A few tricks for mastering the cutting, cubing, slicing, and dicing. 

Some of our favorite Southern ingredients are tough to cut. Our Test Kitchen revealed a few trusty pointers for getting the most of your seasonal produce.

How to Cut Butternut Squash
Place squash on its side, and, using a large knife, slice off the top and bottom ends.
Remove the thick outer skin with a peeler.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then spoon out and discard the seeds.

Slicing Cherry Tomatoes
Credit: Ted Slampyak

How to Cut Cherry Tomatoes the Right Way
Start with
two rimmed plastic lids of matching size, such as the tops of cream cheese containers. Place bottom lid rim side up.
Add as many tomatoes as will fit in the bottom lid (about 10). Cover with second lid, rim side down.
With one hand, press gently on the top lid, and, using a serrated knife, slice tomatoes between lids.

Hulling Strawberries
Credit: Jennifer R. Davick

How to Hull a Strawberry
your thumb on the flat spine of a paring knife. Hold the berry in your other hand, and insert the knife at a 45-degree angle into the center of the fruit.
Keeping your thumb in the same position, twist the strawberry so the knife makes a circular cut around the stem. Remove the leaves and core.

How to Cut Acorn Squash
a knife blade between two middle grooves. Cut through the flesh to the center.
Continue slicing through the other half of the squash. Remove the seeds.
Slice the squash halves into half moons, if desired.

How to Peel Peach
Credit: Alison Miksch

How to Peel Peaches
ripe peaches with a paring knife by making an X on the pointed side of the fruit. (Cut through the skin, not the flesh.)
Submerge the peaches in boiling water for 40 to 60 seconds, longer if the fruit is underripe.
Dunk the peaches in an ice bath. Let cool completely.
Remove the skin by gently pulling back or rubbing off the scored marks. The skin should slide off quickly and easily.

How to Season Watermelon
Just a pinch
of salt (kosher or sea salt) can be your best summer seasoning. It will enhance the natural sweetness of ripe melons, strawberries, and pineapple, and reduces bitterness in underripe fruit

Cutting Corn Off Cob
Credit: Ted Slampyak

How to Take Corn Off the Cob
the cob on the center of the bundt pan.
Using knife, slice downward along the sides of the cob to remove kernels.