Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between diced and chopped

When you are about to cook something, you must be first prepared with the required ingredients in the fixed proportion and shape/size that it is required. Most of the times, when we buy food items from the grocery store, for example onions, tomatoes etc. they have to be prepared before they can be added to the cooking pan. Usually that involves cutting, shredding, dicing and chopping. Although we use any of these words and mean the other, there are some differences between them and it is not always correct to use them interchangeably. The most commonly replaced words out of these are dicing and chopping and there also people who think that they mean the same thing but that is not true. As we are about to see, the two are not just different but have different applications and procedures that require them.

The difference occurs between the two when the size of the cut pieces is something that you need to take care of. In most of the dishes being prepared, the proper size in which the ingredients are cut is very necessary for the presentation of the dish. This is of greater significance when the food item being prepared is in a restaurant and presentation is one of the priorities. When something is chopped, it is cut into smaller pieces but the pieces might not be very small. This is not true for dicing where the cutting ensures that the end pieces are considerably smaller than they would have been had they been chopped. Therefore it is common to hear the words ‘large chop’ but hardly does one describe a piece as a ‘large dice’!

Apart from the size, the shape is another characteristic where the two differ. Chopping is not a very precise term and refers to cutting in general. The cut pieces can be of any shape when chopped. In contrast to this, dicing is a precise term to describe the cutting where the cut pieces are cubes or at least close to the shape of a cube. Hence the word ‘dice’! If the end results of the two types of cutting are compared, chopping would show pieces of all random shapes and sizes whereas there would be a degree of uniformity in the pieces that were diced.

This brings us to our next difference which is related to the fact that dicing signifies a particular shape whereas chopping does not. When something is being chopped, the process is often swift as the end products need not be in any specific shape. This does not hold for dicing; due to the fact that the pieces have to be in the shape of a cube, they have to be cut properly and that requires greater time. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that dicing is more time consuming than chopping.

The power or force required for dicing is far less that that required for chopping. Chopping is generally cutting which requires a significant amount of force. The focus is merely getting the job done quickly. In the case of dicing, the job has be done with the end product in a fixed shape which means that the force has to be lesser and controlled in order to ensure the shape is what was required.

The way in which the movement of hands and/or cutting tool (usually a knife) is done for the two types of cutting is also different. Once again this is due to the fact that a precise shape of a cube has to be ensured when dicing. The motion of chopping is sudden and more violent than that of dicing which is less sudden and more controlled.

Summary of differences expressed in points


1. Both cutting, chopping-larger pieces ‘large chops’; dicing-smaller pieces

2. Shape of pieces; chopping-irregularly shaped; different shapes possible which are random; dicing-pieces shaped like cubes

3. End products/pieces have uniformity in dicing; not so for chopping

4. hopping-done swiftly; fast motion; dicing, time consuming and precise

5. Power/force applied; greater for chopping; lesser and controlled for dicing

6. Motion/ movement of hands and/or cutting tool (knife); violent and sudden in chopping; less sudden and careful in dicing, to ensure the proper shape and uniformity

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