How to Cut Meat Against the Grain

CATEGORIES: How To...

I recently asked my Instagram audience what struggles they had working with raw meat and a huge number of people were confused at the instruction to “cut meat against the grain”.  I did this quick video series to explain it and I wanted to share it here, as well!

What is the “grain” when talking about meat?

The grain refers to the muscle fibers.  Think of them as lines or strings of tissue throughout the meat.  All meat has a grain.  If you look at a piece of meat (raw or cooked) look for the visible “lines”.   Cutting against the grain, means to cut perpendicular to those lines.

Why is it important to cut against the grain?

It’s important because meat cut in the wrong direction turns out chewy and unpleasant, while meat cut against the grain chews easily and falls apart in your mouth (a good thing!)

If you’d like to put this into practice with a flank steak as shown in the video, try one of these!

Garlic Balsamic Flank Steak

Sweet and Savory Flank Steak

Chili Lime Flank Steak

Pineapple Rosemary Flank Steak

5 comments

  1. I wish I could convey to you how helpful that was to me! Thank you so much. I am not a big fan of meat at all… I hate handling it, I hate cutting it, I hate cooking it… but my family loves it. I just feel like I’ve never really figured it out, so this helps me a lot!
    Thank you!

  2. I’d love some info or a link on different cuts of meat and what they’re used for. It seems like whenever one of your recipes calls for a specific cut, my grocery store doesn’t carry it and I’m left to find an alternative that hardly ever works out the way I wanted.

  3. Thanks for sharing this as it can be confusing. Maybe you could do one for chicken too as the lines are a little less obvious.

  4. This is so helpful! I never realized I was cutting my meat the wrong way. I googled chicken and it has a grain that I have been ignoring also. Oops. Here is to more tender meat!

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