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  • January 26th, 2022

    Traditional meat cleavers are broad, heavy knives with a large, rectangular blade that are most commonly used for butchering because they can cut through bone, cartilage and thick cuts of meat. While there are not many tasks that a cleaver is a better choice than a good chef’s knife, there are some kitchen tasks when a cleaver is ideal. The weight and size of a cleaver make it the right choice for tasks that would cause damage or excessive wear to your chefs knife. Tasks like chopping through a whole chicken, whole lobsters and even large squashes are ideal for a meat cleaver.

    When is it important to have a meat cleaver in your collection of professional knives? If you make a lot of stocks, a cleaver will be utilized frequently, allowing you to expose more of the bone and meat to the water for greater flavor extraction. Once a cleaver is in your collection, you may utilize it for other routine kitchen tasks. A cleaver can be highly production for mincing raw meat, crushing garlic, chopping cooked bone-in meat into bite sized pieces, even cracking coconuts. The flat end of the cleaver blade can be used to scoop up chopped items like a scraper or to flatten and tenderize cutlets of meat.

    If you are considering adding a professional meat cleaver to your cutlery collection, here are a few key considerations:

    Weight – cleavers can get very weighty and a medium weight cleaver provides enough heft to get most tasks done but is not so unwieldy that it causes user fatigue.

    Blade Size – a short blade, less than 6-3/4” may not be able to bisect larger items like a squash, while a blade that’s too long will not allow you to easily butcher smaller meat items like chicken parts.

    Blade Design – review the thickness, edge and edge angle of prospective cleavers. Cleavers can come with a straight edge or with a slightly curved edge which can be a bit easier on the user. The thickness and edge angle of a cleaver can have great impact on the durability and the feeling of sharpness. Thicker blades are often longer lasting but can feel more like they are muscling their way through food rather than slicing and are more difficult to use for many tasks.

    Handle – the size of the handle can affect the ease of use. A handle that is too short will be more difficult to grasp, making tasks that require strength and power challenging. Additionally, it is important that the handle material promotes a firm grip as cleavers are more unwieldy than most other professional knives.

    NSF Meat Cleavers – if NSF is important to your operation, be sure to look for cleavers that are NSF certified.

    While a meat cleaver may not be necessary in every foodservice operation, when it is the right tool for the task, there’s nothing like a quality cleaver to get the job done.

    meat cleavers

    Keywords: professional meat cleavers