10 Different Type of Vegetable Cuts Every Cook Should Know
Cutting vegetables and meat is a serious business. As much as you can avoid the importance of a perfect cut, it is actually very important for good cooking.
So, whether you are seeking to be a professional chef or just want to up your game in chopping and cutting vegetables, it is important to learn the significance of different cut types and how you can master them.
Importance of Proper Cut
According to the professional chefs, food before tasted by the mouth is relished through the eyes. A perfectly diced vegetable will not implement perfect taste but also look visually appealing.
As far as expert presentation is concerned, a dish is only deemed to be perfect if it has the designated vegetables perfectly diced to the size of the requirement.
That is why you should consider the concept very dearly if you want to be a good food artist or a pro chef.
Essential Tools for Cuts
So, to ensure ultimate cuts, there are a handful of tools you will need in the kitchen.
1. Chef Knife
Chef knife, also known as Cook’s knife is the prime cooking tool to use for cutting and chopping the vegetables.
These knives are available in different lengths ranging from 6 – 14-inches and the width mostly remains between 1-1/2 – 3-inches. An ideal length that is easy to handle and great in performance is 8-inches.
They are carbon steel, stainless steel, laminated, and ceramic blades. Among these, the carbon steel blade is the best bet among others as it is sharper and won’t oxidize too soon. You can learn more about chef knife materials here.
One of the best chef knives you can buy for every day use is the Mercer Culinary M22608BL as it is rightly sized and have great durability.
2. Cutting Board
How can you expect to do cutting without an efficient cutting board? Well, it is a square or rectangular shaped board used for chopping the vegetables.
Since it provides firm base, you can expect better and more accurate cutting. Also, it is a middle shelf between your countertop and knife so you won’t have to worry about accidentally scratching the countertop with knife.
The sizes are available from small to medium and large. The dimensions will vary with each brand. Mostly, the smallest size is 8 x 10-inches and the largest one can be around 20 x 30-inches.
Among different materials in cutting boards like wood, plastic, silicone, and steel, plastic is the best as it does not show scratches and washing is convenient as well.
Our recommendation in the best cutting board is Homwe PSOM-MIYL-CB. This is BPA-free plastic cutting board available in 3 sizes and have highest-grade construction.
To be a pro at cutting and slicing, the last thing that you must have is a mandoline. The tool is ideally used for slicing and cutting juliennes.
The tool comes with multiple blades to ensure different sizes and styles of the vegetables. These blades are interchangeable and mostly have thumb dial control to set the thickness of vegetables.
There are two working surfaces that run parallel. One of the surfaces is height adjustable. You have to slide the food item against the adjustable surface and take it to the blade on fixed surface. As the food is sliced, it will fall on the counter.
You have to set the thickness once and receive properly consistent slices of veggies each time. Our top recommendation in the best mandoline is the Mueller Austria Mu-MANDO. The product is FDA and LFGB approved and comes with 5 interchangeable blades with customized width settings. It is a great product overall.
Common Types of Cuts
Type of Cuts
1/8 x 1/8 x 2 in
#2. Fine Julienne
1/16 x 1/16 x 2 in
1/4 x 1/4 x 2-2.5 in
#4. The Baton
Salads & Dressing
1/2 x 1/2 x 2-1/2 in
#5. Brunoise Dice
1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8 in
#6. Small Dice
Various Cooking Applications
1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 in
#7. Medium Dice
Various Cooking Applications
1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 in
#8. Large Dice
3/4 x 3/4 x 3/4 in
1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8 in
The julienne cut is basically a thin stick-shaped cut that is usually made from a squared-off item. Once the squaring is done, you will have to make length-wise slices at 1/8 x 1/8 x 2-inches dimensions.
This way, you get really thin rectangular cuts of food. The cuts are also known as matchstick cuts because it will resemble the same shape.
2. Fine Julienne
The cutting mechanism is same as Julienne except that in the fine julienne, you will have to further reduce the width of the slices and the dimensions will be 1/16 x 1/16 x 2-inches. From this size, you can imagine the small width of each stick.
Batonnet is a French word and the translation is little sticks. This is exactly what you have to do in the cutting.
In this cut, you will have to follow the dimensions of 1/4 x 1/4 x 2-2.5-inches size. This will also look like sticks only that it is a bit wider than the julienne cut. This type of chopping is widely required in French cooking.
4. The Baton
Baton is the largest cut in length that you can make on any vegetable. The dimensions of this cut are 1/2 x 1/2 x 2-1/2-inches. From the dimensions, you can picture out that the cut is wider than other cuts that we have discussed so far.
The Baton cut is mostly used for salad cutting or for dressing purposes.
5. Brunoise Dice
This is the smallest cut and is square shaped. The dimension of this cut is 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8-inches. The cut is suitable for garnishes.
This is a complicated cut and you need a lot of practice to master it. There is also a fine brunoise cut that goes at 1/16-inches dimensions for each side.
6. Small Dice
The dimension of smallest dice cut is 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4-inches. These are also cube shaped cuts of vegetables and requires completely watchful attempt. This is a larger version of Brunoise Dice and can be used in various cooking applications.
7. Medium Dice
The medium dice is also a cube shaped cutting of vegetables. The only difference here is of a size. The dimension of this dice cut is 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2-inches.
8. Large Dice
The size of large dice is 3/4 x 3/4 x 3/4-inches. These cubes are primarily used for long cooking dishes and stews.
This kind of cut is relatively quicker and looks really professional. However, there is a lot of food waste in larger dices.
Paysanne is basically a kind of informal French cut. You can cut fruits, vegetables, and roots in this style. The dimension is 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8-inches. However, the shape of the cut is not too specific. It will depend on the shape of object you are cutting.
Chiffonade is basically creating thin strips of leafy vegetables and fresh herbs. The leaves are stacked and rolled to slice perpendicularly. This way, you can create strips very thin in profile.
To be a pro chef, you really need to master all these cuts. It will take a bit of practice but with complete dedication, you will be able to make perfect cuts.
Some of the cuts like fine julienne and brunoise dice are difficult than others. But with time, you can become better with these as well.
This is all about the type of cuts. Try them till you master them.
- Basic Techniques for Professional Culinary Arts Knife Cuts - The Spruce Eats