Meat cleaver, one of the most essential tools for the kitchen. Obviously, it makes us curious about using it. But unfortunately, many of us tend to steer away from using it only because of the lack of knowledge on properly using it as its blade size is a bit large in shape.
If you want to chop meat or vegetables, meat cleavers do a fantastic job to do that. Also for pounding, dicing, mincing, crushing and slicing any food item, the right kind of cleaver is one of the most versatile and important tools for a chef.
So if you have an interest in meat cleavers, then you are lucky because now I will help you to know how to use the meat cleaver to its fullest capacity along with some tips and tricks. So read the article to be the master of using a meat cleaver.
Why You Should Have A Meat Cleaver:
If you cook in your home regularly or in maximum time, you should have some essential equipment in your kitchen and meat cleaver is one of them. All you need is to know how to use it properly. Besides, you should invest in the best cleaver obviously as these things are for long term uses. You can check it out which cleaver will be the best suited for you in kitchengeeky.
But you also should have to keep some other knife beside meat cleavers for regular use. Like Chef’s knife, Paring knife, Utility knife, Fillet knife, and Serrated Bread knife.
Now, why is keeping meat cleaver so important? Cleavers are usually large in shape and so do their blade size. Also, the blades are broad. It helps you to chop the carcass easily at a fast pace. This will not bother you with any shattering or bulking because they are designed in this manner. It will make your work easier.
Though it is called meat cleaver most of the time but it will really help you to cut down the vegetables. So if you are a vegetarian or you are doing a Keto diet, you can chop the tougher vegetables and fruits like pumpkins, pineapples and other sorts of fruits and vegetables with the cleaver.
But mostly, a cleaver is the best option for you to chop beef bones or chicken thighs and chopping through the carcass. If you try these with other knives, it will be really very difficult for you to do and also you can break the knife or injure yourself. So this is why you must need a meat cleaver.
How To Use A Meat Cleaver:
So now it’s time to learn the proper way to use it. First, you need to know how to hold it properly.
Step 1: Holding The Cleaver:
First Grip: Hold the part of the cleaver which is closer to the blade. Place your thumb on one side of the cleaver where it meets the blade. Curl the other fingers on the other side of the handle.
Second grip: It is pretty much similar to the first grip. Grip the handle where it is connected to the handle. Place your index finger on one side of the blade and your thumb on the other.
But maximum chefs prefer this way rather than the first grip as it gives more control over the cleaver. I always prefer to keep the chef’s suggestion in mind.
Step 2: Using The Cleaver:
Now I will give you some tips to use the cleaver properly to chop your meat or vegetables.
Setting up the cutting board:
Make sure your cutting board is strong. You have to place it on a stable location where it will not slip while you use the cleaver. You can put a gripper mat or a wet piece of cloth or napkin under the cutting board to make it safer.
Select your plan of attack:
You have to choose in which way you are going to use the cleaver. It will depend on what kind of food you are going to chop. It’s not like that hacking is always the best option.
For example, if you want to cut down a whole roast turkey in 2 pieces, then simply use the cleaver as you would use the chef’s knife. Just hold the second grip to have a good control on the cleaver and use a slight rocking motion to cut through the turkey.
Chopping poultry or meat:
When you are going to chop poultry or meat, use a power grip. First, stabilize the thing which you are going to chop with your own non-dominant hand. Make sure to place your hand at a safe distance.
Get ready & cut:
When the ideal way of using the cleaver has been chosen, now you can use your cleaver. You don’t need to put heavy forces to hack the meat or bone. Use the weight of the cleaver on your favor and make it do the most of the work for you.
When you start to chop, the chopping motion itself should come from your wrist. Just raise your arm slightly from the elbow and then bring it down on the food you are going to chop. Use your wrist to give the direction to the cleaver and apply force.
Try to use a solid cutting board. If you’re using a wood cutting board, try to make sure to cut down perpendicularly or make it at a slight angle to the grain. Otherwise, there is a risk that the chopping board can be split when you chop the food.
Slice through again if needed:
Sometimes you need to slice through the meat again because it is very natural to get used to and to know how much force you should apply to make a clean cut. Sometimes the cleaver can be stuck into the bone. Then simply use your non-dominant hand on the cleaver’s spine and put pressure on it. It will drive the cleaver downward and will finish the cut. So don’t get disappointed if you have to slice through a second time. It is a very normal thing for first-time users.
So this is the guideline for you guys. I hope now you can use the cleaver to chop any kind of poultry, meat or vegetables properly. Just make sure to apply the appropriate cut and use the right kind of grip.