How-to Chop Nuts

Quite often, recipes call for nuts to be chopped. This often presents a challenge because nuts are, for the most part sold whole.

When confronted with the task of chopping nuts, there are a few fun and easy options available. One of the oldest ways to chop nuts is to use a cutting board and chef’s knife to finely chop each nut. While a chef’s knife does give you complete control over the size of the chopped nut…it is not a very fun option.

Two of my most favorite methods for chopping nuts are: (1) using a zip-top bag and meat tenderizing mallet and (2) using a chef’s chopper. Below, I’ll show you the best ways of using these two techniques as well as a few drawbacks of each.

Chopping nuts with a meat mallet


Chopping nuts with a meat mallet.
Chopped nuts in a zip-top bag

Chopping nuts with a meat mallet is perhaps the most enjoyable and easiest way to chop nuts. All you have to do is place the desired amount of toasted nuts in a zip-top bag. Seal the bag then pound the nuts until they reach the desired size.

Begin pounding with the flat side of the mallet but you may need to use the side with teeth or barbs to really break up any stubborn nuts.

Drawbacks: The meat mallet method often results in larger, uneven sized nut pieces. Getting smaller pieces of chopped nuts is possible but may be difficult to achieve effectively.

Chopping nuts with a Chef’s Chopper

whole nuts in a chef's chopper
chopped nuts in a chef's chopper
chopped nuts

Chopping nuts with a Chef’s Chopper is incredibly easy and I often use it when chopping nuts for cookies.

Simply place the toasted nuts in the bottom cup and chop away by pressing down on the top portion of the chopper. A Chef’s Chopper is a great way to get smaller portions of chopped nuts; which are ideal for cookies such as Russian Tea Cakes.

Drawbacks: A Chef’s Chopper produces a range of sizes for your chopped nuts; depending how long you chop each batch.

Another drawback of using a chopper is it will produce a great deal of fine nut dust beneath the chopped nuts. Unless you want nut powder mixed into your batter, you will need to sift or sort out the chopped nuts before use.

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