Basic Food Cutting Techniques

While most people love to eat, many do have a fear of cooking.  Many are afraid of the possible unfavorable outcome (taste, presentation, edibility, etc.), but some actually fear the recipes themselves. As many cooking terms are rather confusing, it is quite understandable why folks would have this fear.  One way to ease this fear is to become familiar with one of the initial steps of the cooking process – cutting.   Applying the proper cutting techniques not only will help make your food look more presentable, it will also promote uniform cooking.

Chop: Loosely cut into small, medium or large pieces.
Chunk: Cut into thick solid pieces. Similar to dice, except bigger.  Generally used for cutting melons, or stew meats.
Dice: Cut into small cubes.
Halve: Cut into half. Generally used for cutting thick pieces of meat or vegetable to reduce cooking time, but still retaining its food juice.
Mince: Cut into very fine pieces.  The term “mince” is often used synonymously with the term “ground” as they are one and the same. 
Julienne:  Cut into thin strips, or small matchsticks.
Slice: Cut into thin flat pieces.
Shred: Cut or torn into irregular long strips.  The term “shred” is sometimes confused with the term “grate”.   The two terms are often used synonymously, but they are not the same.  The simplest way to differentiate them is shredded pieces are long, whereas grated pieces are short.

More cutting techniques from master chefs:

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