Large DiceLarge diced potatoes

PaysannePaysanne flat cut

BatonnetBatonnet cut potatoes

Small DiceSmall dice



Fine JulienneFine julienne

Diced OnionDiced onion

Coarsley ChoppedCoursely chopped vegetables

Chopped ShallotMinced shallot







© 2014
Lauren McElroy


One of the first things they teach you in Culinary School is about the basic knife cuts. This way when a recipe calls for medium dice potatoes, juilenned carrots and chiffonade basil, you'll know what the heck they're referring to.

Knife cuts help both to maintain uniform cooking times as well as to influence the overall visual appeal of the finished product. Items can be cut by either cutting, chopping, dicing, mincing or by using specialty techniques.

See below for descriptions and to the left for sample pictures of each knife cut, in order from largest to smallest:
Cutting | Dicing | Chopping | Mincing | Other Cuts

Large Dice
3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4" cubes

Medium Dice
1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" cubes

Paysanne (pahy-sahn)
1/2" x 1/2" x 1/8" flat square, circle or triangle depending on item cut

Batonnet (bah-to-nay)
1/4" x 1/4" x 2" sticks

Small Dice
1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4" cubes

1/8" x 1/8" x 2" sticks
Also known as an Allumette (al-yoo-met) cut when used with potatoes.

Brunoise (broo-nwaz)
1/8" x 1/8" x 2" cubes

Fine Julienne
1/16" x 1/16" x 2" slicks

Fine Brunoise
1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16" cubes

As you can see from the list of cuts above, most knife cuts can be divided into two groups: cube and stick form.

Cutting (sticks)
You may find it easiest to first cut into the stick form and then into the cube form, since many of the dimensions interwine. How thick you initially cut the potato slabs depends on the cut you are making. Use the above mentioned knife cut dimensions to cut each type using the below mentioned method:

  1. Peel 2-3 Russet potatoes, and place in a bowl of cold water
  2. Grab a potato, and using a sharp knife and stable cutting board, cut one side off of the potato and lie it on that side for stability.
  3. Next, cut the potato into 3/4" slabs. (this is the dimension used for Large Dice).
  4. From here, slice the slabs into 3/4" even-looking logs or sticks.

Dicing (cubes)
In able to turn the sticks into cubes, following step 4 above, you would simply start cutting each even-looking stick into even, square cubes.

When you chop something, you cut it into small pieces where uniformity and shape is of no importance. Most home cooks use this type of knife cut - no need to measure out the pieces, just cut them down to size and toss them in the pot/ pan. Two ways of chopping are Course and Finely chopped.

Course Chopping refers to pieces of food that are diced but not uniform (various sizes) - see the example picture to the left of coursley chopped vegetables. Finely Chopping usually coincides with chopping parsley or other herbs. With this method, the items being finely chopped are place on the cutting board, and while holding the tip of the knife on the cutting board, you rock the curved blade of the knife up and down while moving it back and forth until everything is chopped.

Mincing refers to cutting an item into very small pieces, also known as "finely chopping". Most often, this method is used when referring to shallots, garlic, and other foods without a uniform shape.

Other Cuts:
Click on each below, to link to another page with information on these additinal knife cuts:

Oblique Cut
Rondelles or rounds


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