Have you ever read a recipe that tells you to slice your steak against the grain? What does “against the grain” mean exactly? Take a look at your meat before or after you cook it, and you should notice lines that run in one direction. These lines are string-like fibers of muscle and are considered the grain. (You will typically notice these lines in meats such as skirt steak, flank steak, London broil and brisket.) When meat is sliced the wrong way, these fibers can be extremely difficult to chew. This is where cutting against the grain can make your meal much more enjoyable!
Instead of cutting along the lines that are evident in your steak, cut across or through them. This will cut these long fibers into much smaller ones, making the meat easier to eat and more tender. If you cut along the lines, the fibers will still be one long strand, making the meat very hard to chew and likely to get caught in your teeth. Try slicing your steak thinly, at a 45 degree angle against the grain and enjoy!