A cleaver is a large, heavy, and broad-bladed knife used for various cutting tasks in the kitchen, particularly for chopping through meat and bone. It typically has a thick, rectangular blade with a sharp cutting edge and a sturdy handle.
- Butchering and Meat Preparation: Cleavers are commonly used in butchering to cut through large cuts of meat, poultry, or fish, as well as to separate bones and joints. They are essential for tasks like splitting ribs or chopping through cartilage.
- Chopping and Dicing: Cleavers are useful for chopping or dicing vegetables, particularly when a more forceful cut is needed. Their weight and sharp blade allow for efficient and precise cutting, even for tougher ingredients.
- Crushing Garlic or Ginger: The broad side of a cleaver can be used for crushing or smashing garlic cloves or ginger, making it easier to remove the skin and release their flavors.
- Tenderizing Meat: Cleavers with a flat side can be used for tenderizing meat by pounding or flattening thicker cuts. This helps to break down muscle fibers, resulting in more tender and evenly cooked meat.
- Heavy-Duty Tasks: Cleavers are suitable for heavy-duty tasks in the kitchen, such as splitting large pumpkins or squash, cracking open coconuts, or crushing nuts.