Cooking is great. After all, who doesn't love a freshly made homemade meal that has filled your house with the fantastic aroma of something bubbling away on the stove? But cooking and prepping are two very different things, aren't they? While everyone may love a slowly simmered sauce, or a sheet pan of veggies that have been roasted to perfection, who really wants to spend all that time chopping and dicing?
No one. In fact, prepping has often been touted as the most annoying part of preparing a meal. That's why they have all those over-priced containers of pre-chopped vegetables in the produce aisle next to all those whole needs-to-be-chopped vegetables. But, learn how to chop and slice those vegetables the right way - which also happens to be the fastest way - and the next time you have a big meal to prep, you'll do it with a smile instead of a groan.
Best way to mince garlic
Garlic has many of the same problems onions do. They have slippery, papery skins and removing the skin of the cloves one-by-one can be time-consuming. When you have to chop a lot of garlic at once, do it the easy way.
Tip 1: To start, use the side of your knife to smash down on the garlic clove. This technique is particularly good for mincing garlic.
Tip 2: Add sea salt to the crushed garlic! Salt helps make it easier to mince.
Tip 3: Mince using an angled stroke of the knife as shown below.
Enjoy the final result!
Best way to cut jalapenos strips
The hardest thing about chopping or slicing jalapenos is figuring out a way to do it without getting a squirt of hot juice in they eye, or feeling the burn in your fingertips. Here's a super simple solution.
For strips, the key is to cut the pepper in half and layer the strips on top of each other after removing the seeds. This speeds up the cutting process since you are cutting both halves at once.
Best way to cut bell peppers into trips
It can be difficult to get thin, even strips of bell peppers when they have no flat surface and bumpy ends on both their top and bottom. Luckily, the following guide is here to help.
The tip here is to work through the bell pepper in sections based on the natural grooves. Be sure to remove the seeds in the process before cutting each section into strips.
Best way to dice carrots
Carrots can also be difficult to cut because their cylindrical shape can make them roll around the cutting board. And when they're really thick, this can also make your knife roll around, once again threatening your fingertips. Instead, try the method below:
Tip: Work in halves! It's much more efficient. Make sure you are practicing proper knife skills as you work with carrots.
Best way to make cauliflower florets
It can be very difficult to remove all those little florets from that large head of cauliflower. It's oddly shaped, it doesn't sit nicely on the counter, and you can lose a lot of cauliflower in the meantime as you hack into it. But there is another way.
It's best to cut the cauliflower head first in half and then in quarters. Then you can work and break off a quarter at a time.
Best way to diagonally cut asparagus
Asparagus can be a very elegant and nutritious vegetable, but if you leave too much of those stalks on, it can quickly ruin the experience. The ends are tough, chewy and fibrous; nothing anyone ever wants to snack on. So how do you know where the delicious asparagus ends and where the undesirable part starts? Check out the technique below:
Tip: Be sure to chop or break off the stalks before cutting. Angle your knife downwards as shown in photo above for diagonal slicing effect.
Best way to slice or dice an onion
Onions can be some of the most difficult vegetables to chop. Their skins are slippery, they have a way of shooting out their middle while you're mid-chop, which can leave you to nearly taking off your finger while you do it; not to mention that you're crying the whole time.
Tip 1: Work in halves!
Cut the whole onion in half. Be sure to chop off the end tips so you don't need to deal with them with them later
Tip 2: For slices, save time by first cutting horizontally and then vertically.
Tip 3: If you want a finer dice, cut vertically down in the other direction. Repeat for the other half.