"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 04-03-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 295
Cleavers

Waiting delivery on two cleavers. First is the standard heavy-duty bone crunching kind, but the second is the more delicate Chinese style. Thinner blade, 15 degree blade angle, etc.

Anyone have any experience with these? I was inspired by a recent magazine article and the price was right. Also, I saw a Youtube video where a guy expertly butchers a chicken in about 15 seconds. Not that I would ever try that, but the wide blade Chinese cleaver was impressive in his hands.

__________________

Stock Pot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,722
I have the first type but it doesn't get a lot of use. I just use my chef's knife for chicken bones.

I've never used a Chinese cleaver but have watched Martin Yan work magic with his.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 02:08 PM   #3
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,417
I have 4 different cleavers. I get into mood and all of a sudden all I use are clevers. Big small and smaller yet. And then the wave goes away and I do not touch them for a year or so.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 02:25 PM   #4
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
I have a carbon steel cleaver dating to the 1940s that belonged to my dad. I've used it maybe twice in the last 10 years. I spend way more time digging it out of the bottom of the drawer periodically to clean off the rust spots and oil it.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
I have had two of them. I gave one to my daughter and kept one for myself. Like Steve, mine sits in the drawer where I keep all the equipment that I very seldom use. On the very, very rare occasion that I have taken it out and tried to use it. I raise it up, slam it down and miss the mark completely. Back in the drawer it went. Next time I take it out, into the trash it goes.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 06:42 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
caseydog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5,572
Well, there is Ward, June, Wally, and of course, the Beaver...

Oh, not what you meant?

I had a gift card from BB&B, and have wanted one for a long time, so I got one back in January. I haven't done much with it, yet. It is pretty hefty, and I look forward to going medieval with it on some chicken.

CD
__________________
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Winnie-the-Pooh
caseydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 07:49 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,279
After seeing a Martin Yan cooking demo, I actually bought his brand clever and used it for years, until I used the wrong end (By accident) to crack a coconut open. Couldn't get the edge back after that mishap. But until that point, I loved it .
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 08:56 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Posts: 8,574
THE CLEAVERS

__________________
Welcome to Western New York, where the only kind of weather we have is inclement!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
I have a 6" Henckels cleaver. It is the perfect tool for disassembly of a chicken (or turkey?).

HOWEVER: I never use my cleaver in a swinging action. I have a soft mallet I use to strike the cleaver's back edge after I have positioned for the next cut.

A cleaver this size, weight and sharpness is a very dangerous instrument unless you give it the respect it deserves. Simply dropping it (slipped out of your hand?) could end up if the sharp edge hits the middle of your foot it could amputate your toes--or at least mine could.

I once had a can of soup fall off my kitchen counter and strike my big toe nail at just the perfectly wrong angle (can edge struck my big toe nail at a 45 degree angle). It hurt badly for perhaps 6 weeks, I lost the toe nail at 3 months, and it took 6 months for my toe nail to grow back in back to normal.

I shudder to think what a dropped heavy cleaver could do.

BTW I have a full Henckel's butcher block which did not provide for cleaver storage. I made a dedicated 1 cleaver "block" which performs the same function. It's screwed to the wall inside one of my kitchen cabinets where I can access my cleaver if I need it, but where it can't possibly cause any harm without lifting it out of its safe storage.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 09:43 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
I have a 6" Henckels cleaver. It is the perfect tool for disassembly of a chicken (or turkey?).
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.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 10:29 PM   #11
Executive Chef
 
Greg Who Cooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: in my kitchen
Posts: 3,794
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.
Greg Who Cooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 10:29 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
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.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 10:48 PM   #13
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,722
I use my cleaver to cut turkey bones into pieces so they'll flavor the stock I'm making more quickly.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 11:26 PM   #14
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
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.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 11:46 PM   #15
Master Chef
 
caseydog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
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...



CD
__________________
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Winnie-the-Pooh
caseydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 11:47 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,998
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.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 11:52 PM   #17
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
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.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:31 AM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
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.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 01:03 AM   #19
Master Chef
 
caseydog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5,572
I suddenly have a strong desire to butcher an organic chicken with a cleaver. I wonder where that came from?

CD
__________________
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Winnie-the-Pooh
caseydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 03:35 AM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I suddenly have a strong desire to butcher an organic chicken with a cleaver. I wonder where that came from?

CD
__________________

__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic 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 05:32 AM.


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