What is “the grain”?
A piece of meat is made up of a group of long muscle fibers that lay parallel to each other. The grain is the direction of those long parallel muscle fibers.
Take this flank steak as an example:
Do you see the long streaks on this flank steak? Those lines are the grain.
Not all grain is the same though. It’s harder to identify the grain on leaner cuts such as the strip steak since it’s a tender/weaker muscle cut.
Why is it important to cut across the grain?
Cutting across the grain will be the deciding factor of whether or not you eat a tender steak vs. a tough steak.
When it comes to grass-fed meat, you can have an even more difficult time eating a steak that wasn’t cut across the grain. Grass-fed animals are more active and tend to be a lot leaner than conventional grain-fed animals therefore this naturally makes the meat a little tougher and less forgiving of cooking or cutting error.
Want a more in-depth explanation of “across the grain”? Read the full article on our blog by clicking here.