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"Cut meat against the grain." It's a phrase tossed around by chefs all the time. But what does cutting meat against the grain really mean? More importantly, what does it actually look like?
For starters, it's important to understand why it's helpful to cut meat against the grain. Meat has natural fibers running through it and slicing in the opposite direction helps tenderize the cut. But not all meat is created equal and certain cuts benefit from this technique more than others.
For instance, filet mignon will remain tender regardless of which direction you slice it but tougher cuts like flank and skirt steak end up rubbery if you cut with the grain. Thus, identifying the direction of the meat fibers is paramount, especially because you wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly grilled steak.
Here's a quick video tutorial that will help you master this technique once and for all:
How to Cut Meat Against the Grain