Beef jerky pieces in the air on a white background
How You Cut The Beef For Jerky Makes A World Of Difference
Although it may not seem like it, how the meat in beef jerky is cut plays a vital part in the snack. It impacts the texture, flavor, and overall eating experience.
Cutting the jerky relies on understanding the meat grain — the direction the meat fibers are going. When preparing jerky, you have two choices: cut with or against the grain.
Cutting with the grain is ideal for those who prefer tougher, chewier jerky. On the other hand, cutting against the grain results in tenderer, easier-to-chew jerky.
The direction of your cut also influences how the jerky dries. Cutting against the grain exposes more muscle fiber, allowing it to dry more quickly and evenly.
Other tips for cutting the jerky include trimming the fat from the beef to preserve it longer. The slice thickness is another critical factor, with the ideal being ⅛ to ¼ inch.
Ensure you always use a sharp knife for clean, precise cuts. A dull blade can tear the meat fibers, resulting in a rough texture and thick slices of jerky.