If you're like me who always finds themselves in the kitchen the you'd probably already know why getting the best meat cleaver is important. Meat cleavers are practically the backbone to making sure that your kitchen experience would not be too troublesome.
I remember when I first started to learn how to cook, I would often have a hard time chopping those thick pieces of meat because I did not have the right knife for it. Oftentimes, I would not have the right size and thinness because my knife only cuts through so much.
When I discovered the usefulness of meat cleavers, it was such a revelation for me. Preparing my ingredients became so much faster and easier. It actually made me feel like a top chef even though I was just still starting to learn how to cook.
Now, I can't live without my handy meat cleaver. When my mom advised me to get a meat cleaver for my kitchen, I thought it would be so easy to purchase one. But, lo and behold, I was faced with so much difficulty in choosing. I did not even know where to begin and what to specifically look for.
Because of this, I did have my fair share of hits and misses with my purchases and I wouldn't want you to make the same mistakes so I've listed down almost everything I know about getting the perfect meat cleaver for you.
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What to Look for in a Great Meat Cleaver
There are a lot of things that might distract you from focusing on what really makes a great meat cleaver. Below are the things that I would recommend you to prioritize in making sure the cleaver you’re getting is top notch.
- The metal is everything!
As the meat cleaver is used in cutting thick slabs of meat and sometimes even through bones of meat so getting a cleaver that is durable and sharp is key.
In the past, metal cleavers used to be made of carbon steel but this is known to get rust pretty quickly and is not really advisable to use. Nowadays, cleavers are made of stainless steel so you should definitely get one that uses this material.
In my opinion, this is the most important criteria of all. The meat cleaver should have a great handle and should not cause any discomfort or redness on your hands.
No matter how sharp or how efficient it is if your comfort level is compromised you would not be able to enjoy using it and you wouldn’t even be able to use it at its full potential so this is really important in purchasing your meat cleaver.
Caring for your Meat Cleaver
I learned the hard way that no matter how great the meat cleaver you purchased is, you'll definitely run into a lot of problems if you do not care for it properly. The first time I got a meat cleaver I didn't bother to sharpen it or clean it properly as a result, it ended up breaking while I was using it because it got brittle.
This showed me that the manufacturers can only do so much but if you didn't care for your cleaver properly it won't last as long as you'd want it to. Below is a quick view on how I would recommend you to care for your meat cleaver.
Washing your meat cleaver properly is the first and most important step in making sure that it will perform at its best. It is recommended that you clean your cleaver with warm water and with soap. I know that a lot of us crave for convenience and would prefer to use the dishwasher.
Although, most brands are dishwasher safe, I would say that washing your meat cleaver by hand would still be the best way. This way you would always be sure that all the pieces of meat that might cause oxidation on your metal would be removed completely. Washing by hand also lets you see exactly how much dishwashing liquid is applied to the cleaver.
When you get your meat cleaver, it would most likely be sharpened already. However, with numerous uses, the metal is bound to get dull and you would definitely need to sharpen it. In my experience, having a dull meat cleaver is a huge no-no!
When your metal is dull, you would need more pressure to get the same results you would get from a sharp one. I also noticed that I exert more effort when I don’t sharpen my cleaver regularly and would often even get redness on my hand because of this.
Sharpening might be a bit intimidating for first timers. I know that it was quite a stressful feat for me when I first tried. I was too scared that I’d break my cleaver because I was sharpening it the wrong way but getting it correctly is not that difficult.
You should just make sure that you have the right sharpening tools. There are several types of sharpening tools in the market. The most popular, and for me the easiest to use, is the sharpening steel. This realigns the metal and doesn’t remove it so no worries about your knife decreasing.
To sharpen your meat cleaver, just hold the sharpening steel in a vertical position making sure that the handle is up. Keep it in place then slide the handle along the steel. The direction of your knife should always be away from you. Repeat this motion for five to ten times and you’re good to go.
Last but not the least, storage. Storing your cleaver in a clean, dry place is the key to making sure that it would not get any rust or that no other microorganisms would accumulate on it. You should also store it in a knife block instead of in your drawer to ensure that there is less damage.
Now that we have talked about almost everything there is to know about meat cleaver, I would like to say that the meat cleaver from Utopia is the one that I would recommend.
It is inexpensive and does the job really well. It is also very durable so you won’t need to worry about it breaking even after numerous uses. Overall, I honestly believe that each of us has different preferences.
You might have a particular feature that you’re looking for which is non-negotiable but you should still make sure that the meat cleaver you’ll get still ticks all the boxes in other departments.