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How to cut celery sticks for snack prep

How to cut celery sticks for snack prep

It’s always a good time to prep veggies for snacks and boards. Easily cut celery sticks with this guide and keep your veggie snacks handy as a substitute for junk food when you need something to eat fast. Cutting celery sticks is simple and easy.

If you are new to food prep or just want to know the best way to cut celery for handy snacks, Renee’ and I get out the cutting board and a sharp knife to show you how. Let’s start with the terms.

What’s the difference between a celery stalk, bunch, ribs, and sticks?

Technically, a stalk is the proper term for the entire bunch of celery, BUT it has become more common to call celery how it appears: Americans in particular see a “stalk” and think of long and skinny, so the rib is also known interchangeably as the stalk in kitchens and cooking.

Bunch: The entire collection of celery, connected at the woody, whitish, rounded bottom.

Stalk: In the plant world, also considered the entire collection of celery, but has become the word synonymous with “rib” – one part of the bunch.

Rib: One of the long parts of the celery, with leafy top. A rib can be broken off of the bunch by breaking or cutting.

Stick: A celery rib that has been cleaned, cut down, with the leafy parts removed, and generally ready to be served with dip or chicken wings, or to be processed further into small dicing.

How to cut celery sticks step by step

What you’ll need:
  • One bunch of celery, or one rib of celery
  • One long knife
  • Cutting board
  • Storage container with cold water

Start by washing only the celery you will be using today (this will keep the remaining celery fresher longer.) A celery “bunch” is when all of the celery stalks are connected at the bottom. You can remove each stalk by breaking them off the tough, round end, or cut them all with your large knife. Discard the woody, rounded, whitish end. 

Run the celery under cold water and use your fingers to dislodge any old leaves and dirt from each rib. Dry the celery with a clean dish towel or nestle the celery into a colander in the sink while you prepare your cutting area.

Step 1 

Lay one rib (aka stalk) of celery groove side up on your cutting board. Trim off the wider, light green end, if desired. Trim off the leafy tops. 

Step 2

Cut one rib into three sections, across the short side. Think about how you will use your celery. Do you want long strips to dip into a thin ranch dressing, or short chunks that can handle heavy dips like hummus or cheese dip? You can stop here, and add these cut celery sticks into some cold water and store in the refrigerator. Or continue cutting the celery rib down to your desired size.

Step 3

Use the tip of the knife to insert at the top of the first of three celery sticks, and bring the knife down slowly in one smooth motion, making a new strip of celery. This will divide the one third into half. Cut the other two thirds of the rib into halves.

Step 4

Repeat the steps until you have all the celery you need for your recipe or snack prep.

Note: You can use a paring knife, but the cuts may not end up being as even and smooth, since you will have to lift the knife more frequently to cut the celery.

Best knife and best cutting board

How to store celery sticks

Celery tends to lose moisture after a week in the fridge if it’s not kept wrapped up. Store cut celery sticks in a container of fresh water. Discard and replace the water every day. Your cut celery sticks should be good in the refrigerator for five days as long as the water is replaced daily.