Chop, Dice or Mince?

My grandmother taught me that chop, dice and mince have specific meanings, but I see and hear so many cooks using them interchangeably – small chop, finely chopped, large dice… So, what do these terms mean?

  • Coarsely Chopped / Large Chop / Rough Chop
    • about 3/4″ pieces
    • mostly used when further processing will be done later
  • Chopped / Medium Chop
    • about 1/2″ pieces
    • most commonly used
  • Diced / Finely Chopped / Small Chop
    • about 1/4″ pieces
    • used when you do not want to bite into a large piece of what you are chopping
  • Minced
    • as small as I can get it – usually about 1/16″ or less
    • used for garlic and other strongly flavored foods such as ginger

Remember, when you are using onions and especially garlic, that the smaller you chop them the more pronounced the flavor. For more information about this see Whole, Crushed or Minced Garlic: What’s the Difference?