Flavor and texture come together wonderfully with versatile and affordable skirt steak.
If you’re grilling at home, indoors, or out, the humble skirt steak is something that you must try.
Cooked right, you’ll enjoy some of the best steak that you’ve ever had, and it will become a go-to option for family dinners, holidays, and special occasions.
Learn all about this steak and see our tips for getting great results on your grill.
A Flavorful and Surprisingly Affordable Cut of Beef
The skirt steak is big on flavor, but it’s also one of the toughest cuts out there.
There are vast networks of connective tissue throughout skirt steak, so preparation and cooking are critical to getting tender, juicy, and flavorful results on your grill.
It is long and thin, typically trimmed around a half-inch thick.
Most butchers will sell skirts around 20 to 24 inches in length.
A single cut typically provides enough grilled meat for four to six people, but you may want to cook several when entertaining guests for a special occasion.
- Skirt steak has a thick grain and is a tough cut from the underside of cattle.
- It is known as a beef plate primal cut.
- Skirt should always be cooked quickly on a searing hot grill.
The affordability of skirt steak makes it a popular option.
It has an intensely beefy flavor that works with a variety of meals spanning cuisines from around the world.
The Best Cooking Temperature for Skirt Steak
Because skirt steak is naturally tough and high in connective tissues, it needs a specific temperature to prevent it from becoming overly chewy.
Like all steaks, the skirt benefits from high grilling temperatures to get a nice, dark sear on either side.
You want your grill to be hot, which means allowing lots of air into a charcoal grill or turning a gas grill to its high setting.
As a thinner cut, skirt steak usually only needs two to three minutes per side.
Aim for medium-rare.
This will cook the steak to a safe temperature while allowing just enough tenderness for mouthwatering results.
A temperature probe will make the whole process easier because you’ll be able to check the exact temperature at the thickest part of the steak.
For the best results, cook the steak to medium rare with an interior temperature of 135°F (57°C) to 145°F (62°C).
Aim for the lower end of the range as the steak will continue to cook through after it’s removed from the grilling surface.
A meat thermometer/probe makes it easier to get the perfect steak.
This Lavatools Javelin PRO Instant Read Meat Thermometer is a reliable and affordable option that you can use for all kinds of ingredients on your grill or in your kitchen.
Should You Marinate Skirt Steak?
The intense flavor of skirt steak makes it ideal for marinating because the introduced flavors won’t overpower the natural flavor of the meat.
The choice of marinade is entirely up to you.
Skirt can be used in everything from fajitas and tacos to Asian stir fry.
Because the skirt is a tough cut, a flavorful marinade will have the bonus of breaking down some of the connective tissue and tenderizing the meat.
You can use any type of marinade that you prefer, although some ingredients work particularly well.
- Balsamic vinegar has a complex Mediterranean profile. Balsamic is based on wine vinegar but is dark and thicker with an overall more interesting flavor. It works well as a marinade for skirt steak.
- Worcestershire sauce is an umami-rich sauce that is versatile for all grilled meat. It is an excellent base for a skirt steak marinade.
- Any type of soy sauce or even oyster sauce can be used to marinate skirt steak. Be careful not to add too much to the marinade as soy sauce is high in sodium and can make the final result too salty. Soy sauce can be mixed with common household ingredients like onions, peppercorns, lemon, and garlic for an excellent flavor infusion.
Store-bought dressings and marinades are fine to use.
If you have a favorite, don’t be afraid to immerse the flank in the marinade for 8 hours before cooking.
Marinate the meat in the fridge and let it rest for at least 20 minutes or until it has reached room temperature, before cooking.
- Try this Garlic Steak Marinade from Mr. Spice for a ready-to-go marinade for your skirt steak.
- Italian dressing is very popular as a marinade and it works well with skirt steak. Try this popular 365 Whole Foods Market Italian Dressing for a complex and slightly zesty kick.
- Your favorite steak sauce can work well as a marinade and the sugar content will lightly caramelize for a nice crispy sear on the outside of your skirt steak. This A 1. Marinade Steak Sauce is a popular choice.
Try experimenting with different prepared products or your favorite recipes and add new and interesting flavors to this versatile steak.
The Secret of THE Perfect Skirt Steak
Even with the right temperature and doneness, and the perfect marinade, there’s one thing left to get the perfect skirt steak.
It’s all in the slice.
Steak should be rested for three to five minutes after cooking.
It allows the cooking process to finish while also allowing juices to reincorporate.
This is critical for as slicing too early can leave the meat dry and unappealing.
Because there are more connective tissues in this cut, cutting against the grain is essential.
Slice at a 45° angle in thin slices around 1cm to 2cm.
The slices can be served alongside a salad, in tacos, bread rolls, a sub, or anything that you love to eat.
Skirt steak is bold, beefy, and affordable when cooked for large groups.
Now that you know all about skirt steak and how to cook it, it’s time to get started with this versatile ingredient on your grill.