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How to Slice Steak

Slicing Steak Perfectly

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Grilled Skirt Steak

Grilled Skirt Steak

Photo © Molly Watson
Slicing larger steaks - from super-tender rib-eye to usually tough flank - creates multiple and flexible portions. It is a way of stretching more expensive cuts to feed more people, as well as rendering more economical cuts fork-tender. Whether you're cooking up a tri-tip for a Santa Maria Barbeque or a skirt steak for fajitas, here are a few tips for slicing steak to the best effect:
  1. Let the meat rest before cutting it. Smaller cuts need just 10 minutes, larger ones can benefit from being left to sit off the heat for up to 30 minutes. Resting lets the juices in the meat settle down and redistribute evenly though the beef, a process that creates a more evenly cooked and juicier steak.
  2. Use the sharpest knife you can find. This will help cut cleanly through the meat and avoid that ragged and slightly torn effect that duller knives can produce.
  3. Slice across the grain. Whether you're slicing filet mignon or skirt steak, cutting the meat across the grain will yield the most tender slices. Do this by cutting perpendicular to the long parallel muscle fibers in the meat - that way the fibers (which are where most of the toughness comes in) in each piece are as short (and thus as tender) as possible.

Serve steak slices on their own, or in sandwiches or on salads.

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