"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Knives
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #1
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Cleaver Question

I see some folks mention using a cleaver for breaking down poultry. How? Are you actually taking whacks at the bird? Are you aiming for joints (and hitting them)? Don't pieces go flying?
I'm not looking to try this out myself, I can't stand handling poultry to begin with and when I buy a whole chicken, that's how it gets cooked, but I'm curious why a cleaver is used (or better) instead of a sharp knife.
__________________

__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 09:09 AM   #2
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,296
Yep, whack the bird near joint points and also very good for splitting the back/breast. I don't use it as much now that I got a decent boning knife, but a cleaver does have it's advantages!

I have not had to many pieces go flying....
__________________

sattie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
You really use it like.... well, like a cleaver? I have no problem hitting a nail with a hammer, but I can just see bone fragments go flying if I tried to use a cleaver like I had a hunch they were used. Interesting.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 09:23 AM   #4
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
If it is sharp then things generally do not go flying. You get a nice clean cut. You also do not need to swing like you are going for a home run. It does not take a ton of force to get through chicken bones.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 09:27 AM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Do you do everything you need to do with the cleaver, or do you have another knife on hand as well? For the more intricate work?
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 09:48 AM   #6
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
You can do everything with the cleaver.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 10:09 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Thanks.
I suppose a trip to youtube is in order ;^)
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
Sous Chef
 
buzzard767's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Naples, FL & Wausau, WI
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Thanks.
I suppose a trip to youtube is in order ;^)
Check out (C_Dawg) on youtube. He's the best I've seen with a vegetable cleaver - Chuckabocho
__________________
Buzz

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and those who have met them in battle. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." Unknown
buzzard767 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 12:03 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Yeah, that's all cool, Buzz, but I want to see someone spinning the cleaver around over their head like Bobby Chouinard used to twirl his drumsticks, then coming down in lightspeed and whacking a chicken wing from the carcass.



Thanks for the vid, really, but I would like to see someone using a cleaver on a bird. It just seems to me a sharp knife could work just as easily, unless you expect to cut through bones and not the joints.

So how is using a cleaver different from a using Chinese knife? They are certainly pretty similar (to me).
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: E. Pa.
Posts: 8,281
my favorite is Martin Yan

LadyCook61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 12:23 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Yeah, there ya go. Thanks for the vid, LC.
So what I saw was someone basically using it like a knife. Maybe the extra weight made slicing through the joints easier, but he wasn't really chopping/whacking with it.
Not like what you see in the movies, which seems more for dramatic effect.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #12
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,793
The Martin Yan video is cool. His knife skills are great.

He is using a Chinese cleaver style knife as a knife. You could accomplish the same thing with a chef's knife. Using a meat cleaver as a chopping tool is different. A meat cleaver is a much heavier tool. Its weight contributes to its use.

I have used a cleaver to cut up a chicken but prefer a boning knife. Chicken is so easy a cleaver isn't necessary.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #13
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
I use my cleaver to break the bones open when making chicken stock. I am more comfortable with a chef knife though so for just breaking down a chicken without cutting through bones I use my chefs knife.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
I appreciate the replies.

I just broke out my Chinese knife. (Boy that thing needs sharpened.) Anyway, I prepped some carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and cut a chuck roast into three pieces. Even though it was a little on the dull side I found myself not "worrying" as much about my left hand (I'm right handed). You simply have more bulk to work with and a much larger surface for your fingers to guide. The edge in a lot of instances is further away from your guide hand, at least it appears that way. I can see preferring one over another when using it as a knife and not with a "cleaver action".
I think I'm paying a lot more attention to knives and what they can do than I used to.....
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 02:24 PM   #15
Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago suburb
Posts: 63
Send a message via AIM to CookNow
I actually shave with my cleaver. Saves money on razor blades, but I am still trying to finess my technique.

Headless Dan
CookNow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 02:57 PM   #16
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Are poultry shears passe?
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 03:06 PM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Are poultry shears passe?
I seem to remember Ask a Butcher using kitchen shears when separating a chicken. He might have also used them when spatchcocking a turkey.... I think. Maybe he used a cleaver. He didn't show that part in his vid, but it wasn't too long ago if you search for his past posts.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 03:13 PM   #18
Senior Cook
 
jpaulg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 208
For poultry you don't need a cleaver, just the heel of a chef's knife will do the job. Although I do get a certain enjoyment from pulling out "Monsieur Grand Boucher" out of the knife case and applying 2 pounds of steel against poor defenseless duck bones.

*PS I call my cleaver "Monsieur Grand Boucher" because it's the same type as the one featured in this clip:
jpaulg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 05:57 AM   #19
Senior Cook
 
DrThunder88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 473
Sorry for the delayed response.

While I've not yet had to cut through any bones with my little cleaver, it does power readily through frozen chicken breasts.
__________________

DrThunder88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×