Top & Best Cleaver: How to choose the best in 2021
The knife is one of the most used utensils in the kitchen, as it serves to cut, slice and peel food. But did you know that there are several models of knives, suitable for different purposes? One of these knives is the cleaver.
The variety of cutlass models allows this knife to be used in any recipe. The cleaver is used to cut from herbs to meat with bones. Do you want to know more about the utensil that cannot be missing in your kitchen? Continue reading.
First, the most important
- With a rectangular blade, large and heavy, the cleaver is extremely resistant, ideal for breaking and separating bones from cattle, birds, sheep and pigs.
- You find two versions of cleaver. The Chinese cleaver is lighter, ideal for cutting herbs, vegetables and some cuts of meat. The European cleaver is more robust, ideal for cutting meat with bones.
- Although it is a knife suitable for barbecue – the cutlass served as inspiration for cutlery, the name given to the hobbyist of preparing barbecue by hand – the cutlass can also be used in the kitchen.
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The best cleavers: Our buying recommendations
Anyone who likes to cook knows that it is essential to invest in a good meat knife. We rank the best cleaver models on the market to help you find the right utensil for your kitchen. Come on?
- A tough cleaver
- The sharpest cleaver
- The most cost-effective cleaver
- An option for gifting
Anyone who enjoys cooking knows the importance of investing in a good set of knives to prepare food. Some are specific to bread, others are ideal for cheese, and others are perfect for fruits and vegetables.
Among the different knife models, we find the cleaver, a very useful tool for preparing meat with bones. Find out about the features, applications and different models of cleaver in this buying guide.
What is a cleaver?
You find different models of cleaver. The lighter knife is used to cut and slice vegetables and delicate foods. The medium weight model serves to cut meat, vegetables and larger cheeses. The heavy knife is used to cut frozen food and pieces with bones.
The cleaver is a utensil widely used in the kitchen – by those who know its features – in addition to being a piece resistant to impacts and deformations. The knife wears less because of the size and weight of the blade.
Find out all the advantages and disadvantages of the cleaver in the table below:
What foods can I cut with the cleaver?
Although it is used by butchers to cut bone-in or frozen meat, it is misleading to think that the cleaver only serves this purpose.
This knife is often used to break or separate chicken bones, beef or pork ribs – don’t even think about using another knife model, as you will remove all sharpness from the blade.
The cleaver is used for different types of cuts, especially those that require precise movements. In addition, it is very useful for slicing julienne vegetables (into thin strips), for cutting herbs, grinding spices, slicing larger cheeses and hard vegetables.
How to use a cleaver?
How to sharpen a cleaver?
It is not enough to buy a good quality cleaver if you do not keep the blade sharp enough. We recommend that you send the knife and other knives to a professional sharpener every six months or when you feel that the blade is blunt.
Between sharpening, you can keep the cutlass with a good cutting edge by passing a knife a few times on each side before using the utensil. You can perform this procedure on any type of knife.
Why does the cleaver have a hole in the blade?
The cleaver has a hole in the blade so that the knife can hang on a knife holder on the wall or on the butcher’s belt.
But why is the hole in the blade instead of the cleaver handle? Not to let the blade hang freely, as it could hurt someone or hit the wall – this would damage the cleaver.
What are the different types of cleaver knife?
There are two versions of cleaver, European and Chinese. We explain the similarities and differences between these models below:
The Chinese cleaver , or vegetable cleaver, is a very versatile tool, as it serves to cut and slice herbs, spices, legumes, fruits, vegetables or meats. It is lighter, easier to handle and the blade can be quite sharp.
It can be used as a substitute for the chef’s knife, as all parts of the knife have features – cut, slice, squeeze, collect, among others.
The European cleaver , or meat cleaver, is more robust and heavy, so it is limited to meat with bones or frozen foods. As it only performs this function, it is of little use in most kitchens.
The main difference with this model is that the back of the blade is thick and heavy. The extra weight makes it easier to cut bones and joints from meat pieces. It also simplifies the cutting of vegetables, fruits and large, hard cheeses.
The European cleaver is generally not very sharp – nor does it need to be. For this reason it is not necessary to buy a very expensive or sophisticated model. Still in doubt? Compare the two models in the table below:
Purchasing criteria: Find the best meat cleaver for your barbecue
Buying a knife is an investment. It is important to choose a model of good quality, easy to handle, resistant and durable. To help lay people on the subject, we have selected some tips on how to choose a cleaver:
- Blade material
- Cable material
- Size and weight
- Brand and price
We will detail these criteria throughout this section. Leave a comment telling if you knew all the possibilities of using the cleaver.
Without a doubt, the blade is the most important part of a knife. You can find cleaver models made of three types of steel: Carbon, Damascus and Stainless steel.
The traditional and preferred model of collectors is the cleaver in carbon steel , as the metal alloy is simple to forge, temper and give the finish. This blade has a good cutting edge and is easy to sharpen, but you must maintain extra care so that the blade does not rust.
The main characteristic of the stainless steel cleaver is the presence of chromium in the alloy, which forms a film that makes the knife more resistant to oxidation – but that does not mean that stainless steel does not rust.
In addition, the risk of food contamination is low. Another advantage is that the stainless steel cleaver is cheaper, an excellent choice for preparing simple and elaborate meals in your home kitchen.
The negative points are that the stainless steel cleaver is not suitable for heavy tasks and loses the cutting edge easily.
You can also find cleaver models in damask steel . The knife is made with noble materials, of high added value and great beauty – they are the favorites of collectors.
Another feature that you should take into account when buying a cleaver is the material used to coat the knife handle. You can find options in steel, wood and plastic.
We suggest that you give preference to models where the material of the handle is the same as the blade, as they are more resistant.
It is also important that the handle is solid and without many seams, as these cracks accumulate dirt and increase the chances of the knife breaking. It is also important that the cable allows firmness and ease of handling.
Size and weight
You can find cleaver models in different sizes and weights:
- Light cleaver is usually a little smaller and lighter. It can be used to cut and slice delicate foods like some types of cheese and vegetables. It gives work speed.
- Medium weight cleaver has a slightly stiffer blade, so it is perfect for cutting and slicing some pieces of meat and dense cheeses. It can also be used to chop herbs.
- Heavy cleaver is indicated for heavier tasks in the kitchen, such as cutting bone or frozen meat. It is more difficult to handle and requires some experience and skill from the cook.
In any case, it should be used with great care.
Brand and price
You can find cleaver knife options from different brands and in different price ranges. The most affordable options are Tramontina, for example, the Plenus line models cost between R $ 15 and R $ 30. The brand also offers more sophisticated options.
Another very popular brand in the cutlery segment is Bestfer, which offers options starting at R $ 60. Those who can invest in a more robust cleaver, can bet on the KitchenAid brand models that cost around R $ 200.