May 22, 2020

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful and hearty root vegetable. If you find cutting them intimidating you are not alone. Cutting sweet potatoes can seem a bit challenging because of their size but we are here to help.

How to cut up a sweet potato really depends on how you plan to use it. Generally, there are four different methods that we want to cut up sweet potatoes. We either want to, cut them into chunks, dice them, slice them into rounds, or julienne them. 

When to cut sweet potatoes into chunks

If you are creating mashed sweet potatoes then you just need to cut it into large chunks. If we want to boil the sweet potatoes we want to cut them into small enough chunks that they will cook in a reasonable amount of time but not so small that they disintegrate when boiling.

When to julienne sweet potatoes?

Julienne simply means to cut the sweet potato into small thin strips. When thinking about julienne cuts, think about french fry shapes. When we julienne a sweet potato we most often do so to make sweet potato fries, which are so yummy.

When to dice sweet potatoes?

Dicing means exactly what it sounds like. When you dice a sweet potato you are cutting it into small cubes or dice shapes. The size of the dice will vary upon the uses. For example, if you are creating a sweet potato hash, you would probably want small diced pieces. If you are cooking sauteed diced sweet potatoes you probably want medium size dice cuts.

When to cut sweet potatoes into slices?

We prefer to cut sweet potatoes into coin shape slices when we are sauteeing them as a side dish. The thickness of the slices will vary based upon the use. When we are sauteeing them we often like ½” thick or ¼” thick slices. Another use for slices is when making sweet potato chips.

Are sweet potatoes hard to cut?

There is a common misconception that sweet potatoes are hard to cut. If you have a solid cutting board and a sharp knife you won’t find it too challenging to cut sweet potatoes. Use a large chef’s knife when cutting and don’t be shy about putting a bit of your heft into it when you are cutting it.

Do you need to peel a sweet potato before cutting it?

You don’t need to peel a sweet potato before cutting it. If you don’t peel it do be certain to wash and scrub the potato before cutting it and cooking with it. We tend to saute sweet potatoes with skin on but we peel sweet potatoes for mashing. 

How to slice a sweet potato

When slicing a sweet potato into coin-shaped rounds it is important to consider the girth of the sweet potato. Some sweet potatoes are quite large in diameter. 

If your potato is extremely large consider cutting it in half lengthwise and then slicing it into half-moon slices. 

Also, before you start cutting your sweet potato think about how thick you want your slices to be. They will cook more evenly if the thickness of the slices is fairly consistent. 

You do not have to peel a sweet potato before you cut it. That step is purely optional.

Step 1: Wash, scrub, and dry the sweet potato. 

Step 2: Peel the sweet potato. (Note: It is best to use a vegetable peeler if you have on.)

Step 3: Place the potato on a sturdy cutting board.

Step 4: Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the ends.

Step 5: Start at one end of the potato and start cutting slices to your desired thickness.

How to cut sweet potato julienne slices

Step 1: Wash, scrub, and dry the sweet potato.

Step 2: Peel the sweet potato. (Note: It is best to use a vegetable peeler if you have on.)

Step 3: Place the potato on a sturdy cutting board.

Step 4: Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the ends.

Step 5: Create a flat edge by cutting a slice off of the sweet potato along the length of it. 

Step 6: Cut the potato lengthwise into long slabs. Consider your desired julienne thickness. For example, cut it into ½” thick long slabs.

Step 7: Stack 2 slices on top of one another and cut it into long strips. For example, cut the slabs into ½” thick strips.

How to dice a sweet potato

Before you dice a sweet potato it is important to consider what size you want the dices to be. The more consistent the size the more evenly the sweet potatoes will cook. 

Where to peel the sweet potato or not is purely up to you. We include it in the steps below but feel free to skip it if you would like.

Step 1: Wash, scrub, and dry the sweet potato.

Step 2: Peel the sweet potato. (Note: It is best to use a vegetable peeler if you have on.)

Step 3: Place the potato on a sturdy cutting board.

Step 4: Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the ends.

Step 5: Create a flat edge by cutting a slice off of the sweet potato along the length of it.

Step 6: Cut the potato lengthwise into long slabs. Consider your desired cube thickness. For example, cut it into ½” thick long slabs.

Step 7: Stack 2 slices on top of one another and cut it into long strips. For example, cut the slabs into ½” thick strips.

Step 8: Gather a couple of these strips together in a row. Then cut them crosswise to create cubes. 

Step 9: Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have cut all of the sweet potato pieces into cubes.

Tips on cutting a sweet potato

  • Wash and scrub the sweet potato before you peel or cut it. Even if you are peeling the potato you should still cut it. As you handle the potato to peel it you will spread any dirt or grime around if you don’t wash it first.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel the sweet potato if you have one. They are far safer to use. If you are using a knife to peel the potato using a small paring knife so that you have better control of the knife. 
  • Cut on a secure flat surface. When cutting sweet potatoes they are likely to move around on you a bit. For the sake of safety be sure that you are using a flat cutting board on a safe and flat surface. A quick tip is to put a damp paper towel under the cutting board to help keep it still. 
  • When cutting sweet potatoes do your best to cut even size slices or dices. If you are sauteing, baking, or broiling the sweet potatoes they will cook more evenly if they are close to the same size.
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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

Renee' Groskreutz

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