A Sharp Knife Is Critical For Slicing Beef Perfectly For Cheesesteaks

thin beef on philly cheesesteak
thin beef on philly cheesesteak - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

While thinly slicing beef might not seem like the most important step in crafting a perfect Philly cheesesteak, how the meat is cut can make or break the whole sandwich. There is a single tool that is the backbone behind the art of slicing beef with precision. Achieving that signature melt-in-your-mouth texture requires a sharp knife, which is often overlooked but absolutely critical.

Why is a sharp knife so indispensable? And why is very thin beef imperative for a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich? It's all about texture and flavor. Getting an incredibly tender, delicate texture hinges on the ability of your knife to effortlessly glide through the meat, leaving behind clean, even slices without tearing or shredding. With thin, even cuts, the flavors of the meat can shine alongside the gooey cheese and caramelized onions stacked in the sandwich. Not only is the thinly cut beef traditional for cheesesteaks, but it also allows all of the ingredients to meld perfectly. This is, in part, because of its consistent ratio in each bite once the meat and toppings are chopped together as they cook. Plus, thin slices cook quickly and uniformly, resulting in perfectly cooked strips of steak that are ready to be piled high on a hoagie roll.

Read more: 15 Best Knife Brands, Ranked

Test Your Knife On An Old Sheet Of Newspaper

slicing meat with a sharp knife
slicing meat with a sharp knife - Mapo/Getty Images

So, how sharp does your knife need to be to achieve this level of precision? The answer lies in its ability to effortlessly cut through the beef without resistance. A very sharp knife should glide through the meat like butter, leaving behind clean, smooth slices with each pass.

One simple trick to tell if your knife is sharp enough is to test it on a sheet of newspaper. A truly sharp knife should slice through the newspaper with ease, leaving clean edges behind. If your knife struggles to cut through the newspaper or tears it instead, it's time to sharpen that blade.

When making Philly cheesesteaks, a mistake to avoid at all costs is using a serrated knife when slicing beef. While serrated knives excel at cutting through bread or delicate pastries, they're not suited for slicing meat. Instead of clean slices made by pressing down through the steak, a serrated knife is more likely to saw and tear the beef, resulting in a shredded or jagged texture for your sandwich.

So sharpen those blades, slice with confidence, and prepare to savor every delicious bite of your homemade Philly cheesesteak.

Read the original article on Tasting Table