Definition of Chop

Raw Pork Chop
Bruce McIntosh / Getty Images

A chop is simply when meat is cut into squares, usually about a half an inch thick. The squares do not have to be perfect squares equal but should approximate the same size in order to cook evenly.

This is also known as a cut.

Example: "For stir-frying foods, each chop should be cut into the same size."

There are precise requirements for the cooking terms "chop", "dice", and "mince" and they all relate to size. "Chop" is for the largest size that food is cut into, usually about 1/2 inch in diameter. "Dice" is the next size down, usually about 1/4 inch, and "mince" is for the smallest size. Pay attention to these terms, because they make sure that the food you are about to cook will cook at the same time and in the correct amount of time.

Always use a sharp knife when you are performing these tasks. Surprisingly, using a dull knife means you will be more likely to hurt yourself. Sharpen your knife before every cooking session for the best results. Hold the food to be cut with your fingers curled under, and let the blade follow your fingers as you cut. This way you won't cut yourself.

Busy Cooks Glossary