Learn how to cut steak the right way, for juicy and tender results every time
Have you ever read a steak recipe and wondered exactly what is meant when you are instructed to 'slice your steak against the grain'?
Most of the time, you have probably just cut your steak any old way, but it's actually important to cut it correctly! This article will explore how to cut your steak and why you should be cutting it against the grain.
What is the 'grain' in steak?
First of all, let’s start by defining what we mean by the grain. And no, we don’t mean grains like barley!
Instead, we are talking about the direction in which the fibers of the muscle within the steak are aligned. You can see them much more clearly on cuts of steak that are usually tough, like flank or skirt steak. With leaner cuts, like sirloin, the grain can be a little harder to identify.
When cutting against the grain, you should cut through the fibers, thus shortening them, rather than cutting in the direction they run. When cutting, hold your knife at an angle so that it cuts almost diagonally through the steak.
Cutting the muscle fibers in this way breaks them up, which actually makes eating steak easier. It will not be as chewy, which makes it much more tender and delicious.
The importance of resting your steak
Whilst perfectly seasoning and cooking your steak are crucial steps, how you deal with your steak after cooking is equally as important.
Do remember that after cooking, but before slicing, you should always allow your meat to rest. You may disregard this step in many recipes, but you shouldn't because it matters!
Not only is it important to allow your meat to rest to help flavor the steak and allow its juices to redistribute themselves, but it also allows it to reach the perfect consistency for cutting.
It is best to allow your steak to rest for anywhere between 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Using the right knife for the job
Now, don’t spend all this time perfecting your steak and allowing it to rest for an adequate time, only to then go and butcher it with the wrong type of knife!
Always use a good, sharp knife to slice into your steak. You should also use a pair of tongs or a serving fork to hold your steak steady as you slice.
As you slice your steak, be sure to cut off any fat. Most people do not enjoy the fatty parts of steak as it can be quite chewy and tough. You may be tempted to just trim off the fat prior to cooking, but the fat actually helps provide a great deal of flavor. That's why we recommend trimming it afterwards, just before serving.
Now that you know just how to cut steak to perfection, why not try this unique Coffee Rubbed Steak recipe? You might also like to learn how to cook a rib-eye steak - a mouthwatering cut and one of the richest, beefiest steaks available!