Going Against the Grain

For maximum meat tenderness, it’s critical to cut your meat “against the grain”. The grain refers to the direction in which the meat fibre runs. If you carve with the grain, the longer length of the fibre makes the slice of meat chewy. Carving across the grain shortens the length of the fibre, making it far tenderer to eat. Slicing across the grain is a technique used mostly for stir fried dishes where the meat should cook over high heat in the shortest time possible.

Think of the letter T. If the bar on top of the T shows the direction the meat fibre goes, then, position your knife to be the vertical line of the letter T. What you’re aiming for is cutting those long fibres into the shortest possible length because the shorter the fibres, the shorter the cooking time required for the beef to become tender.

Larger cuts, such as roasts, that require carving should also be carved across the grain to ensure maximum tenderness.

across the grain, carving roast, tender meat

Alison Clinch

Alison Clinch has 20 years marketing experience gained in small and medium size business. She is especially passionate about supporting local communities, communications, and brand management. In her role with The Free Range Butcher Alison is responsible for the company’s branding, promotion, advertising and website. Her experience in the kitchen and passion for good food also brings refreshing new ideas for our recipe suggestions. Initially working alongside her husband Ben at the farmers markets, Alison is more ‘behind the scenes’ now, and keeping busy with two young apprentices’ / kids, Tom and Georgia.


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