Meat cleavers are heavy with a thick and wide blade. All of these things help make it the multitasking knife that it is. You can have a heavy cleaver which can cut through bone and vegetables, or if you don't cut meat much, you can stick to a lighter weight cleaver. Whether it is barbecued steaks or chopped meat for stew or vegetables for a refined dinner, the meat cleaver is the right knife to make cooking and cutting easy.
Using a Cleaver for Meat
Originally, meat cleavers were made to cut through bones, either by hacking or swinging overhand. That is why the blade is thick and heavy. Thick and heavy blades make cutting through bones easier. Cleavers are great for separating spare ribs or cutting poultry into several pieces. Professional chefs and butchers use meat cleavers, but the common cook also finds that a cleaver comes in handy. Using a cleaver to slice stew meat is very common, however, finely chopping meat can be done as well with a meat cleaver. Cleavers come in a variety of weights and sizes, so find the one that is most appropriate for the type of meat is being prepared. Turn the the blade around and you can use the back of the meat cleaver to pound and tenderize meat.
Using a Meat Cleaver for Vegetables
Using a cleaver makes cutting vegetables easier and faster. Even though meat cleavers are usually used for meat, they can also be used for a variety of things like chopping, slicing or mincing vegetables. They can also be used for smashing garlic cloves. This technique is done by putting the cleaver on its side on top of the garlic clove and smashing it with your hand. Meat is often chopped and requires more effort whereas vegetables are much more delicate and are usually sliced. Depending on what vegetables are being used, chopping may be needed, so choosing the right size cleaver is also important for vegetables. The size of the cleaver may vary depending on which cutting technique is being used.
Using a Meat Cleaver for Fruit
According to the Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, the verb “cleave” is defined as “to divide by or as if by a cutting blow; split.” Using a meat cleaver on fruit is not that common, however, with larger fruits or fruits that have a hard outer layer of skin that need to split, a meat cleaver is a great tool. An example of these fruits are the watermelon or the Asian fruit Durian.
Since the blade of a meat cleaver is so wide, it can be used for a variety of things like taking the place of a spatula to transfer food from one place to another or scooping up vegetables to put in the pan or unwanted scraps to throw away.
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