How to Slice the Beef/Meat Against the Grain?

What is meant by Grain of Beef/Meat?

What is meant by Grain of Beef/Meat
Grain of Beef/Meat

The word grain is commonly used for seeds of wheat, rice, or other cereal crops. The grain of meat refers to the direction of fiber muscles running parallel to the piece of meat. Cutting against the grain will change your dish’s taste, tenderness, and cooking time. You can slice both raw and cooked meat with the help of a meat slicer and knife.

Why is it Important to Slice the Beef Against the Grain?

You often hear, “Slice thinly against the grains”. What does it exactly mean, and why do we do so? Cutting or slicing the meat against the grain is very important because it will tender meat, and you can easily chew it. The fibers of the meat remain intact, so it will be easy to hold. The fibres get sliced into smaller portions when you cut the meat against the direction. This helps in chewing meat, and your teeth will no longer need to be cut them again. It will be an easy task for teeth to separate them from one another. On the other hand, if you have cut it in the same direction as the meat, it will be difficult for teeth to separate and chew the meat.

Slicing the Beef/Meat Against the Grain

Slicing against the Grain with a knife

  • Find the grain: Firstly, identify the fibers; look for uniform long muscle running down and through an entire piece of meat. The muscles of the fiber run parallel to one another.
  • Cut against the grain: Put the piece of meat on the cutting board. Take a sharp knife and cut through the meat against the grain. Check your first slice to make sure that you have cut rightly. Then slice the whole meat using the same method. It will keep the entire muscles of fiber intact.
    Slicing against the Grain with a knife
    Slicing with the knife against the grain

Slicing against the Grain with a meat slicer

You can also slice meat in a meat slicer against the grain.

  • Turn on your meat slicer, and don’t forget to wear safety gloves.
  • Adjust your desired thickness by rotating the adjustment knob anticlockwise.
  • Place the meat on the surface, and check for the grain direction.
  • Start the slicing process, stop for a minute and check the first slice.
  • Then slice the whole piece of meat in the same way.
  • The slicing process is complete; turn off the slicer, let it cool, and then clean.
    Slicing against the Grain with a meat slicer
    Slicing with meat slicer against the grain

Slicing Raw Beef Against the Grain

Commonly, we slice meat before cooking when it is in raw form. You can cut grains against the meat when it is uncooked. You have to make sure that knife or slicer is against the grain direction. Sawing back and forth, slices can be easily cut.

Slicing Cooked Beef Against the Grain

Slicing Cooked Beef Against the Grain
Slicing Cooked Beef Against the Grain with knife

It’s a little bit harder to see strips on raw meat. You can look definitely when you cook it. So, you can take a piece of meat, cook it in a pan, and let it rest for a few minutes. After cooking, you can see the grains parallel the beef meat.

Cutting Against The Grain – Why & How? (Video Tutorial)


How to slice beef meat against the grain - Getsliceright Infographic
How to slice beef meat against the grain – Getsliceright Infographic

The perfection of the dish also depends on how you have cut it. Cutting against the grain is not a difficult task. Just follow the right direction, cut, and enjoy your dish.