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Old 04-03-2017, 09:29 PM   #11
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I don't use my cleaver often but it aids in quick disassembly irrespectively of where the joints are located. I like my filet knife when I'm willing to sort out the various tendons, etc.

Also in my Asian cooking I can disassemble a chicken and then simply chop pieces no matter what size into similar sized pieces. Like chix breasts for example. Whack! Whack! And I end up with a mix of assorted chix pieces all about the same size.

Takes maybe 2-3 minutes to totally part out a chicken.

It's just an alternative tool with special uses. Any chef can get the job done using any variety of tools. Only question is which tools are easiest to use and produce the best results.

That's why a knife block has more than one knife.

Another very handy tool for disassembly of a whole chicken is chef grade shears (scissors), like to spratchcock a chicken. Which BTW is often much easier with a cleaver. It takes all of my hand strength to cut out the backbone. But with a cleaver all it takes is a few delicate taps of mallet and cleaver to just whack that backbone away!

To sum it up, using an ordinary knife like a filet knife requires you to follow the joints. Using a cleaver and mallet allows you to ignore where the bones are and just whack that meat or poultry into whatever arbitrary pieces you want.

A cleaver whacks hard enough to cut through bones effortlessly. An ordinary knife can't do that because most knives are not capable of cutting through solid bones.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:29 PM   #12
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I think it's a guy thing I have no problem disassembling a chicken or a turkey with my chef's knife. As long as you can find the joints, any sharp knife will work.
Being married to a pro chef had it advantages. Since whole chickens are (or were) cheaper than cut up parts, he taught me how to find the area right between the bones. What I have tried to use the cleaver for in the past is to cut up raw bones for soup stock. I never hit the same spot two times in a row. So I gave up. If a bone is too big, I cook half of it until it is soft enough, then turn it over to cook the other half. When that is soft enough, I just break it in half with my hands. Or at least I used to. Haven't done it for a long time. But I bought a rather thick and large piece of 7bone piece of beef to cut up for stew meat and grind some for hamburger. The bone is quite large. And I don't want to lose the goodness that is in it. Guess I will have to get out the Dutch oven.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:48 PM   #13
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I use my cleaver to cut turkey bones into pieces so they'll flavor the stock I'm making more quickly.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:26 PM   #14
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I think it's a guy thing I have no problem disassembling a chicken or a turkey with my chef's knife. As long as you can find the joints, any sharp knife will work.
Well, I'm a guy, and I also prefer a chef's knife and kitchen shears for cutting up a chicken.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:46 PM   #15
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Well, I'm a guy, and I also prefer a chef's knife and kitchen shears for cutting up a chicken.
Yeah, but it won't look this cool...



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Old 04-03-2017, 10:47 PM   #16
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I have two cleavers, one an antique. I think I've used each of them once. I'm wicked with a chef's knife though.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:52 PM   #17
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Yeah, but it won't look this cool...
I dunno. My chicken looks nice and neat when I'm done. His looked kind of sloppy and torn apart.

I've also never found yelling at the chicken helps much, either.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:31 PM   #18
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Well, I'm a guy, and I also prefer a chef's knife and kitchen shears for cutting up a chicken.
Yes, you're right. It seems like guys who prefer whacking at a carcass rather than using the finesse necessary to butcher it like cleavers better than chef's knives I can butcher and dice a chicken easily with my chef's knife and not end up with a bunch of broken bones and torn tendons in it. I don't see the benefit of that.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:03 AM   #19
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I suddenly have a strong desire to butcher an organic chicken with a cleaver. I wonder where that came from?

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Old 04-04-2017, 02:35 AM   #20
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I suddenly have a strong desire to butcher an organic chicken with a cleaver. I wonder where that came from?

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