Culinary Arts

Learn How to Cut Carrots 8 Different Ways: Basic Knife Cuts Guide

Written by MasterClass

Jun 3, 2019 • 4 min read

Carrots are an everyday ingredient in the home cook’s kitchen. Nearly every recipe seems to call for carrots, whether it’s eaten raw with creamy dips, roasted alongside other root vegetables, or slow simmered in beef stew. All of these recipes start with peeled carrots that are cut into pieces. Let’s take a closer look at some of the culinary knife cuts that transform this humble root vegetable—giving you evenly cooked, impressive-looking meals.

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How to Batonnet Carrots

In French, batonnet translates to “little stick” and is often used as a starting point for other cuts, especially a small dice. A true batonnet cut measures ¼-inch by ¼-inch and is about 2 to 3 inches long. These carrot sticks can be eaten raw with dips, or roasted, steamed, and sautéed in side dishes.

To batonnet carrots: Peel the carrot and cut it into 2 to 3-inch lengths. Slice one side to produce a flat surface, repeat with remaining sides. Cut into uniform planks about ¼-inch across. Stack a few planks at a time and slice them into ¼-inch-thick strips (the same width as the slabs).

How to Julienne Carrots

The julienne cut (also called matchsticks or alumette) is stick-shaped and very thin. The fine sticks make for an elegant presentation and are great for topping salads, stir-fries, and sautées.

To julienne: Peel the carrot and cut it into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Slice one side to produce a flat surface, repeat with remaining sides. Cut into uniform planks about 1/16 to ⅛-inch across. Stack a few planks at a time and slice them into 1/16- to ⅛-inch-thick strips (the same width as the slabs).

How to Oblique Cut Carrots

Also known as the “roll cut”, an oblique cut is the method of cutting food with two angled sides. This cut is useful when you want a larger surface area for glazing, for reducing cooking time, or to add visual appeal to a dish. Find Thomas Keller’s glazed carrot recipe here.

To cut: Hold the carrot with your anchor hand and the knife at a 45 degree angle. Cut and roll the carrot a quarter turn towards you. Cut and roll, cutting at the same angle each time. Note that you will not need to square off carrots before using this technique.

How to Brunoise Carrots

A brunoise is a tiny cube cut from julienne sticks that is turned a quarter and diced again, producing cubes that are ⅛ by ⅛ by ⅛ by ⅛ inches. The brunoise cut can be used in sauces, as a garnish on soup, or in a consommé.

How to Large Dice Carrots

Large cubes that measure ¾-inch on all sides. Start by cutting a larger version of the batonnet, then cut it into squares. A large dice is great for long-cooked dishes such as hearty soups, stews, or roasts.

How to Medium Dice Carrots

Medium cubes that measure ½-inch on all sides. Start by cutting a larger version of the batonnet, then cube it into squares. A medium dice is a basic knife cut that can be used for soups, stews, chopped salads, and hearty sauces like a Bolognese.

How to Small Dice Carrots

A small dice is measured at ¼-inch on all sides. First cut the carrot into batonnets, then gather the sticks and cut down into small pieces that are ¼-inch squares. A small dice is a basic cut, ideal for soups and sautéeing with other vegetables such as in a mirepoix (a mixture that includes carrots, onions, and celery).

How to Mince Carrots

The smallest of dices, measured at ⅛-inch on all sides. First cut the carrot into a julienne, then gather the sticks and cut down into ⅛-inch squares. This method of finely chopping carrots helps flavors to infuse evenly throughout your dish, especially when sautéeing.

How to Prep a Carrot for Chopping in 4 Steps

  1. Sharpen your kitchen knives. A sharp chef’s knife is important when cutting carrots precisely. Working with round-shaped vegetables can be tricky and a dull knife can catch or slip, causing you to mess up your cuts or leading to injuries. Give your knife a honing before you start and secure your board.
  2. Peeling the carrot: If the carrot is mature and the skin looks dry, peel it off using a vegetable peeler and trim off the carrot tops. If the skin looks good, there’s no need to peel. Save any carrot scraps in a plastic bag and freeze ahead to use in stocks and broths.
  3. Cut into big pieces: Cut the carrot into three to four pieces that are two to three inches long, depending on the size of the carrot. Make sure the pieces are a size you’re comfortable working with and can easily grip.
  4. Square off pieces: Since carrots are round, squaring off carrots will give them flat sides that are needed to make precise, uniform cuts. Cut a thin slice lengthwise from one side of each carrot piece. Roll the carrot onto the flat side of the carrot, creating a stable base that will prevent the carrot and your knife from slipping. Repeat to trim thin slices off the remaining three sides. Now you have a perfectly squared off carrot to start showing off your knife skills.

3 Ways to Store Cut Carrots

  1. Mason Jars: For larger batonnet carrots, add sticks to mason jars and fill with filtered water. Submerging vegetables under cold water keeps them crisp. Secure lids on jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Change the water daily to prevent spoilage or mold growth.
  2. Blanching: For batonnet carrots and large dices, try immersing them in boiling water for one to two minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. The partial cooking time will extend their storage life for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
  3. Damp Towels. For all carrot cuts, wrap in lightly dampened paper towels and transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag. The bag retains moisture to keep the carrots from drying out. Store them in the refrigerator for five to seven days.

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