What is a Cleaver Knife Used For? The Different Uses of a Cleaver Knife

The cleaver knives are among the excellent option if you’re looking for a versatile and powerful knife. This blade type used for various purposes, making it an essential tool in any kitchen. It is also known for its durability, which makes it a great investment.

So if ever you’re wondering what a cleaver knife used for, in this blog post is, we will discuss the different uses of a cleaver knife and show you how to get the most out of this amazing cutting tool!

What Is a Cleaver Knife?

A cleaver knife is large and heavy kitchen knife characterized by its rectangular blade. This type of knife is usually used for chopping meat and vegetables. Cleaver knives have a blunt edge, which makes them excellent for cutting through thick meats.

The weight and size of the cleaver make it a great option for breaking down larger cuts of meat. It could be used to mince and dice vegetables. The cleaver is versatile knife used for kitchen tasks.

History of Cleaver Knife

The earliest cleavers were made of bone or stone and have been found in archaeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age. During the Middle Ages, metalworkers began to forge cleavers from iron and steel.

By the 18th century, most cleavers were made from cast iron, which made them much cheaper and more widely available. Today, cleavers are typically made from stainless steel or carbon steel and come in various sizes and designs.

The Different Uses of Cleaver Knife

There are several different ways that you can use a cleaver knife. Here are some of the most common uses for this versatile kitchen tool and utility knife:

  • Chopping meat: The meat cleavers are the ideal knife for chopping meat. The weight and size of the blade make it easy to chop through large pieces of meat.
  • Dicing vegetables: A vegetable cleaver could be used in dicing vegetables. The rectangular blade is perfect for dicing evenly-sized pieces of vegetables.
  • Mincing garlic: Cleavers could be used for mincing garlic and other small items. The blunt edge of the knife makes it easy to mince garlic without crushing it.
  • Slicing cheese: Cleavers could be used for slicing cheese and other soft foods. The blunt edge of the knife prevents the cheese from sticking to the blade.
  • Crushing spices: Cleavers could be used for crushing spices. The weight of the knife makes it easy to crush whole spices.
  • Tenderizing tough cuts of meat: The meat cleaver could be used for tenderizing tough cuts of meat. The knife’s blunt edge helps break down the fibers in the meat, making it more tender.

How to Use a Cleaver Knife

In order to effectively use a cleaver knife , you need to have a wooden cutting board. The cutting board should be large enough to allow you to chop the meat or vegetables without moving them around. 

You also need to ensure that the cutting board is sturdy enough to support the weight of the best cleaver knife. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a cleaver knife:

Grip the Handle

In order to grip the handle of the cleaver, you need to hold it with your index finger and middle finger. The blade of the knife should be facing away from you.

➠Place the Knife on the Cutting Board

Once you have a firm grip on the knife’s handle, you can place the blade on the cutting board. Make sure that the blade is perpendicular to the cutting board.

Cutting Meat

While cleaver knife is essential tool for a butcher or home cook who regularly prepares meat, it could be challenging to use if you are not familiar with the proper techniques. 

  1. When cutting meat with the best meat cleaver knife, it is important to use a sawing motion rather than trying to chop through the meat with a single stroke. 
  2. It will help to prevent the blade from slipping and causing injuries. In addition, it is important to grip the handle firmly with both hands to maintain control of the knife. 
  3. With practice, anyone can learn how to safely and effectively use a heavy duty cleaver knife to prepare delicious meats at home.

Mincing Meat

When mincing meat with a cleaver, it is important to first ensure that the blade is sharp. A dull blade will not only make the task more difficult, but it could be dangerous. 

  1. Place the meat on a cutting board and position the cleaver, so the blade is perpendicular to the board. 
  2. Then, use a sawing motion to chop the meat into small pieces. It is important to use a light touch; too much pressure can cause the cleaver to slip. 
  3. Once the meat is minced, it could be used in various dishes. 
  4. Cleavers are essential for chefs who want to create delicious and healthy meals.

Slicing meat

Meat cleaver knife is heavy, thick knife that is designed for hacking through tough meats and bones. They usually have a rectangular blade that tapers to a point, making it excellent for slicing large pieces of meat. Because cleavers are so sharp and heavy, they can be dangerous to use if you’re not careful. 

  1. Always hold the knife firmly and use a sawing motion when cutting through meat. 
  2. Be sure to keep your fingers clear of the blade, and never try to catch a falling cleaver – let it fall onto the cutting board or counter instead. 
  3. With a little practice, you’ll be able to slice even the toughest meats with a cleaver knife safely.

Dicing meat

If you’re a fan of cooking shows, then you’ve probably seen chefs using a cleaver to dice meat. While it may look like a daunting task, it’s actually quite easy to do at home. 

  1. Make sure that your cleaver is sharpened. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time cutting through the meat. 
  2. Place the meat on a cutting board and position the cleaver so the blade is perpendicular to the board. 
  3. Use a sawing motion to chop the meat into small pieces. It’s important to use even pressure so that the pieces are uniform in size.
  4. If you want to dice the meat even finer, you can use the back of the cleaver to smash it into smaller pieces.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to dice meat like a pro!

Tenderizing meat

There are many ways to tenderize meat, but using cleaver knife is among the most effective methods. The blade of a cleaver is designed to penetrate tough cuts of meat easily, and the knife’s weight helps break down the muscle fibers. 

  1. To tenderize meat with a cleaver, simply place the meat on a cutting board and use a back-and-forth motion to slice through the muscle fibers.
  2. Be sure to avoid cutting into the bone, as this can make the meat difficult to cook evenly.
  3. For best results, wrap the meat in plastic wrap and allow it to marinate for at least an hour before cooking. 
  4. This simple technique will help to ensure that your next steak or chop is nice and tender.

Chopping and slicing vegetables

In addition to meat, cleaver knives are used to chop and slice vegetables. The large, sharp blade is perfect for slicing through tough root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. 

  1. To chop vegetables with a cleaver, first, make sure that the blade is sharpened. 
  2. Next, place the vegetable on a cutting board and position the cleaver, so the blade is perpendicular to the board. 
  3. Then, use a sawing motion to chop the vegetable into small pieces. 
  4. Be sure to use even pressure so that the pieces are uniform in size. 
  5. With a little practice, you’ll be able to quickly and easily chop vegetables with a cleaver knife.

Tips on How to Use a Cleaver Knife

Now that you have learned what cleaver knife is used for, here are tips to get the most out of this versatile tool:

✔️Keep it Sharp

A cleaver knife is among the most versatile tools in any kitchen, but it can only be effective if it is properly sharpened. There are a few different ways to sharpen a cleaver knife, but the most important thing is to use a method that produces a consistent edge.

  1. First, choose a sharpening stone that is appropriate for the hardness of your blade.
  2. Then, use light strokes to hold the blade at a 20-degree angle to the stone.
  3. Start by sharpening the side of the blade closest to the handle, then move on to the other side.
  4. Use even pressure as you sharpen the blade, and be sure to check your progress frequently.
  5. Once you have achieved a consistent edge, use a honing rod to fine-tune the blade.

✔️Hold it Properly

There are many ways to hold a cleaver knife, but the most important thing is to find a comfortable grip. Some people like to hold the knife in their dominant hand and use their other hand to guide the food, while others prefer to hold the food in place with their non-dominant hand and use their dominant hand to do the chopping.

Whichever way you hold the knife, ensure that your fingers are not wrapped around the blade, as this can be dangerous.

  1. If you use your dominant hand to chop, you will want to grip the knife’s handle in your palm, with your thumb and first finger wrapped around the handle. 
  2. Place your other fingers behind the blade, ensuring not to wrap them around it. If you use your non-dominant hand to hold the food, you will want to grip it firmly with your fingertips held close together.
  3. As you chop, use a sawing motion rather than hacking at the food, which can be dangerous. 
  4. With a little practice, you will soon find the perfect way to hold a cleaver knife for your needs.

✔️Use a Sawing Motion and Apply Even Pressure

When using a cleaver knife, it is important to use a sawing motion and apply even pressure. It will help to prevent the knife from becoming stuck in the food. 

Additionally, it is important to hold the food securely while cutting. It will help to prevent accidents and injury. When cutting tough or fibrous foods, it may be necessary to use a back and forth sawing motion. This will help to ensure that the food is cut cleanly and evenly. 

✔️Position the Blade So That It’s Perpendicular to the Cutting Board

A cleaver is a type of knife often used to chop meat and bone. When using a cleaver, it is essential to position the blade perpendicular to the cutting board. It will provide the most stability and control while chopping. Additionally, be sure to use a chopping motion with your arm rather than your wrist. This will help to avoid injury and ensure that each chop is clean and precise.

✔️Never Try to Catch a Falling Cleaver Knife

While it may seem like a good idea to try and catch a falling cleaver knife, it is actually very dangerous. The knife can easily slip out of your hand and cause serious injury. 

Additionally, the blade is razor-sharp and can easily cut you if you are not careful. If you must catch a falling knife, use a towel or other piece of cloth to protect your hands. Never try to catch a knife by the blade, as this can also lead to serious injury. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to knives.

✔️Don’t Use Too Much Force

A cleaver is a great tool for any kitchen, but it’s essential to use it correctly. Too much force can cause the blade to slip, leading to cuts or other injuries. It’s also important to make sure the blade is sharp. A dull blade will require more force and can also cause the food to tear instead of slicing cleanly. When using a cleaver, hold it with your fingers close to the blade’s edge. It will give you more control and help to prevent accidents.

✔️Be Careful When Cleaning Your Cleaver Knife

Always clean the knife before using it, and be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp blade. 

  1. When cutting vegetables or meat, use a cutting board to protect your countertops and make sure the food is securely held in place. 
  2. Cut away from your body, and grip the cleaver firmly with both hands to avoid accidental cuts. 
  3. Finally, always wash the knife immediately after use, as food can quickly become stuck to the blade and difficult to remove. 
  4. With a little care and practice, you can safely use a cleaver knife to work any kitchen task quickly.

The Benefits of a Good Cleaver Knife

A cleaver knife is kitchen essentials for any home cook. Its broad, heavy blade is perfect for chopping vegetables and meats, and its pointed tip used for precision work like removing the seeds from bell pepper.

In addition to its versatility, cleaver knife is easy to sharpen and maintain. With proper care, a good cleaver knife can last for years, making it a valuable investment for any kitchen. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned pro, cleaver knife is essential tool for your kitchen.

With its versatile blade and easy-to-maintain edge, it’s sure to make quick work of any meal prep.

Cleaver Knife Care and Storage Tips

A cleaver is versatile kitchen knife used for everything from chopping vegetables to carving meat. However, cleavers are also notoriously difficult to care for and store. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cleaver in top condition:

  • Sharpening: Cleavers should be sharpened regularly with a honing steel or diamond stone. Be careful not to over-sharpen, as this can damage the blade.
  • Storage: It is important to store your cleaver properly to prevent it from dulling or becoming damaged. The best way to store a cleaver is through a knife block or magnetic knife strip. If you don’t have either, you can wrap the blade in a kitchen towel or place it in a sheath.
  • Cleaning: Cleavers should be washed by hand with warm water and dish soap. Avoid using the dishwasher, as this can cause the blade to rust.

Recipes That Can Be Made Using a Cleaver Knife for Optimal Results

If you’re looking to add a cleaver to your kitchen knife collection, here are a few recipes that can be made using a cleaver knife for optimal results:

🍲Chop Suey

Chop suey is an iconic dish in Chinese cuisine, and there are many ways to make it. One popular method is to use a cleaver knife:

  1. Start by chopping up your vegetables into bite-sized pieces.Heat up some oil in a wok or frying pan.
  2.  Once the oil is hot, add the vegetables and cook them until they’re tender.
  3. Stir in some soy sauce or other seasonings to taste.
  4. The result is a delicious and healthy meal that’s perfect for any occasion. 
  5. So next time you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make chop suey, don’t forget the cleaver knife!

🍲Carving a Turkey

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and turkey. If you’re in charge of carving the bird this year, don’t fret – a cleaver knife can quickly work the task. 

  1. First, start by removing the legs from the turkey
  2.  then use the cleaver to chop the meat into pieces. 
  3. Finally, use the knife to remove the skin from the meat. 
  4. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro at carving the turkey in no time.

🍲Sliced Beef with Broccoli

Suppose you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to cook beef and broccoli; look no further than this simple recipe. All you need is a good quality cleaver knife and a few simple ingredients:

  1. Thinly slice the beef against the grain into strips.
  2. Prep the broccoli by cutting it into small florets.
  3. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add oil.
  4. Once hot, add the beef strips and cook until browned. 
  5. Then, add the broccoli florets and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. 
  6. Finally, add your desired sauce (we recommend soy sauce) and serve immediately.

🍲Pork Fried Rice

Cleaver knives are not just for chopping meat! They are used for several tasks in the kitchen, including slicing vegetables and fruits, mincing garlic, and even making pork fried rice. When it comes to pork fried rice, cleaver knife is the ideal tool for the job. 

The wide blade is perfect for chopping up ingredients quickly, and the sharp edge ensures that each piece is evenly cut. In addition, the cleaver’s weight helps keep your hand from getting tired as you work. 

As a result, cleaver knife is the perfect tool for making delicious pork fried rice. So next time you’re in the kitchen, reach for a cleaver knife and give it a try!

🍲Vegetable Lo Mein

Cleaver knives are a versatile tool in the kitchen and used for various tasks, from chopping vegetables to slicing meat. In this recipe, we’ll use a cleaver knife to make vegetable lo mein. 

  1. First, start by chopping the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. 
  2. Next, heat a pan on the stove and add a little oil. 
  3. Once the pan is hot, add the vegetables and cook until they are tender. 
  4. Then, add the noodles and sauce and continue cooking until everything is heated. 
  5. Finally, use the cleaver knife to cut the noodles and vegetables into manageable pieces before serving. 

This easy recipe is a great way to get dinner on the table in no time!

🍲Kung Pao Chicken

When it comes to kung pao chicken, a cleaver can be quickly and easily used to chop the chicken into small pieces. In addition, a cleaver can crush the Sichuan peppercorns, which are essential for authentic kung pao flavor. While a food processor can chop the chicken and crush the peppercorns, a cleaver offers more control and results in a cleaner finished product. As such, it is worth learning how to use a cleaver properly before attempting this dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you sharpen a cleaver knife?

A sharp knife is the cook’s best friend. A dull knife, on the other hand, can be dangerous and frustrating to use. If you’re wondering how to sharpen a cleaver knife, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to do at home:

  1. You’ll need to choose the right sharpening stone. 
  2. A whetstone or diamond sharpening stone will work best.
  3. You’ll need to prepare the stone according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  4. It usually involves soaking the stone in water for a few minutes.
  5. Place the knife ( 20-degree angle) on the stone and use a light, even pressure to move the blade back and forth across the stone.
  6. Follow this motion 10-15 times on each side of the blade. 
  7. Finally, rinse off the blade and test it on paper to ensure it’s properly sharpened.

What are cleaver knives good for?

Cleaver knives are most commonly used in butcher shops and restaurants, but they can be a great addition to any home kitchen. Their large, rectangular blades are ideal for chopping through thick cuts of meat, and the heaviness of the knives makes it easy to apply a lot of force.

In addition, the blunt edge of the blade are used to crush garlic cloves or ginger root. Cleaver knives are also useful for portioning the meat before cooking, and their thick blades make them perfect for cutting through bone. However, cleavers are not the best choice for slicing or dicing vegetables, as their blades can be too thick and blunt.

Why does a cleaver knife have a hole in it?

A cleaver knife is the type of kitchen knife with a heavy, rectangular blade. It is typically used for chopping meat and vegetables. Among the most distinctive features of cleaver knife is the hole that is often cut into the blade. 

There are several theories about why this hole exists. One theory is that it helps reduce friction when the knife is used to chop through tough meats. Another theory is that it helps evenly distribute the knife’s weight, making it easier to handle. 

Whatever the reason, the hole in cleaver knife is the essential feature that makes this type of knife uniquely suited for its purpose.

What is the best cleaver knife?

The best cleaver knife is the one that best suits your needs. If you do a lot of cooking at home, you might want to invest in a high-quality knife that will last for years. However, if you only occasionally need to use a cleaver, then you can probably get by with a less expensive model. There are various cleavers on the market, so it’s essential to do your research before making a purchase. In general, look for a knife with a comfortable handle and a sharp, durable blade. 


A cleaver knife is versatile and essential tool for the kitchen. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, learning how to use a cleaver can help you take your cooking to the next level. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you’ll be able to get the most out of your cleaver knife and produce delicious, perfectly-cooked meals.

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