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You've likely heard the term "cutting against the grain," but what *exactly* does it mean? Butcher and author of "The Everyday Meat Guide," Ray Venezia, joined Rach to break it down for us — literally!
"We do not have cutting teeth so no matter how you cook the meat, [it's] not going to be tender if you don't cut it against the grain where you shorten the fibers," Ray explains, "so when we mash down it comes apart."
Demonstrating on a flank steak, Ray pointed out the lines of the muscles that are going across horizontally. Instead of cutting along those lines, you cut across it. When you look inside the cut piece, you will see criss-crosses (instead of lines) which means it'll come apart when you chew.
(See what we mean in the video above!)
People tend to not cut across the grain when it comes to poultry, but Ray says it's extremely important.
"Especially the breast because if it's tough, they'll blame the cook or the chicken, not the way it was sliced," Ray says. Even though cutting against the grain on a chicken breast will make the cut smaller than what you're used to, it'll be more tender.
Not sure how to spot the muscle lines? "It looks like grain in wood," Rach says.