Learn the Basic Techniques for Professional Culinary Arts Knife Cuts

Chef's knives
John Clark Photo/Getty Images
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    Curate Your Culinary Knife Skills

    Whether you are working at being a chef, or simply want to improve your skills in the kitchen, mastering the most common culinary arts knife cuts will bring you one step closer to creating impressive-looking, evenly cooked, delicious meals. Learn what the basic cuts are, such as small dice, batonnet, julienne, brunoise, and more. 

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  • 02 of 12

    Large Dice

    Large Dice: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The large dice is a culinary knife cut measuring 3/4 inch × 3/4 inch × 3/4 inch. This square cut is most often used for vegetables like potatoes, and sometimes fruits such as watermelon.

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  • 03 of 12

    Batonnet

    Batonnet: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The batonnet (pronounced bah-tow-NAY) is basically creating a rectangular stick that measures 1/2 inch × 1/2 inch × 2 1/2 to 3 inches. It is also the starting point for another cut, the medium dice.

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  • 04 of 12

    Medium Dice

    Medium Dice: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The medium dice measures 1/2 inch × 1/2 inch × 1/2 inch, and is a smaller version of the large dice. This is generally a good choice when recipes don't specify the size of the dice and the ingredient list just says "diced tomatoes."

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  • 05 of 12

    Allumette

    Allumette: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Measuring 1/4 inch × 1/4 inch × 2 1/2 to 3 inches, the allumette is sometimes referred to as the "matchstick cut." It's also the starting point for the small dice.

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    Small Dice

    Small Dice: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The littlest of the dice cuts, the small dice measures 1/4 inch × 1/4 inch × 1/4 inch and is produced by slicing the allumette into 1/4-inch sections.

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    Julienne

    Julienne: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The julienne cut measures 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 2 1/2 inches and is basically the allumette cut once more lengthwise. You will most often use this cut for carrots, celery, or potatoes, and see the thin strips used as a garnish. 

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  • 08 of 12

    Brunoise

    Brunoise: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The brunoise knife cut (pronounced BROON-wahz) measures 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch, which makes it the smallest of the dice cuts. Brunoise is usually used for garnishes.

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  • 09 of 12

    Fine Julienne

    Fine Julienne: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The fine julienne knife cut measures 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch × 2 inches. It is also the starting point for the fine brunoise cut. This cut is often used for garnishes.

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  • 10 of 12

    Fine Brunoise

    Fine Brunoise: Basic Knife Cuts
    Basic Knife Cuts. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    The fine brunoise knife cut (pronounced BROON-wahz) measures 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch. It sure is tiny!

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    Mince

    Smaller than a fine brunoise, the mince is less precise since it is supposed to be finely cut. We most often mince garlic, or other aromatics, when we want the flavor to be distributed more throughout the dish. 

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  • 12 of 12

    Chiffonade

    Basil Ribbons
    Molly Watson

    This cut is mainly used for vegetable leaves and fresh herbs, in particular, basil. The leaves are stacked, rolled, and then sliced perpendicularly, creating thin strips.