulfuric acid which burns like He double toothpicks!!
Ways to prevent the burn, sharp knive, cut in a closed space ( like inside a food processor) or wear goggles!
I too have never had any burn from shallots.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:12PM
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bbstx

I have heard burning a candle near where you are chopping onions will help. I haven't tried it.

When I chop onions, I get close to the stove and turn the vent hood on full blast. Seems to help.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:39PM
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ynnej

Okay, I've got my shallots in the freezer. I'll take them out after 30 min. I've sharpened my knife and I'll be cutting them with a candle going by the sink so I can rinse the knife often. I couldn't find any goggles but I do have my wet suit and flippers on, that should do the trick ;)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:43PM
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lyndaluu2

Ive heard hold a piece of bread in your mouth....or a stick match

Linda

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:53PM
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solsthumper

If you have a small, portable fan, place it beside you (turned on low) as you chop. No more tears.

However, if you go with my friend Woodie's useful (and entertaining) route, make sure to also don the wet suit and flippers. And please, post a photo here :)

Sol

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:25PM
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ynnej

Sol and Linda, I didn't get your tips in time, but I did try all of the others. And the result was amazing! Not really sure if it was all of the tricks combined or just one of them in particular, but it worked! I'll be eating a lot more shallots thanks to you guys, thank you!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:38PM
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rob333

Yes, refrigerating also helps keep down the process that causes tearing. I do this with onions all the time. I keep them in the fridge just so I don't have to wait. Works perfectly.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 3:13PM
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publickman

Here's a picture to show that I am not the only one who has used a snorkel when chopping onions, but mine is turquoise instead of blue and is much more attractive.

Lars

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 6:05PM
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ynnej

Lars, thank you for clarifying that it is, in fact, turquoise. My snorkel is periwinkle and it is for this reason that I chose to instead don my flippers.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 7:33PM
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lakeguy35

Guess I'm one of the lucky ones that onions or shallots don't bother my eyes all that much. Every now and then I'll get a strong one that burns my eyes....usually a red onion. I'll be waiting for that pic though. : )

David

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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dcarch7

I have found that if you microwave the onion a little, not to cook it, the problem seems to go away.

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:19PM
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chi83

Wear contacts. :) No sting!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:40AM
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sally2_gw

I'm bothered by shallots more than onions, too. What bugs me about shallots is they're hard to peel, so by the time I get them peeled, I have to leave the room. I'll have to try some of these tricks - sans the wet suit and flippers. lol

Sally

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:22AM
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petra_gw

Here's a must-have for all the shallot/onion chopping, flipper-wearing ladies. No need to wear plain flippers, you too can be glamorous even while chopping.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:59AM
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ynnej

Petra, what in the heck?!!! Where did you find those things?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:09PM
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woodie2

Darn it, my onion goggles are lime green, none of these match :(

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:25PM
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petra_gw

ynnej, they are called High Tide Heels and were designed by a Belgian artist a few years ago.
woodie, try the black heels, they go with everything. :o)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:53PM
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pfmastin

My food prep area is near the stove and I turn on the exhaust fan...draws all the gases/fumes away. Never a tear!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 2:11PM
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sally2_gw

That made my day, and it's just starting! lol

Sally

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 8:36AM
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