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"grain of the meat"

Discussion in 'Beef' started by duggy, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. I feel like an idiot for not understanding this but I've been looking at pictures of meat and ...i just can't tell. The specific type of meat that i'm looking at is tri tip because I heard you have to cut it against the grain and not alongside it. But I can't seeem to find the "grain of the meat." What exactly am I looking for? Are there lines on the meat  or something?
  2. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    sort of, think if it as string cheese. ya know how you can grab a little piece of it and pull it up lengthwise........this is with the grain. you want to cut that string or across the grain in order to make it more tender.


    on this flank steak you would want to slice it from side to side and not from top to bottom.
  3. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Rob just gave you a simple and great explanation, just another friendly guy with a great tip. It's all good my friend.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great explanation Rob
  5. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    BRAVO  ROB!!!!!

  6. ah thanks for the info. But one question, are those lines that are showing on that picture on all types of meat? Is the grain of the meat that noticeable?
  7. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    yay Rob never thought of it that way
  8. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    no they are not......one thing is you need to know your muscle and it's shape. a fillet is a good example, the tenderloin is a long muscle and you know in order to make filets, you need to cut against the grain since the long strands make up this muscle. NY's and ribeyes are like this too.......
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Yes you gave us a great explanation of the grain on meat there Rob. Now on a tri-tip doesn't the grain change directions and make almost a right turn in the hunk of meat. It's almost like a boomerang isn't it.
  10. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    marl, that's why i said if you know your muscle and it's shape it will help......also when meat is raw it is a good time to check how it's "built"
  11. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    For the tri tip, you need to start at the apex (or blunt end) and slice perpendicular to the points. Picture your tri tip like you had one end of a boomerang in your right hand and the other in your left with the point facing away from you, the grain of the meat is running from your chest to the apex so you would slice it from one hand to the other..