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How to Select and Buy a Chinese Cleaver

Before Buying a Chinese Cleaver

When it comes to cutting utensil meant for all purposes, the Chinese cleaver is of no match and none could compare or beat it. Practically, all parts of the knife can be put to great use in one way or another. The edge with the sharp blade is for cutting while the other blunter side is useful for pounding and tenderizing meat. Turning the cleaver on its side and it will be a great smashing tool for ginger and garlic. Besides, it can even be used to transfer ingredients that have been cut from the cutting board to the wok for cooking. The cleaver also comes with additional bonus of the handle's flat end which substitutes nicely as a pestle when required.

It is the blade that matters

Cleavers blades were traditionally made of carbon steel. However, carbon steel is a metal that is prone to rust and that is the problem of using carbon steel as the material. Besides, there will also be a tendency of having a metallic taste in the food. Today, well-known cookbook authors recommend using cleaver made of stainless steel, or at least a combination of stainless steel and carbon steel.

Cleaver or Knife?

Unlike the cleavers of western butcher's, Chinese cleaver should not be used to chop bones even though they look similar. To chop bones, heavier cleavers are required for this job. Instead, the main function of those Chinese Chef's Knife which is also known as a lighter cleavers are meant for slicing vegetables and meat. If you use the lighter cleavers to chop bones, you run the risk of damaging the blade. If you're not sure of the types of cleaver you have at home, just check at the store that you made that purchase.

How to choose a cleaver

Check with a few experts on their most favorite cleaver and the responses will come back in different answers. Just like the flavors of ice cream, selecting a cleaver is rather a personal preference. The most crucial is to find a well made cleaver. Martin Yan, Dexter and J.A. Henckels are amongst some of the better brand names.

In addition, it is also very important when it comes to your level of comfort in handling the cleaver. It should not be too heavy but at the same time feel solid. If you felt your arms to be strained when handling the cleaver, then choose another one. Preparing meals should not be a hard work.

Sharpening the cleaver

It is essential to sharpen the blade of the cleaver regularly. If you attempt to use a dull knife, you will tend to use more forces which can result in unwanted accidents in the kitchen.

To sharpen a cleaver, there are numerous ways to do so. You can use a smooth sandstone to sharpen or using a sharpening steel for the job. Sharpening steels realign the cleaver's blade edge at the molecular level instead of removing the metals.

Maintenance and care for cleavers

Protecting the cleaver's blade is the utmost important thing when it comes to storing or cleaning it. To avoid the risk of damaging it, cleavers ought to be kept in proper knife block. When cleaning a cleaver, the best way is to wash by hand in soapy and warm water. To ensure proper storage, always dry the cleaver thoroughly as stainless steel is not completely rustproof. And always clean the cleaver's blade immediately after you have used it to work with acidic ingredients like tomatoes.

14:55:25 on 05/22/13 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Great kitchen gadgets that do more than just cooking

Home cooked meals are always the best when it comes to eating right and having healthy foods. Preparing and cooking your own foods can be quite an empowering experience by itself. You could make smarter choices with all the fresh ingredients, controlling the amount of oil and fats that goes into your food, as well as the ability to select leaner cuts of meat. With these, it will assist you in gearing towards a healthier lifestyle and better diet.

Never shy away from your own kitchen as cooking a simple pasta dish or making a salad do not require rocket science. And if you need more help to ensure that making your own meals truly work for you, then you should consider investing in some of these great kitchen gadgets if you have not already done so.

A good and useful zester

This is one tool that makes it the easiest way to add freshness and great flavor to any food you cook. The champion of zesting especially for lemons, is the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who is great at it.

Citrus zest, regardless of lime, lemon, grapefruit or even orange contains lots of healthy nutrients too. Medical studies have proven that these citrus fruits could help to lower our cholesterol, serum triglycerides that cause diabetes, and also contain a high levels of antioxidants. Use them on mashed potatoes, salad or roasted cauliflower.

A humble everyday kettle

In some coffee-obsessed countries, it may be quite difficult to switch from coffee to tea. However, drinking simple cups of green tea everyday can help you to slow down the effects of aging due to its antioxidants. There have been medical researches done and many benefits of drinking tea have been documented, such as protecting against cancers, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, burn extra calories and aging gracefully. Use a simple kettle to prepare black tea which can increased your energy and immune system, greet tea for anti-aging and the least processed, as well as rooibos which helps to support respiratory health and liver.

Grilling Tools

Not everyone owns an outdoor barbeque set, but keeping some grilling tools would definitely be handy. Nowadays, grilling can be done indoor using electric griddles or even a stove top grilling pans. The secret to having a leaner meal is to ensure that you fire up that griddle which can limit the amount of fats and oil used. To put it simply, it is healthier to grill. And, grilling does not stop with just vegetables and meat. Try grilling fruits like mangoes, pineapples and peaches for desserts by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon with a little brown sugar. Then savor them drizzled with honey and a dollop of sour cream.

Container for food storage

Food containers are a must and important to have in every home. Ensure those food containers are airtight, and preferably made of high food grade plastic, or glass. They could help to prevent any potential contamination on your food as well as to keep them fresher longer. Once you've got those food containers sorted out, they can be utilized to pre-prepare your meals ahead of a busy week. You can just reheat your food instead of relying on those microwaveable dinners and fast food. Casseroles, roasted chicken and soups are great options to prepare and cook ahead.

01:41:46 on 05/21/13 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -