The Freezing Tip To Get The Thinnest Meat Slices For Your Stir-Fry

Whether you're using beef, chicken, or pork as your protein, one of the keys of a good stir-fry is using thin, evenly cut slices of meat. Although supermarkets often sell pre-cut chunks of meat for use in stir-fries, they're usually a little too thick — ideally, you want slices of meat for stir-fries to be around ¼ inch thick or even thinner. And unless you have a meat slicer at home, it's difficult to cut raw meat that thin. Raw meat is soft and slippery and has a tendency to slide around your cutting board when you're trying to cut it, which can be dangerous. It's also difficult to make clean precise cuts that way.

Rather than give up on making stir-fries at home, or having to run out to get a meat slicer, there's an easy freezing tip for getting the thinnest slices of meat at home. All you need is a little bit of time: simply pat your meat dry, place it on a baking sheet, and stick it in the freezer for around 30 minutes (give or take, depending on how big the piece of meat is). That time in the freezer will firm the meat up and make it super easy to then thinly cut it with a knife.

Tips for the best stir fry

Once you're ready to cut the meat, take it out of the freezer and place it on a sturdy wooden cutting board that won't move around. A butcher knife will be your best bet, but if you don't have one, a chef's knife will work as well. Don't use a serrated knife, as they don't cut as cleanly or precisely. Whichever knife you use, just make sure that your knife is sharp. If it isn't, sharpen it before you start cutting.

You also want to cut the meat against the grain for more tender results, especially if you're working with a tougher cut of meat. If the meat doesn't cut easily, then it's not firm enough and you should place it back in the freezer for a little longer. After cutting your meat but before cooking it, don't forget the velvet the meat, which is the Chinese cooking technique to achieve the most tender meats. For the perfect stir-fry, use a wok, cook at high heat without overcrowding the wok, and ideally cook your meat separately from your vegetables — vegetables tend to release liquid as they cook, which will make it difficult if not impossible for the meat to achieve a nice sear.