Slicing flank steak against the grain is a crucial step to ensure tender and juicy meat. The grain refers to the direction of the muscle fibers in the meat. Slicing against the grain means cutting perpendicular to those fibers, which shortens them and makes them easier to chew.

Why is it important to slice flank steak against the grain?

Flank steak is a lean cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s flavorful but also tough due to its position in the animal’s body and its high level of connective tissue. Slicing against the grain helps break down those tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender and enjoyable eating experience.

Step-by-step guide for slicing flank steak against the grain

1. Start by letting your cooked flank steak rest for about 10 minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and moist.

2. Identify which way the muscle fibers are running by looking at your cooked steak. You should be able to see long lines or striations on one side of the meat.

3. Place your steak on a cutting board with those lines running horizontally in front of you.

4. Use a sharp knife, preferably a carving knife or a chef’s knife, to cut thin slices against those lines. Make sure you’re cutting through all layers of meat, not just superficially on top.

5. Keep your knife at a slight angle, around 45 degrees, while slicing across each strip of meat.

6. Repeat this process until you have sliced all of your flank steak into thin pieces.

  • Tip:
    • If you’re having trouble identifying which way the muscle fibers are running, try gently pulling on one end of your cooked flank steak with a fork or tongs.
    • The muscle fibers should easily separate and reveal their direction.


Slicing flank steak against the grain is a simple but crucial step to ensure tender and juicy meat. By following these steps, you can make sure your flank steak is sliced correctly and tastes delicious. So next time you’re cooking flank steak, don’t forget to slice it against the grain for a better eating experience!