The Difference between Mince and Chop

If you’re unfamiliar with cooking terminology, you may find that understanding recipe directions can be challenging. The difference between mince and chop, for example, has frustrated many beginning cooks. Although related, mincing or chopping an ingredient can make or break a dish.

What does ‘mince’ mean?

Mince is simply a cook’s way to say, “cut your food ingredient into very small, fine pieces.” Minced foods are cut much smaller than chopped foods. Mince ingredients when you want to them to closely bond with the other ingredients in the dish, adding more flavor than chewable substance. In fact, mincing is often used with flavoring ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, and celery because it more evenly distributes flavor. Mince meat tarts and cookies, pâtés, sauces, and gravies are common recipes that require minced ingredients. Using a rocking knife or another curved blade knife can make mincing ingredients effortless.

What does ‘chop’ mean?

Chopping food is cutting your ingredients into bite-size or smaller pieces. Many food recipes clarify what size is needed for the dish. If all else fails, 1/2″ pieces tend to work well in almost all dishes. Although I prefer using a knife for most small meals, when I’m required to chop large amounts of food, I use a food processor such as the Bosch Food Processor.

Chop chop!

This is the first post in an article series relating to often confused cooking terms. Would you like a cooking term clarified? Let me know in the comments below.

Comments, Kudos, and Thoughts

  1. Mark Faby energetically chimes...

    Not useful enough for me sorry. What is the difference between ‘mincing’ and ‘finely chopped’?

    • proudly expresses...

      Thanks for the feedback, and I can see what you mean. On the re-read I can see that the descriptions are not very helpful. I’ll takes some pictures and update the post. In the meantime, maybe it would be helpful to think of finely chopped as small pieces cut in to about 2mm x 2mm. Minced is the stage past that where your food almost reaches the pasty stage (but isn’t pasty).

  2. Karla toughly suggests...

    I found this to be very helpful – describing what the purpose is was the kicker. For example, I don’t need bite sized pieces of onion in my barbecue sauce, I do however need onion flavor. That told me that I should mince! Thank you :-)


Say what's on your mind...