To mince is to cut food up into very small uniform pieces. Typically, this can be done with a machine with rotating blades. But it can also be done with certain food graters, and even a chef’s knife. Minced items are considerably smaller than food that has been diced or chopped.

Diced pieces of food are larger than minced, and chopped pieces of food are larger than diced. That’s the general rule.

Meats are typically minced for a number of different recipes as well. If you’ve never been lucky enough to try a minced slice of Oscar Mayer bologna, you are missing out let me tell you. Just drop it in a food processor and watch the magic happen.

I realize from my previous statement that it might lead some to ask whether ground beef is the same thing as minced beef. Technically, it is.

Mincing is to finely dice whole muscle meat with either a food processor or a sharp knife. Depending on how fine you chop it, is what will dictate how close the texture will be to ground beef or other ground meats. Typically, ground meats contain more fat than meats that have been minced.

If you will be mincing your food with a chef’s knife, a common practice is to place the palm of your non-dominate hand on top and perpendicular to the blade for support. Now, holding the blade normally with your dominate hand, you can sort of rock the blade back and forth at different angles over the food to begin breaking it down.

You can quickly mince your favorite herbs and spices this way such as garlic or ginger.

Here’s what the online Merriam-Webster dictionary has to say on the matter:

Definition of mince

minced; mincing

transitive verb

1 a : to cut or chop into very small pieces

She minced the garlic.

b : to subdivide minutely; especially : to damage by cutting up

The director minced up the play.

2 : to utter or pronounce with affectation

minced the word in the manner of the old lady

3 a archaic : minimize
b : to restrain (words) within the bounds of decorum

minced no words in stating his dislike —J. T. Farrell

intransitive verb
: to walk with short steps in a prim affected manner

The comedian minced across the stage.

— mincer noun

– Merriam-Webster.com

I don’t know what most of that meant, but I put it in an HTML blockquote tag so it must be worth something. I hope you now have a little better understanding of the technique known as mincing and when you might want to use it.

*Bonus Protip:
If you find yourself wanting to peel garlic either to mince or use whole or whatever, but you don’t have a garlic smasher thing. Simply lay the flat part of the blade on the garlic clove and solidly push down on the side of the blade. You should feel the skin (of the garlic, not your own) crack and peel away from the actual garlic inside. Then you can easily pull the rest of the skin from the garlic.

P.S. If anyone actually tried eating a piece of minced Oscar Mayer bologna, please let me know in the specially included comment section below so I can laugh at you.