How Do You Find The Grain Of Meat?

Ahh, steak. Just look at it there, resting, retaining its juicy glory until it's time to slice. Okay, is it rested? Are you sure, or has it really only been like, four minutes and the meat smells are causing impatience? Good, now let's find the grain and slice against it.

Wait! First, make sure your steak needs to be sliced against the grain! Is it a flank, london broil, brisket, flatiron, skirt or other cut typically served sliced instead of whole? Cause if it's not, the grain is a lot harder to find, which is fine because it's also a lot less important — cut your own filets and porterhouses the way you like. And on the others, locate the direction the "lines" or fibers of the meat are running.

Once located (and don't let grill marks confuse you, break out the reading glasses if you must), hold your knife perpendicular to the grain and begin slicing. If you slice with the grain, you'll end up with long strands of muscle fiber (also known as meat) that will be whatever the opposite of tender and juicy is. Rubbery and gross?

Slicing the long muscle fibers found in tougher, more "grained" cuts into short lengths is what makes these dense cuts tender enough to eat without chewing 40 times. If you rest it enough and follow the path against the grain, you'll have a steak you can be proud of, seeing as you already took the time to tenderize it in beer.

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