Potatoes are one of the most versatile and widely used ingredients in many different dishes, from mashed potatoes to potato soup. Dicing potatoes is an important skill for any home cook, as it allows you to create a variety of different dishes that require diced potatoes as a main ingredient. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to dice potatoes quickly and easily using just a few basic kitchen tools.
Why Dicing Potatoes is a Useful Skill
Dicing potatoes is a useful skill for any home cook, as it provides the basis for many different meals. Diced potatoes can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes that require diced potatoes as a main ingredient. Plus, with diced potatoes you can easily vary the size of your pieces to create more interesting textures and flavors. Overall, dicing potatoes is an invaluable skill for any home cook.
Choosing and Preparing Potatoes
Selecting the right type of potatoes for dicing
Choosing the right type of potatoes is key when it comes to dicing. Different types of potatoes have different properties that affect how they should be diced. For example, waxy potatoes like red new potatoes hold their shape better and are ideal for dishes where you want the potatoes to remain in one piece, such as potato salad. On the other hand, starchy potatoes like Russets are better for dishes where you want the potatoes to break down, such as mashed potatoes.
Washing and peeling the potatoes
Once you’ve selected your potatoes, it’s time to wash and peel them. Start by giving them a good rinse under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. If necessary, use a vegetable brush to scrub off any stubborn pieces of dirt or skin. Once washed, use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to carefully peel the potatoes. Try to remove as much of the skin as possible, but be careful not to cut into the flesh of the potato.
Cutting off any bad spots or eyes
After washing and peeling the potatoes, check them for any bad spots or eyes. Bad spots are soft, dark patches on a potato’s surface that indicate the potato is beginning to spoil. Eyes are small sprouts that can be found in some potatoes and should be removed before dicing. To remove bad spots or eyes, use a paring knife to cut them out.
Cutting Potatoes into Cubes
Slicing the potato into rounds
To begin, lay the potato flat on your cutting board and slice it into ¼ inch thick rounds. It’s important to make sure the slices are all the same thickness so that they cook evenly. Once you’ve completed slicing the potato, gather up any loose pieces and discard them.
Cutting the rounds into strips
Once you’ve sliced the potato into rounds, it’s time to cut them into strips. To do this, lay the rounds flat on your cutting board and slice them lengthwise into ¼ inch thick strips. Be sure to make all of your strips the same thickness so that they cook evenly. Gather up any loose pieces and discard them.
Dicing the strips into cubes
Once you have your strips cut, it’s time to dice them into cubes. To do this, lay the strips flat on your cutting board and slice them crosswise into ¼ inch cubes. Again, make sure all of the cubes are the same size for even cooking. Once you’ve diced all of your strips, gather up any loose pieces and discard them.
Tips for Consistent Dicing
Ensuring even size and shape
When dicing potatoes it’s important to make sure all of the pieces are a consistent size and shape. This will ensure that they cook evenly and that no one piece is too large or too small. The best way to ensure consistency is to measure each slice or strip before you cut them into cubes. Make sure each piece is ¼ inch thick before you proceed with the next step.
Using a sharp knife
Using a sharp knife is essential when it comes to dicing potatoes. A dull knife can not only be unsafe, but it can also cause uneven pieces that won’t cook evenly. Make sure to use a sharp knife with a good grip and a comfortable handle so that you have full control over the blade. Additionally, keep your fingers away from the blade and take your time while cutting the potatoes.
Keeping fingers safe while cutting
When it comes to dicing potatoes, safety should always be a priority. To ensure your fingers stay safe while cutting, be sure to keep them away from the blade of the knife and use a chopping motion instead of pushing or pulling the knife. Additionally, make sure your knife is sharp and that you have a good grip on the handle for maximum control. Finally, take your time and don’t rush while cutting the potatoes.
It’s fairly easy to dice potatoes, as long as you have the right tools and a few safety tips. To begin, select your potatoes and give them a good rinse under cold running water. Next, use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to carefully peel the potatoes, then remove any bad spots or eyes with a paring knife. After that, slice the potato into ¼ inch thick rounds, then cut the rounds into strips. Finally, dice the strips into cubes and make sure they’re all the same size for even cooking. With a few sensible safety precautions and some careful knife work, you can dice potatoes like a pro in no time!