Meat will always have a special place on the dinner table. Luckily, there are plenty of meat dishes one can cook to please every diner of discerning taste. However, handling meat for cooking is challenging for everyone, especially rookies in the kitchen. Aside from choosing the best meat for the recipe, one must also learn how to slice the meat thin, as some recipes require. If you are one of those who is wondering how to slice those meats thinly to suit your chosen dish, here are some tips for beginners.
Knife vs Machine
Arguably, there are meat slicers that can do the trick. You can ask the person manning the meat section to slice it for you when shopping for the meat. Unfortunately, fewer groceries or supermarkets offer this service, or nobody is available when you need them. However, if you don’t own a meat slicer machine and prefer very thinly sliced beef, it is not too difficult to do it by hand.
There is also an option to buy an already sliced product. However, the sizes and thicknesses may vary. Chefs recommend that cooks do the slicing themselves to ensure uniformity and to be able to follow the instructions provided by the cookbook or recipe.
However, not everyone can slice the meat well as they do not have the proper tool—the meat knife. If one intends to slice meat in various shapes and sizes, it is best to search the market and invest in a meat knife.
Choosing the Knife
Luckily, there are plenty of knives available on the market. Unfortunately, the number of knives may also need to be clarified for the less experienced cooks, as knives come in different blades and sizes to suit various needs. When looking to slice meat, it is best to invest in carving and slicing knives, as these two are designed to slice meats.
These knives often come with long blades and pointed tips to ensure clean cuts of the product. They are usually anywhere between eight to 14 inches in length. These long blades are necessary to ensure that chunks of meat can be cut into even slices.
What to Look For In a Knife
More is needed to know that carving and slicing knives are the best for slicing meat in precise cuts. One also has to keep in mind some considerations in purchasing the knife.
For starters, purchasing one with an ergonomic handle is highly recommended. This is advisable as slicing meats with an uncomfortable grip may affect the quality of the cut.
- Triple-riveted design
One can consider buying a knife with a triple-riveted design.
- Finger points or guard
Other features of the handle may also include textured finger points and finger guards.
- Stainless steel
It is best to go for a knife with a high-quality stainless steel blade. This is because stainless steel is the best material for knives, particularly carving and slicing.
- Protective cover
Also, one has to consider the protective sheath that often comes with the knife. Having a cover for the item will ensure longer life and less rusting.
How To Slice Raw Meat
Slicing raw meats is one of the most challenging tasks for a beginner cook. Luckily, some steps can be followed to ensure evenly cut raw meat.
Step 1: Freeze the meat.
The first step in cutting raw meat is placing it in the freezer and leaving it there for 20 to 30 minutes. Cold meat is more comfortable to slice than meat at room temperature.
Step 2: Quality-check the knife.
The next step is to check on the knife and its blade. Is the blade sharp enough? Keep in mind that blades end up being dull over time. And as such, cooks should sharpen their knives now and then. It would be hard to cut meat using a blunt blade.
Step 3: Slice away.
After ensuring that you have a sharp knife, you can proceed to slicing.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and go fetch the cutting board.
- Place the piece on the chopping board.
- Check the direction of the meat’s grain and ensure that it’s where you would cut the meat. Knowing the meat’s grain is easy because meats have distinct lines that are very much visible to the naked eye.
- Now, start slicing and ensure that each piece or slice is as big as the previous one.
How To Slice Meat Thin: Dealing With Cooked Meat
Slicing cooked meat is almost the same as slicing it raw.
- After cooking, remove the meat from the heat and leave it for 10 minutes.
- Check for the meat’s grain and slice towards the edge as closely as possible. Use your free hand or the one not holding the knife to pin the meat on the chopping board.
- Continue slicing and ensure that each slice is identical to the others.
Other Tips for Cutting Meat
Learning how to slice the meat thin is not rocket science. Of course, cutting the meat as evenly as possible takes some practice. Still, the first-timer will not easily slice meat in almost identical dimensions.
However, cutting meat is just one of the things to learn when cooking. Follow some advice on preparing meat well to ensure one creates the best recipe.
You may not be known as one of the great chefs yet, but if you want to begin your journey to becoming one, learning how to slice meat can be a great starting point.