Skip to content


Dicing Foods: What Does It Mean and How to Do It?
« Back to Cooking Class Index

Ever baffled about the term ‘dice’ when it comes to cooking? Check out this guide to learn what it means and how to successfully do it in your kitchen!
Dice Cooking Definition | Chopped vs Dice | How to Dice Vegetables

Dicing Foods: What Does It Mean and How to Do It?

Do you ever find yourself confused when recipes call for ingredients to be diced?
Dicing is a simple cooking technique that involves cutting vegetables into small cubes.
In this guide, we’ll explain what ‘dice’ means in the kitchen and how to do it correctly so you can make all your favourite dishes with ease.

What Does ‘Dicing’ Mean?

Dicing is a basic cooking technique that involves cutting fruits, meats and vegetables into small cubes of equal size.
By cutting food into smaller pieces, it allows for more consistent cooking and can reduce cooking time.
Typically, diced food pieces are between 3 mm(1/8-inch) to 1.5 cm(1/2-inch) in size depending on the recipe needing to be prepared.

Additionally, the small size makes it easier to infuse flavours and seasonings throughout the dish.
Overall, dice cooking is an excellent way to elevate your culinary skills and create delicious meals at home.

Diced vs Chopped

Sometimes the words diced and chopped are used in the place of each other, but the word dice is used for smaller pieces and the word chop is used for larger pieces.

Chopped usually means to cut your vegetables into large chunks.
Generally, this means 2.5 centimetre (1 inch) pieces, but a recipe may tell you exactly how big to make those chunks.
Chopping usually has more leeway on the exact size than dicing.

Diced is basically small regular cubes.
This could mean around 3 mm to 1.5 cm (0.1 to ½ inch) chunks of food.
More often than not you’ll get specific instructions in the recipe.

The term “Dice” as a cooking definition refers to cutting vegetables and other foods into cubes of a specific size, while Chop is less precise such as in making a fruit salad.

Benefits of Dicing in Cooking.

Dicing has numerous benefits that can take your culinary skills to the next level.
Firstly, it allows for more consistent cooking as the small and uniform size of each piece ensures that they cook evenly.

Secondly, it can significantly reduce cooking time, especially if you are dealing with tough ingredients like meats or root vegetables.
The smaller size also makes it easier to infuse flavours and spices throughout the dish, making every bite more flavourful.

Lastly, dicing is an excellent way to elevate your presentation game as smaller and uniform cuts create a more aesthetically pleasing final product on your plate.

Preparing Your Foods for Dicing.

Before dicing, it is important to prepare the food properly.
This includes removing any inedible skin or rinds and cutting away any fat or tough connective tissue.

It’s also a good idea to cut the food into more manageable slices or wedges if needed.
Once the food item is ready for dicing, you can begin!

Techniques to Make Sure Your Pieces Are Even Sized.

To make sure all of the pieces are evenly sized, it’s important to use techniques such as cutting along a grid and making uniform slices.

When slicing, make sure your knife is sharp and held at a slight angle to give each piece more surface area.

Additionally, it helps to scrape and gather the food back into a pile between each cut so that the size stays uniform.
After you have finished dicing, you can use a kitchen sieve or spoon to separate out any unevenly shaped pieces.

Tips for Easier Dicing and Creative Alternatives.

To make dicing a lot easier and faster, you can pre-cut the food into long strips before dicing.
This will give you more control over how large or small your pieces are.

Also, if you want to add interest to your dish or need to dice something in a hurry, there are creative alternatives like tearing the food into small pieces or Julienne slicing it to resemble small cubes.

How to Dice with a Knife.

When dicing with a knife, it is important to use a sharp, quality kitchen knife and clean cutting board.
Start by cutting the food item into slices of equal size.
Place the slices on their side and cut them into thin strips using the same slicing motion.
Then stack the strips together and cut into cubes of the desired size.

Use a rocking motion to ensure each cube is even in size and shape.

Learn How to Dice an Onion Like a Pro

To dice an onion, start by cutting off the ends of the onion to remove the tip and root.
Next, cut the onion in half lengthwise and peel off the outer layer of skin.

Place one half of the onion with the cut side down on your cutting board, then make vertical cuts from left to right across it.
Then rotate the onion 90° and once again make vertical cuts from right to left, dicing it as you move.

Make sure to keep your fingers away from the knife while doing so!

Learn How to Dice a Tomato Like a Chef

Looking to dice a tomato? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide!
First, start by placing the tomato on its side on your cutting board.
Then, use a serrated knife to cut the tomato into even slices, from the top near the stem end all the way down to the bottom of the tomato.

If you’d like smaller cubes, make sure you’re cutting very thin slices!
After that, stack up all your slices and then begin cutting them into strips.

Finally, run your knife across those strips to dice up that tomato and voila – you have nice little cubes of deliciousness ready for whatever recipe you had in mind!

Chef’s Guide to Choosing the Right Dice Cut Size

Dicing is a precision cut that is consistent in size, so how do you know how big or small something is supposed to be?
Preparing delicious meals starts with getting the perfect dice cut size.
Our guide has all the perfected measurements so that you can become a master chef in no time!

Dice Cut Sizes

  1. Slice:
    If you’re looking for a thin, uniformly even cut that will cook quickly and evenly, slicing is the way to go.
    When cutting vegetables for salads, soups, sautéed dishes, and other cold preparations, it’s best to have uniform-sized slices so that cooking time remains consistent.

    For larger vegetables such as potatoes, onions and other root vegetables, a mandoline can be a great tool for making those perfectly even slices.

  2. Dice:
    Dicing is a concise cube cut which makes it the perfect choice for stir fries and casserole dishes like ratatouille or scalloped potatoes.
    Start with slicing the vegetable into thin strips first before dicing – this will make the job of cubing much easier and faster.
  3. Medium Dice:
    A medium dice cut is a size of food items typically used for soups, stews, and sautéed dishes.
    This size of dice is large enough to retain its shape even after cooking but small enough that it cooks fairly quickly and evenly.
  4. Small Dice:
    The small dice cut is very similar to a regular dice but it’s smaller in size (usually 1/4 inch or less).
    This cut works great with meats such as bacon or ham that need to be diced small so they cook quickly without drying out during the process.

    It’s ideal for finely chopped garnishes too!

  5. Mince:
    Mincing is basically really fine chopping; it creates miniscule pieces that lend themselves well to soups and sauces where the flavour needs to be distributed throughout the dish evenly without being overpowering: think garlic in marinara sauce!

    And if you want an extremely fine mince – pull out your mortar and pestle!

  6. Julienne:
    Julienne cuts are slender batons of food just wide enough for picking up easily with chopsticks or tongs when served in dishes like salads and stir fries.

    Perfect for dishes that require smaller ingredients since they tend to cook more quickly than larger cuts would allow for in short amount of time!

  7. Chiffonade:
    Chiffonade cuts work great with leafy greens such as spinach or lettuce due its characteristic delicate shape when done correctly.
    Think ribbons made from thinly-sliced green leaves used in gourmet salads.

    They can also serve as wonderful garnish too depending on how small your chiffonade cuts actually are!

  8. Brunoise:
    Brunoise cuts are tiny cubes often used by chefs as decoration pieces on top of dishes like diablo shrimp or lobster bisque.
    These miniature cubes add colour contrast plus an extra dimension of texture to otherwise flat dishes when arranged artistically atop each course!

In classical French cooking there are of four sizes:

CutMetric Cut SizeUS Cut Size
Brunoise cut size3 mm cubes0.11811 inch cubes
Small dice cut size6 mm cubes0.23622 inch cubes
Medium dice cut size1 cm cubes0.393701 inch cubes
Large dice cut size1.5 cm cubes0.590551 inch cubes

Creative Recipes and Ideas for Dice Cooking Mastery.

Dice cooking, also known as dicing, is a technique that involves cutting ingredients into small, uniform pieces.
It’s a popular method used by chefs and home cooks alike to reduce cooking time, ensure even cooking, and create attractive presentations.

One of the benefits of dice cooking is that it allows for greater control over the texture and thickness of ingredients in a dish.
This opens up endless possibilities for creativity in the kitchen.

Some creative recipes that can be made with diced ingredients include stir-fry dishes, salads, soups, stews, kabobs, casseroles – the list goes on!
With so many options available to you through dicing mastery, you’ll never run out of inspiration or new ideas to try in the kitchen.

Sharing is caring!

« Cooking Class Index