There Is A Right Way To Slice Onions For More Flavorful Burgers

If you've traditionally left the raw onion slices offered to you off your burger, it might be time to rethink this American classic. We get it, onion on burgers isn't for everyone. The piercing pungentness a raw onion provides is, of course, a bit too strong for some palates. But for those that don't quite enjoy the harsh bite of onion interrupting your delicious cheeseburger, there may still be a way for you to enjoy a lighter touch of onion flavor in each bite — and it all comes down to how your onion is sliced.

Cutting into your onion with the grain — in other words, slicing from the root to the stem — actually yields a more mild onion flavor. And, for those die-hard onion fans, cutting the onion sideways will provide a much stronger flavor. Sound too outlandish to believe? Well, there's actually some science behind why this happens.

Which way you cut depends on your preferences

The traditional way to slice up onions for burgers is to cut the vegetable sideways. This method creates multiple rings that we enjoy piling on our burgers or frying up for a snack. However, when cutting an onion this way, you actually break down many cell walls within the onion. When this happens, the enzymes that were once kept separate by the cell walls have a chemical reaction with other molecules. This reaction is what creates a strong onion flavor and brings tears to our eyes. But by simply slicing with the grain of the onion, you're breaking down much less of these cell walls. Therefore, you can have a more mild flavor in your onion slices.

Cutting your onions end to end will not provide you with the nice, stackable raw onion rings that are typically tossed on a burger. But, for a subtler onion taste that perfectly complements your preferences, it might be worth tossing aesthetics aside.