Carving a chicken breast or slicing a steak doesn't have to be a daunting task. With this guide, you'll be an expert at cutting meat against the grain in no time. Here's your quick and easy step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Why Against The Grain?
Against the grain? Sounds like a cooking term you'd hear on an episode of Chopped. And if you're not familiar with it, you're probably wondering what it means.
In the culinary world, "against the grain" refers to the direction in which the muscle fibers run in the meat. When you cut against the grain, you're essentially cutting across those muscle fibers, which results in shorter, more tender pieces of meat.
If you've ever had a piece of steak that was tough and chewy, it's probably because it was cut with the grain instead of against it. So, if you want to avoid that mistake, make sure you're cutting your meat against the grain from now on.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's get to the quick how-to!
How To Cut Meat Against The Grain
Step 1: Place your piece of meat on a cutting board. If it's a particularly large or thick piece, you may need to use a kitchen table or countertop.
Step 2: Identify the grain. The grain is the direction that the muscle fibers are aligned in the meat. Once you've found the grain, you'll want to cut perpendicular to it.
If you're having trouble finding the grain, just look for the lines running through the meat. Those lines are parallel to the grain. To make sure you're cutting against the grain, just hold your knife at a 90-degree angle to those lines.
Step 3: Using a sharp knife, make long, slow strokes against the grain of the meat. It's important to go slowly at first so that you don't inadvertently cut yourself. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the speed. Just be sure to apply even pressure so that all of the strokes are uniform in length and depth.
Once you start slicing, you might find that the grain changes directions. If that happens, just adjust your grip and continue slicing. It's really that simple!
Step 4: Keep going until you've cut the entire piece of meat into strips or chunks that are against the grain. And that's it! You're done. Now enjoy your beautifully cut meat—and impressing everyone at the dinner table.
So there you have it—an easy guide on how to cut meat against the grain. With this simple technique, you'll be able to take your cooking skills to the next level. So go ahead and give it a try—with a little practice, you'll be a pro in no time!
Tips & Tricks
If you are looking for a best carbon steel knife to cut the meat, check this blog post from Casa Catalog, and select the one that fits you most.
Once cutting meat and you can't finish all the meat, you can to store and reserve your remaining meat using the vacuum method. Check out the 2 blog posts from Fadfindings to purchase the best vacuum sealer from the 6 top picks and find out how long the vacuum sealed meat will last.
Need a cutting board for raw meat? Make sure to check out our guide on the best cutting boards for raw meat. We have reviewed and rated the top 5 cutting boards on the market, so you can be sure to find the perfect one for your needs!