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Cleaver for coconuts

Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:08 pm

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm shopping for a cleaver to chop/cut hard winter squash and soft coconuts. I was looking at the bone chopper cleaver, but I don't know whether that one would be the right one. Could you please suggest the best cleaver for that purpose.

Thank you.

Best, jd

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:04 am

If you want a general pick get this. It will cleave through almost anything including rough stuff like coconuts.

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:07 am

Here is the thread with the questions you can answer. You actually found the knife I would recommend for general rough use so that may be the one to get. The knife is a beast and will work on chopping trees down in your back yard if you need it.


Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:18 am

Mr. Richmond,

I've registered, viewed the board numerous times, have not received an answer/recommendation.

My intent was to skip exhaustive research since I know little about cutlery and have little spare time.

I bought a sharpening stone from chefknivestogo a few months ago and was pleased with both product and service. It's regrettable that you are unable to help me. -jd

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:19 am

I just posted the question last night...... I would say an answer to your question in less than 24 hours would be pretty good service which I just provided to you on our forum. I posted it right before I went home from a long week of work where I answered about 250 product questions. Today is my day off before I go back to work tomorrow and start again.

The board is full of my best customers and they are volunteers not employees. So I can't tell them all to jump on each thread as soon as they're posted. I started the forum to give my customers access to second opinions for knives that I recommend. That said they don't parrot my responses nor do they feel compelled to answer stuff that doesn't interest them. If you check back tomorrow I'm sure you will have a couple responses. Giving more details about your budget, if you know how to sharpe, if you're right handed etc would help get people interested in helping you.

The knife you found is the one I would pick for most people cutting soft coconuts and winter squash. It's a thick heavy cleaver that uses soft carbon steel and it should cut almost anything.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richmond

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:59 am

I dont use a cleaver for my coconuts. I use a machete to peel them, and I use either my Wusthof chef knives or my Tojiro western Deba http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpwede21.html to open them. Gourds I use the same knives...

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:36 pm

Melampus wrote:I use a machete to peel them
would definitely be effect and I would love to see a bunch people with Rambo machetes running around a professional kitchen. :lol:

You don't really need a heavy knife for these tasks in my experience as a home cook.

Coconuts(I love coconut, but I'm sure there are varieties I have not handled): can be opened by using the back of a knife, hammer or anything else you want to use to for whacking it. Whack along the equator turning the coconut as you go; it should split right open. A non-rounded spine seems to give me the cleanest split. Draining the coconut first (when applicable) also seems to aid in a more even split, but I'm not sure why this would have an effect.

Winter squash: microwave it for a little bit and it will soften right up. At that point any non-flexible gyuto should cut it with ease. Microwaving for a short bit to soften up has not effect on taste in my experience. Note from personal experience for squash with an empty middle section be sure to poke a hole in it first so it doesn't explode :oops:

Re: Cleaver for coconuts

Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:07 pm

MARK <> I have never worked in nor run a professional kitchen in which whole mature raw coconuts were utilized regularly - young coconuts as originally mentioned is a different story (to an extent), but I have most definitely implemented my machete in the implied exceptions. The length and flexibility of the machete is paramount to levering the husk off the nut. The nut itself can then be opened in the method you mention.

This though is not exactly what JD was asking as he was asking about soft coconuts... aka young coconuts. Their shell has not developed into a nut yet, and they are soft enough to be sliced open with a heavy knife such as the Wusthof cooks or Tojiro Western Deba I reference. These knives are absolutely necessary in this application. These coconuts still have a husk that need be peeled, but mostly when purchased in a grocery such as Whole Foods Market, they have already been shaved - half way. I mention the machete in my post because this is not an absolute. I pick young coconuts all the time and have to hull them... necessitating the machete - at work or home.

Acorn squash, butternut, kabocha, etc... honestly, I usually use whatever knife, even JK, I have, but depending on how I have to cut it. The safe way, the appropriate way, is with a soft steel knife or with a heavy JK like the Western Deba.
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