How To Slice Meat Against The Grain


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Grain and Beef

“Slice the meat against the grain” is found in the instructions for many recipes. You’ve probably seen that written countless times and if you didn’t know how to find the grain, you might have guessed and crossed your fingers.

When I was a newlywed, I remember flipping the meat over about ten times trying to figure out where and what the grain was.

When working with most beef, it is important to slice the meat across (or against) the grain of the meat. The meat is made of long muscle fibers all lined up in a row.

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You want to slice across the muscle fibers (also called the grain of the meat) and break them into the smallest sections possible. By slicing across those fibers, the meat won’t be tough at all and it will be wonderfully tender.

In this short video, I’ll show you how to find the grain of the meat and how to slice it, in order to get the most tender bites possible.

Check out these recipes to make the most of that perfectly sliced beef!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Mary says

      Thanks, Sue! The muscle fibers in chicken aren't nearly as tough as beef, but it's still worth it to pay attention to the grain.

  1. Cherylynn says

    Thank you for taking the time to explain this. I believe there are many cooks or aspiring cooks who don’t know this and were too embarrassed to ask thinking it was something they should know. How-to’s are really nice addition to cooking site.