How to Cut Meat Against the Grain & Obtain the Perfect Meat Slice

By Eric Mitchell •  Updated: Jul 15, 2023 •  4 min read

In this article we’re gonna learn how to cut meat against the grain or simply put against the flow of the muscle fibers and why professional cookbooks recommend it.

Professional cooks know that when meat is cut against the grain, it gets a smooth texture and tenderness that makes it easier to chew. For those who don’t know, meat grain refers to the direction of the muscle fibers in meat streak. Meat cut across the grain is naturally rough and hard to chew.

Cut Meat Against the Grain

Why You Should Cut the Meat Against the Grain

Here’s why you should cut the meat against the grain as recommended by professional cooks and backed by scientific studies.

1. It Tenderizes And Softens Meat

Cutting against the muscle fibers running either horizontally or vertically alongside the steak cuts short the tissue fibers. In other words, when meat is cut against the grains, the tissue and muscle fibers are shortened and you get the best cuts.

Since the muscle and tissue fibers are some of the contributing factors in making meat feel rough and roughly textured, when shortened, the meat texture will be softened.

Softer meat cooks faster and tastes juicier. This simply means that when cutting meat against the grain one great way to boost its tenderness and softness.

2. Makes Meat Chewable

As said earlier, meat cut against the natural tissue fibers is naturally tender and soft. It cooks better and faster. It also tastes better and feels smooth while in the mouth.

Eating meat that’s cut against the grains is easier as it is easily chewable. Cutting meat along the grains leave extensive bundles of strongly attached muscle fibers. Cooking the meat won’t detach the strong muscle fibers from each other.

That simply means that you will have to tear them apart using your teeth which make the chewing experience very tough. Hence if you wouldn’t want a situation when you won’t enjoy eating your favorite meat even after cooking it for lengthy periods, you must ensure you go against the grains when slicing the meat regardless of whether you use a knife or a meat slicer.

3. Make Your Foods Likeable

Preparing meat-infused recipes may seem easy and fun. But that’s until you spend several hours preparing the most delicious recipe you have ever thought of only for your loved ones to question your cooking skills.

Pro chefs understand that preparing meat recipes is a lengthy process and requires observing the right details from the word go. Slicing your meat properly is an essential step you cannot omit when preparing meat recipes.

When wrong sliced, the meat won’t cook well and chewing it will be a real hassle. That’s why you have to make sure you slice your meat against the grains. Doing so will make it soft and tender hence ensuring it will cook fast and properly. Cooking well-sliced meat results in a perfect dish that is not only enjoyable but also scrumptious.

How To Cut Meat Against The Grain

It is obvious that cutting meat against the grain is the way to go. That’s based on expert recommendations and cookbook guidelines. Knowing how to go about cutting meat against the grain is important if you wouldn’t want to spoil your meal.

Before cutting, though, you might want to freeze the meat as it makes cutting easier and also makes your dishes more nutritious. Here are a few reasons why you should freeze your meat before cooking.

  1. The first step to accurately cut meat against the grain is to check the direction of the grain.
  2. Once you know how the grain runs, you should then get the right knife or meat slicer. Make sure the blade of the cutting machine you want to use is sharp
  3. Cut the meat to your preferred sizes ready for cooking.

Remember always to clean the equipment afterwards.


Cutting meat against the grain is smoother and easier when slicing tougher pieces of meat with strong bundles of fiber. No matter the size of the meat and how thin the pieces you want to slice it into are, you have to make sure that you cut it against the grain.

Always make sure you get the right knife or meat slicer for the job if you want to get clean and accurate results.

If you have never cut meat against the grain before, it will be best you get lessons with one of the professional chefs online.

There are lots of Youtube videos that offer training and guidelines on how to efficiently cut meat against the grain too. Make sure to study them properly and follow them to the latter.

Eric Mitchell

Eric is the owner, author, content director and founder of He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.

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