Best tool/technique for dicing boneless chicken?

A couple times a month, I make some form of “stir-fried” curry, and need to dice some 12-14 ounces of boneless chicken thighs. I’m currently using a santoku on a cutting board, more or less cutting the cold chicken into half-inch strips and then turning the board 90 degrees and trying to cut those strips into half-inch lengths. I use the back of the knife to rake the pieces into the skillet.

Works OK, but it’s a little tedious, and I wonder if a different tool would be more efficient. A cleaver? Scissors?

Put it in the freezer (in plastic wrap) for like twenty minutes before cubing. It will be much easier to deal with.

J_B has the right of it, same technique if you’re slicing a cold smoked bacon, or if you’re using a tougher cut of beef (like a london broil) for stir fry. 20 minutes will depend on how cold your freezer is of course, so if it’s like mine, it might be more like 25-30. Alternately, if the knife work is a pain, just buy pre-sliced stir fry/fajita cut meat - just prepare for a bit of sticker shock.

On rare occasion, when I was cooking a LOT of similar foods, I broke out my electric carving knife, but I won’t say it was faster (well, it was if you leave out the freezing time). More satisfying, but not faster on the cutting part.

Yeah, chicken at near room temp is slimy and hard to cut. Get it cold and make clean cuts. Nice sharp knives.

I swear by scissors for raw chicken thighs
and other small meats. More control, and I avoid tainting a chopping-board altogether, cutting the cubes/strips straight to their destination.


Bacon for sure, but not just meat. Green onions/scallions, cheese slices that need to be diced up, chopping whole canned tomatoes (right in the can), slicing cherry tomatoes or grapes, herbs, reducing bagged salad greens to bite-sized pieces. Just put the greens in a deep-ish bowl, stick the scissors right down in there, and snip away.

I got these for Christmas a few years ago and I’ll bet I use them in the kitchen every single day.

Another vote for scissors. They’re essential for cutting whole wings into flats, drumettes & tips.

Eta: I like the few pairs I got from the Asian/Korean housewares store. They’re like $10 and nice & large. Honestly, I keep a pair in the garage for grass trimming around the yard.