Chop: This means things just need to be made smaller but not necessarily perfectly even
Coarsely chopped is even more forgiving than chopped
Dice: Try to make the pieces more uniform and smaller than a chop
Finely Dice: This is between dicing and mincing, so pretty small
Mince: Chop or grate into tiny pieces
Tips for Faster Chopping
Here are some other suggestions that might make your knife work go a little more quickly:
- Make sure you have good quality knives and keep them sharpened as this will contribute to faster chopping. A good pair of kitchen shears can also make easier work of cutting herbs, scallions and other delicate foods.
- Use a cutting board (preferably wood or bamboo) and if it slides easily on your counter, put a dishtowel underneath to stabilize it.
- Try to make your chopping efficient by cutting through multiple vegetables or layers at once, for example, lining up carrots or green beans side-by-side, and stacking onion slices so you can cut through several at once.
- For chopping smaller vegetables, garlic, and herbs, keep the tip of your chef’s knife in contact with the cutting board and keep your hand on the top dull edge of the knife to direct it.
- For big chopping jobs, you might want to consider using a food processor.
- Using pre-prepped ingredients isn’t cheating. For example, using minced garlic and pre-shredded carrots and cheeses can save you time and effort. It’s a trade off between the value of your time vs. money.
- You might also consider taking a knife skills class at a local cooking school if you’re feeling the need for more guidance. The skills you learn will pay off nightly in your kitchen.
Watch the video to learn the 3 knives you REALLY need, how to use them to cut onions, tomatoes and other vegetables efficiently and safely, and how to sharpen them in seconds:
I hope this guidance will help make your dinner preparation even speedier, and please let me know below or on The Scramble Facebook page if you have any other questions or suggestions. If you want additional help with meal preparation, sign up for a two-week free trial of our online meal planning service so you can see how simple planning, easy cooking, and joyful eating can be!