Today Chef Blake will be introducing you to four knife cuts for any sort of cooking you may be doing. After this lesson, you can be on your way to a knife chopping pro and impress everyone!
The Four Basic Knife Cutting Techniques
These four basic knife cuts are often done wrong. Watch Chef Blake’s video to learn the proper methods of dicing, mincing, julienne, and chiffonade.
Dicing: Dicing is making a cut into a cube-shape. There are three sizes: small, medium, and large. This cut is best for diced meats in any kind of recipe.
- Small dice is ¼ inch
- Medium dice is ½ inch
- Large dice is ¾ inch
Mincing: Mincing is a fine, non-uniform cut. It’s good for garlic, parsley, herbs and nuts. The tip here is to keep cutting and chopping until you think you are done, and then cut some more!
Julienne: This cut looks like a matchstick and has the nickname “shoestring.” This cut is usually used for vegetables like celery and onion. It is also a good size for cutting potatoes for french fries.
- It is ¼ inch by ¼ inch and 2 to 2.5 inches long
- A fine Julienne cut is ⅛ inch by ⅛ inch and also 2 to 2.5 inches long
Chiffonade: The Chiffonade cut is for any kind of food that is a leaf. Roll up your leaf into a tight tube and cut across the tube to get long strips of leaves.
Knife Sharpening Tips
Also, check out our previous on knife sharpening. Now that you know some proper cuts for your knives, make sure you know how to keep your knives working for a long time! This post will give you an introduction to electric sharpeners, sharpening stones, and knife sharpeners with rotating wheels which is the style of the Rada Quick Edge Knife Sharpener.
The Cutting Edge
If you still need some help to understand these four different types of knife cuts, check out Chef Blake’s knife cutting techniques video:
The Right Tools for the Job
After viewing the video above, you’ll want to have the right tools to practice your new knife cutting skills and knowledge. For example, you can’t dice or mince with just any knife. We recommend the French Chef. It is a professional chef’s knife that is great for quick cutting. Don’t be worried about it’s size!
Also, it is best to use a Carver/Boner when carving poultry or filleting fish. It’s flexible blade easily cuts around the bone to make the process faster. Find out which knife is right for whichever job.
Rada Cutlery is available locally from Fundraising Groups or Independent Sellers. If you do not have a local source for Rada Cutlery, you may view and purchase Rada Knives on the Rada Kitchen Store website.
Made in America
Rada Cutlery is manufactured in Waverly, Iowa and uses 100% Made in the USA materials and construction. Rada Cutlery products include kitchen knives and utensils as well as stoneware, cookbooks, and quick mixes. Rada Mfg. Co. has been manufacturing Rada Cutlery fundraising products and helping non-profit groups fund raise since 1948.
Last year we worked with over 19,000 churches, schools, teams and clubs. Fundraising with us is fun and easy to do! There are no upfront costs and your group will make a 40% profit.
Understanding the Four Basic Knife Cuts Video Transcript
Hello, welcome back to Rada’s Test Kitchen. My name is Blake Landeau, and today we’re going to be doing some more “class work” with the white board here on knife cuts. We have quite a few people who don’t the difference between what cuts are and we wanted to clarify it here.
One of which is dice. When a recipe calls for dice, people get the wrong impression and start hacking up vegetables. So we’re going to specify the difference between small dice, medium dice and large dice. We’re going to go over batonet which is French for little stick. Most of the time it’s called julienne in recipes which isn’t quite the same thing but they’re still more match-stick style cuts. Mince and chiffonade.
So we’ll go over dicing. Small dice is a cube. Perfect, symmetrical cube. If not it’s fine but we want to shoot for perfect. So that is quarter inch by quarter inch by quarter inch. Grab a ruler. Know what a quarter inch looks like before you make an error. These are not actual sizes but I’m doing it this way so you can see it. The medium dice is a half inch by half inch by half inch. Large dice is three quarters by three quarters by three quarters. Whenever you do large dish, you’re looking at a heartier dish like a soup or stew. If you’re doing a brothy soup like chicken noodle, small dice makes it more elegant. Medium dice is a nice halfway between. You can’t go wrong.
Now julienne’s measurements are quarter inch, quarter inch, by two inches, sometimes two and a half. We also have a julienne fine which is an eighth of an inch by eighth of an inch by two inches. Those are your match sticks. Those are pretty much more like a French fry style of a cut.
Moving on from there we have mince. I have mince underneath dice, because I don’t want those to be confused. The mince is literally just a super fine cut. Not very uniform. It’s good for garlic, parsley, herbs and nuts, just to name a few. I always tell my line cooks, as soon as you think you’re done, just go twice as long. Make it super fine.
Last of the four knife cuts is the chiffonade. This is used for lettuce, leaf herbs, anything with leaves. So what you do is if you have a spinach leaf or a basil leaf, roll it up with the spine and bring it up and over. Then cut it into lump strips in a sense. So when you cut it, it’s in a cylinder form all rolled up. Then you go down and cut into little strips. This is something that’s used a lot with basil in a caprese salad. I like to tear my herbs a lot of times because it brings out flavor.
But when the recipe calls for knife cuts, it’s important to figure this out. Particularly it’s the French that have built that foundation. But when you pick up a recipe, you should know what knife cuts are there for specifics. You have to be able to nail that medium dice. These are basic 101s that you should know. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. Thanks for watching.
End of Understanding the Four Basic Knife Cuts Video Transcript