How To Cut Steak Across the Grain

How-to Article

How To Cut Steak Across the Grain

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Things To Grab

  • Steak
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

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    Almost every recipe asks you to "cut steak across the grain" when preparing or serving. The grain of the steak is referring to the direction the muscle fibers run within the piece of meat. Cutting against the grain means to cut through the fibers and make them shorter. This makes the meat more tender and easier to chew. 

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    1. When it comes to flat iron, flank, hanger, and skirt steaks, the grain is apparent because it is a tougher cut of meat with less fat. These steaks have very long muscle fibers known as "the grain."

      Cutting these fibers across, rather than parallel, makes for shorter muscle fibers that attribute to a more tender, and less chewy, steak.

      In the photo above, see the subtle lines running through the slab of steak, and notice how the knife is cutting through those lines, rather than parallel to the lines. That's what "cutting against the grain" means!

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    2. More tender cuts of meat, such as rib eye, tenderloin, t-bone, and porterhouse steaks are harder to identify the grain. Make sure to take a good look at your steak before cutting into them. If you begin cutting into a steak and realize that you are cutting with the grain instead of against the grain, you can reorient your steak and begin again. 

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