“If you want to make an apple from the scratch, you have to create the universe first.” – Carl Sagan
Isn’t it far easier to use an apple in spite of making it? What do you think? Hell yeah, man! It’s wiser to eat an apple rather than making a universe. After all, it is almost impossible too. But, do you want apple every day? I don’t think so. Along with veggies, you should try the meats too!
Well, suppose you have already decided to cook some meat for you or your family or friends. You will get plenty of recipes online. After searching several recipes, you will notice that almost everyone will suggest you cut your meat ‘against the grain’. You may become offended by seeing the word ‘against the grain’’ here, there and literally everywhere.
But, doesn’t it make you curious too?! I hope so. If any of these ‘graining’ things go through your brain frequently, I have the remedy of your headache.
In this article, I will try to give you a clear idea about –
- What exactly the ‘grain’ means?
- Why it’s important to slice the meat against the grin?
- The step by step process of slicing the meat against the grain.
- Few extra tips about graining process.
So, without more chit-chat, let’s start exploring.
What Exactly the ‘Grain’ Means?
Slicing is not something that you have to do occasionally. For the meat lovers, it is an everyday task. Slicing your meat properly not only helps to fit it on your plate or mouth, but also make it mushy.
It makes the meat easier to chew and enhancing the flavor. But, whenever you searched for the tips about slicing your meat properly, you will end up with the word “against the grain”.
Cutting against the grain is not rocket science. Actually, it refers to the direction of your cutting. If you notice your meat clearly, you can see some slick and thin fiber. These fivers are parallel to each other and very long in size. The diameter of these fibers is close to the human hair. However, they are easier to find. Usually, they are bundled together into a group of 50-300.
In a single phrase, slicing against the grain refers to slicing against the fibers. The overall idea is cutting the meat parallel to get bigger muscle tissue. It will be better to cut them perpendicularly. Though there is a number of ways to slice your meat, it is the very basic point at the end of the day.
Why It’s Important to Slice Meat against the Grin?
A piece of meat will be always a piece of meat. There is nothing to do with it. What you can do is tenderize its taste. Yes! It’s true.
Actually, slicing your meat against the grain is not a new idea. You will find it in almost every special recipe. So, there must be few special importance of slicing your meat against the grain. Let’s check out little importance –
- Slicing you meat against the grain will make the muscle tissue fibers shorter. These short tissue fibers make your meat tastier than ever.
- The longer pieces of meats are difficult to place on your plate and mouth. If you slice your meat properly, it will easily fit into your mouth. That’s how you will get the best taste of your meat.
- If you slice your meat with the grain, it will result in long bundles of muscle fiber. It is harmful to your teeth to break these fibers. Chewing the smaller pieces is easier to eat.
- The overall taste of your meat also depends on slicing. If you slice your meat against the grain, it will get more spices. These spices will be distributed properly on the meat pieces. It will make your meat more mouthwatering.
- Slicing meat against the grain is also scientifically effective. America’s Test Kitchen proves the superiority of this method by using a CT3 Texture Analyzer from Brookfield Engineering.
The Step By Step Process of Slicing Meat against the Grain:
Slicing meat against the grain is very easy. Just take care of a few things and you are all set. So, what are those things? Let’s check the step by step process of slicing the meat against the grain –
Step 1: Before slicing a meat, at first determine about when do you want to slice that? If you slice the meat before the grain, slice against the grain. But, there is no necessity of slicing against the grain if you make small portions or cubes. However, if you want to slice your meat after cooking, you can take a simple note about the grain direction. Slice your meat against the grain after cooking.
Step 2: Gather the required components to slice your meat properly. A perfect and comfortable knife is highly recommended. Remember, the grain is not like marbling. And you should not be cut your meat like the slaughterers.
At first place your knife perpendicularly. Force it gently against the grain. A gentle effort ensures the maximum effectiveness. So, try to make your knife as sharper as possible.
Step 3: Make sure that the portions are thinner. The thinner, the better. Thinner meats are easier to chew. Use the knife tip to get the best result while cutting. There is a scientifically proved way to make your meat thinner. Tilt your knife at 45-degree angle with the meat. It will increase the slicing area. So, it can break down more muscle fiber and improve tenderness.
Know which is the Best Knife for Cutting Meat
Know which is the Best Knife for Slicing Brisket
Few Extra Tips:
#1. Use a longer slicing knife. A 14 inches long knife with flexible and thin blade seems to be perfect.
#2. Try to make your blade as sharper as possible. A sharper blade will make your slicing not only faster but also smoother. It also requires a very little pressure than the less sharp knives.
#3. Instead of using your knife at straight 90 degrees, tilt the knife as much required.
Knife skills are at the top of any chef’s arsenal, but there are more to become a perfect chef. Having a consummate knowledge about how to slice the meat against the grain is one of them.
After completing this article, hope that now you know about the importance and process of slicing the meat against the grain. So, that’s it. Be bold, slice your meat and make some mouthwatering recipes. You know the famous German writer named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said –
“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”