A meat cleaver is a heavy-duty kitchen knife with a broad, thick blade primarily designed for cutting through bones and tough cuts of meat. It is characterized by its weight and solid construction.
- Butchering and Meat Processing: Meat cleavers are indispensable tools for butchers or home cooks engaged in meat processing. They are used to break down large cuts of meat into smaller portions, separate bones from meat, or trim excess fat.
- Chopping and Sectioning: Meat cleavers are suitable for chopping through dense cuts of meat, including bones and cartilage. They can be used to section poultry, cut through ribs, or portion large cuts into steaks or chops.
- Tenderizing and Crushing: Meat cleavers can be used for tenderizing tougher cuts of meat by pounding or flattening them. They are also handy for crushing ingredients like garlic cloves, lemongrass, or peppercorns.
- Thick-Skinned Vegetables and Fruits: The weight and sturdy blade of a meat cleaver make it effective for cutting through thick-skinned vegetables like winter squash or melons. It can also be used for splitting coconuts or cutting through pineapple husks.
- General Kitchen Applications: Meat cleavers have versatile uses beyond meat-related tasks. They can be used for smashing garlic, cracking open nuts, crushing ice, or even as a makeshift tool for breaking down lobster or crab shells.