How to Cut a Pineapple

Chunks of pineapple to show you how to cut a pineapple

It might be tempting to snag that container of pre-cut pineapple from the store, but you’re spending double the money. Not to mention that cut pineapple goes bad a lot faster so you’re either looking at a short shelf life or preservatives. So let’s get started!

Off with his head! Get rid of the awkward, yet lovely leaves sticking out like my hair in the morning.

Cut off the other end. This is gonna give you a nice, stable surface to use so the pineapple doesn’t roll away.

Set that sucker on the nice flat surface and cut one, smooth strip of peel off from the top to the bottom.

Repeat this all the way around the pineapple and DON’T worry about the little brown prickles left behind!

Once you’ve circled the pineapple, go back in and remove any leftover peel and cut out the bigger brown bits. You can also use a small measuring spoon to scoop out the hard little brown parts, but don’t go crazy, just go for the giant ones.

Next, you want to clear your board, throw away the peel. You should be able to see a ring in the middle of the pineapple that is the core. Go a little further out than the ring and cut straight down through the pineapple.

Rotate the pineapple and repeat until all you have left is the core. Then throw the core away.

Now lay all the pineapple pieces flat side down. Cut them into strips.

Then cut the strips in half or keep cutting them until you have a dice!

How to Dice an Onion

Savannah holding an onion

This is the most efficient way to dice an onion that I’ve ever seen. Efficiency when cutting an onion does a couple of things for you:

  1. The faster you cut an onion the less time the gases have to volatilize and make you cry.
  2. Your onion pieces will all be the same size which means they will all cook evenly.
  3. You look like a badass in the kitchen.  😎

Video Tutorial:

Step by Step:

So let’s start! This is how an onion grows in the ground. The stem end faces upward and the root end faces downward into the soil. We want to keep the root end on, that’s going to be our handle. If you’re not sure which end is the root end, it’s the one that looks like a scraggly, brown spider.

The first cut should be used to create a flat surface so your onion isn’t rolling around. So go ahead and cut off the stem end *chop*!

Next, with your onion sitting on the flat surface you just made, cut through the middle of the root, cutting the onion completely in half. Try and leave some root on either side of the onion.

Go ahead and peel off the top layers of the onion letting the onion tell you where it wants to be peeled. You’ll see here I took off an entire layer of the onion, not just the brown skin. That’s because life is too short to spend it fighting with an onion peel that flakes off in small, annoying bits.

You’ll notice here, the onion is already segmented horizontally. So I don’t need to make any cuts that direction.

Lay your peeled onion on it’s flat surface.

Now this is the important part, start making vertical cuts down the onion but make sure you’re not cutting so high up that the pieces come loose from the stem.

Next, lay your onion back down and simply slice across the onion the other direction. Notice how my fingers holding the onion are always curled? I’m holding the onion mainly with my fingertips. This way if my knife slips, I will only scrape my knuckles a little instead of losing a fingertip.

When the onion gets wobbly and hard to cut, flop it over on (surprise!) its flat surface. And continue cutting until you have nothing left but the root.

And there you have it! You can now professionally dice an onion and with this method you will probably save years off your life because with a little practice, you will be cutting onions so fast. 😉

How to Dice a Carrot

Cutting a carrot in half
This method is a very basic breakdown of the awkward vegetable known as the carrot. The main point of dicing is to create even pieces so that they cook at the same rate, avoiding some burnt pieces and some underdone pieces. Now there’s lots of fancy methods out there I could show you for cutting your carrot into itty, bitty pieces, but I find most of the time I simply need a quarter inch dice.

Let’s start by peeling the carrot if you like. The peel has a lot of nutrients in it, but it also contains some bitter elements known as alkaloids. The very mention of not peeling a carrot will cause certain French Chef’s to roll over in their grave, but it’s kind of fun to break the rules don’t you think? Besides, then you don’t have to wash the peeler. However I was feeling French so I used a peeled carrot for this demo.

Next lop off both ends of the carrot.

Next we’re going to make the carrot more manageable. It’s fat at one end and skinny at the other so we’re going to cut it right down the middle. This gives us shorter pieces that are easier to work with, and now we have a fat piece of carrot and a skinny piece of carrot.

Now you need to create a flat surface for the carrot to sit on. Go ahead and shave just a little bit off one side of the carrot. This will stop it from rolling around and you’re much less likely to mistake your finger as the carrot.

Roll it onto its flat surface. You see how it sits pretty all by itself?

Place your fingers on either side of the knife so they’re out of the way and slice down through the middle of the carrot. Now you have two pieces.

This is the skinny carrot piece and if it looks like it will make good bite sized pieces just being cut in half.

Go ahead and and slice across it, making your cuts as even as possible. Try and slide your knife in a forward motion rather than chopping straight down, this will let the knife do most of the work for you.

Time for the big carrot piece. Go ahead and create a flat surface on this one too.

And slice him in half.

Lordy this is a large carrot. So I cut each half in half. If you need even smaller pieces you can cut each piece in thirds, but I decided halves we’re about perfect for my dish.

Now hold the two pieces together and slice right across them. Repeat with the rest of the carrot pieces.

Tada! You just turned an awkwardly shaped carrot into the same size pieces. You’re now a champion.

How to Peel Garlic

A garlic bulb

So what’s the benefit to peeling that sticky, papery garlic when you can buy it in a jar pre-minced and peeled? Well the peel keeps it fresher for longer which helps it retain it’s flavor. If you’re going to buy pre-peeled garlic, buy the whole cloves in a jar. The minced garlic floating in phosphoric acid has lost so much of its flavor it’s really not worth even putting it in your dish.

So let’s start with a bulb of garlic. This whole thing is known as the bulb, and each little section of it is called a clove.

To break down the bulb, use the heel of your hand and press firmly against the stem end with the root end, or the butt of the garlic, resting flat on the table. I usually rotate the garlic several times, pressing at each turn to help break up all the sections so it comes apart easier. Place your other hand, loosely around the garlic bulb so when it breaks apart you can catch the pieces.

Bam, garlic cloves. This will take some practice and you will lose a few cloves on the floor the first couple of times. But if you’re not in a professional kitchen and not a germaphobe you might consider that the garlic cloves are all wrapped in paper which is going to come off so they’re probably still fine to use.

If you need all the cloves peeled for immediate use, pop them into two bowls, pinch the bowls together and shake the hell out of it. This is best not to do if you have a sleeping child but otherwise it’s loads of fun.

Here’s your garlic, the bowl method will remove the peels from roughly half of the cloves, more if you’re lucky! Go ahead and pick the cloves out that are still wrapped in their paper.

Place the clove on a cutting board and using the flat side of your knife and the flat of your hand (you may also use a fist), firmly smash the garlic clove until you hear it breaking apart a little.

You can see I really smashed this sucker into the board. Simply hitting the clove with the side of your knife won’t remove the paper, so don’t be gentle.

There you have it, the peel falls right off the garlic clove. If you need a pretty garlic clove that isn’t smashed to bits, I highly recommend these silicone garlic rollers

Once at the restaurant I had to peel 5 lbs of garlic (ugh) and they had to be pretty. The bowl method and this little roller got me through. You just tuck a clove of garlic inside the silicone and roll it firmly a couple of times. Bam, the peel pops right off. A quick rinse will clean it out and it doesn’t take up much storage space. So whether you’re a roller or a smasher, these methods have got you covered!

How to Dice a Sweet Potato

Cutting a sweet potato
Cutting a sweet potato is like cutting a great, big carrot. It’s not a soft vegetable, making it a little more dangerous to cut. It’s also really awkwardly shaped, making it challenging to get the same-sized pieces out of it. So who’s up for a challenge?

First things first, lop off those ole, scraggly ends.

Next we’re going to make it more manageable. Go ahead and cut it in half, then stand one half up on its flat surface.

When creating a flat surface, think about squaring off the sweet potato. I try to find the part that is sticking out the most and won’t make for a good dice, then shave it off.

Lay the potato on its’ flat surface and begin cutting slices about ½ inch thick.

You should be able to get 3-4 slices out of the potato half depending on its size.

Stack up two of the slices and carefully cut them into potato fries. If the pieces fall off, just stack them right back up.

Holding the stack together, cut across the other direction, making a dice. Cut the pieces a little bigger at the skinny end and a little smaller at the fatter end so they end up roughly the same size.

And there ya have it! A diced sweet potato which I recommend roasting with cumin, salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon!