Learn how to cut carrots 4 different ways – rounds, matchstick, diced and julienned. Thin matchsticks are great for salads, thin round slices are great for soups and stews, and sticks are perfect for dipping and snacking.
Why Should You Learn How To Cut Carrots?
- It saves time. Chopping vegetables, like anything worth doing, is a skill you can learn and improve on. Once you have good knife technique (and a good knife), you’ll glide through your carrots and power through kitchen prep with minimal waste. That’s minimal food waste and minimal wasted time.
- Properly cut carrots look prettier. Picky eaters - like some kids - prefer their food to look as nice as it tastes. The way our food looks is as important as the way it tastes! That’s why fancy restaurants put so much effort into plating.
- Cooking correctly. Different carrot cutting techniques will cook differently. Accordingly, depending on what your overall dish is, you will need to cut your carrots to different sizes. Recipes often call for specific carrot sizes to make sure your meal is cooked to perfection. Another feature is that if all your pieces of carrot are the same size, they’ll all cook evenly.
- The taste factor. Finely diced carrots will absorb other flavors, and in a soup or stew will almost dissolve into your delicious broth. On the other hand, heftier pieces of carrot - like larger disks or chunks - will retain their distinctively carrot-y flavor.
- Nutrition. Carrots are really, really good for you. They’re packed with Vitamins A, B6, C, and K. They have plenty of calcium, iron, and fiber, too. They’re a great complement to a balanced diet.
How To Cut Carrots Into Slices
Generally, we’ll start by cleaning and peeling carrots. A simple rinse under the tap and a vegetable peeler is enough to get started.
- If you’re chopping your carrots into round slices, start at the bottom. That’s the skinny end of the carrot. Holding onto the thicker end gives you a better grip on the carrot as you cut it.
- Slice your carrot into about ⅛” slices, continuing until you’ve reached the thickest end of the carrot. Discard your end piece that will have some stubby, stubborn green bits.
- If you want some panache with this cutting technique, you can hold your knife at an angle, cutting slices on the diagonal, rolling the carrot after each slice. This is what’s called a roll cut.
How To Cut Carrot Sticks, Julienne, and Dices
All these shapes are easier to cut into if your carrot is cut into a rectangle. This makes it easier to keep the carrot stable on your chopping board.
- To start, cut off the thickest part of the carrot, the top. This is where the leafy bits grow from.
- Next, chop off your skinny end. Carrots come in different shapes and sizes. Depending on the size of your carrot, this could mean removing a tiny, skinny end, or actually separating your carrot out into smaller sections.
- Now you’re going to delicately shave just enough off each side of the carrot to turn your round carrot into a rectangle.
How To Cut Carrot Sticks
- Firstly, you’re going to take your rectangle and cut quarter inch slabs from it.
- Stack these slabs on top of one another and cut the stack into quarter inch strips.
How to Make Julienne Carrots
- You can use the same process as you would to make carrot sticks. Cut ⅛ inch slabs (instead of ¼ inch) from the rectangle. This is a finer cut than the carrot sticks.
- Flip and stack your ⅛ inch slabs and cut them into ⅛ inch strips.
- First, you’re going to cut your carrot into ¼ inch slabs. Flip and cut those slabs into strips.
- Now you’re going to cut across the strips, by about a quarter inch. This will give you little cubes of carrot.
Tips For Cutting Carrots
There are a few tips and tricks to making sure you perfectly cut your carrots every time.
- Always use a sharp knife. Carrots are a tough, hardy vegetable. A sharp knife will glide through the carrots with minimal effort. If you find that you’re using some strength or putting your weight onto the knife to cut through the carrot, you’ll want to sharpen that knife, or get a sharper one. Blunt knives are more likely to slip and cause injury. Besides, sharp knives are easier and quicker to use.
- You can miniaturize any of the above cut carrot shapes. Your diced carrots, for example, can be made into ⅛-inch sized sticks. These tiny little sticks are also called brunoise.
- Sometimes you’ll have humungous carrots. Absolutely massive. If you find yourself faced with a gigantic carrot, the best thing to do is cut it into smaller segments. Most massive carrots can be reduced to two or three segments. Doing this makes it easier to cut, carve, and dice your carrots.
- Always hold your carrots by the thicker end. This allows for a better grip on the carrot, keeping it stable on your cutting surface and minimizing the risk of knife slippage.
How To Store Cut Carrots
You can keep your cut carrots in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Be sure to use an airtight container or fridge storage bag. Tightly wrapping your carrots in foil will work too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your carrots will keep for two to three weeks.
You can freeze cut carrots. To do this, blanch your carrots for two minutes, freeze the pieces on sheet pans, and seal the frozen carrot pieces in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a year. You’re best to use them in cooked dishes rather than salads as frozen carrots lose their crunch.
You don’t have to always peel the carrots, but it’s best to. If you don’t feel like peeling, you just need to thoroughly wash the outside of your carrot.
White and purple carrots have subtly different tastes to ordinary orange carrots. Whiter carrots tend to be sweeter.
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