Dicer: ABC’s of Utensils

dicerD is for dicer.

A dicer is kind of chopper. While a chopper cuts indiscriminately, a dicer cuts foods into long, thin strips. A dicer uses a grid-shaped blade that food is pushed through to produce a square cut. Smaller blades on a dicer will produced a julienne cut. The part of the dicer that pushes the food through the blade is called a guard.

Types of dicers

Most dicers have a guard that is hinged to the main body of the dicer. This model isn’t as good for sturdier foods, such as raw potatoes, are larger food items. When using a hinged model, you will need to cut the food into smaller pieces first. However, dicers that have a vertical or lever-action guard tend to be much more expensive. Some professional-grade dicers go for as much as $300!

Dicers for home usage usually have a removable container to catch food as it is chopped. Often, these containers will have graduations for measuring. This is handy if a recipe calls for an amount of a chopped food instead of an amount of the whole food. For instance, instead of calling for 1/2 onion, chopped, it may as for 1/2 cup chopped onion.

Many have removable blade inserts to switch between different sizes of dice. Many guards will have teeth that fit in between the blades to help push the food all the way through, leaving no uncut pieces. If this is the case, the dicer will usually come with a comb-like tool to clean between the teeth of the guard.

Look for a model that has rubber feet on the bottom to help from slipping while in use.

I’ve had the Vidalia Chop Wizard for a few years now and have had no complaints with it. If it ever breaks, I’ll probably replace it with the same one.

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