Photo by William BrawleyCreative Commons License.

Chopping a food means that you are cutting it into smaller pieces with a knife. Generally, chop refers to larger pieces than “dicing” or “mincing”. Traditional chopping results in large cubes of food, but there is a large amount of leeway with this definition. If you’re cutting the food and it’s getting smaller, odds are you are successfully chopping.


Difficulty to learn: Medium

Some Thoughts For You:

People interchange cooking terms all of the time. Chop becomes dice and then dice becomes mince. For the most part, a recipe will specify what size the food should be cut into so you won’t have to figure out the logistics of the cutting definitions.

Technically, chop refers to a larger cut than mince or dice. Common foods to chop would be garlic, cilantro, or an onion.

What You Will Need:

A basic setup before you chop a food would be a clean cutting board and a sharp knife. A great knife for chopping (and cutting in general) is a chef’s knife. Its large blade will easily penetrate any food.

Basic Steps:

The following steps apply for chopping a food such as garlic. When working with knives, always use care. 

  1. Place the garlic clove on the cutting board. Make sure that you have peeled the papery outer layers off.
  2. Chop off the ends of the clove of garlic.
  3. Starting from one end, rock your knife over the clove so pieces begin to fall off. Repeat this rocking motion over the entirety of your garlic clove.

Tips For You:

  • You can chop a food with almost every knife. However, only sharp knives will cut through the food without damaging it.

Some Links To Help With Preparation: