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How To Grill Skirt Steak

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The Best Cuts For Grilling

How to Grill the Perfect Skirt Steak

First, let’s talk beef: rib-eye, strip and tenderloin are all great cuts for the grill. If you choose bone-in steaks, keep in mind that they take longer to cook. Look for good marbling to guarantee a juicy and tender cut. And ideally, steaks should be at 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick to form a nice charred crust without overcooking.

Flank, skirt and hanger steaks are also great on the grill. These thinner cuts are best marinated, grilled quickly over high heat and sliced against the grain to serve.

How To Grill A Perfect Skirt Steak And 1

Nothing beats a steak taco! And my favorite taco combine a tangy and acidic salsa with sliced avocado or guacamole. This is an easy steak dinner since everything except the steak can be set out for assembly just before serving. The 1-2-3 Guacamole is the best guacamole that I have ever had. The secret is in my friend Rick Baylesss tomatillo salsa that is marketed as Frontera Original Guacamole Mix.

Serves 2

1 skirt steak

Extra-virgin olive oil

Favorite Salsa, I like Mateos

4 flour or corn tortillas, warmed

Preheat the grill with all burners on high. Once preheated, adjust the temperature to medium-high for direct grilling.

Wrap the meat in paper towels to rid it of excess moisture. Replace the paper towels as needed.

Brush the steaks all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt just before placing it on the grill.

Place the steak on the cooking grate and grill for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size. Turn and cook for 2 to 4 minutes more for medium-rare.

Remove the steaks from the grill and place on a clean platter. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain.

Serve with your favorite steak sides or with avocado, or 1-2-3 Guacamole, salsa, and tortillas to make a simple and satisfying taco.

How Do You Serve Skirt Steak

Skirt steak can be served as a main dish with roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables.

My sauce of choice is a tangy avocado chimichurri. Slice it up for fajitas with sautéed peppers and onions. Put it on a salad, with greens like romaine, spring mix, or arugula with a tangy vinaigrette. Chop it up to make quesadillas or nachos.

If I ever have leftovers, I always look forward to the next morning’s breakfast, so I can enjoy it with over-easy eggs, sliced avocados, and sautéed spinach.

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Grilled Skirt Steak With Mustard

Serves 4

  • 1 skirt steak
  • 0.5 c. mustard green
  • Chimichurri , for serving

Pour 0.25 c. of oil into a small bowl and grate in the garlic using a Microplane. Add the salt, pepper, and onion powder and stir to thoroughly combine.

Place the skirt steak on a tray or in a large bowl and rub the oil mixture all over. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

When youre ready to get cooking, remove the steak from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes.

Prepare a grill for high heat or heat a large grill pan over high heat. Drizzle a paper towel with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil and use the towel to oil the grates. Lay the steak crosswise over the grates and cook until grill marks develop, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side until you have nice dark grill marks, another 3 to 4 minutes. This should result in medium rare meat, so cook a minute or so longer if you prefer. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes before slicing on an angle across the grain into thinnish slices.

Serve immediately with the chimichurri.

Clarkson Potter

Whats In This Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe

Grilled Skirt Steak With Garlic and Herbs Recipe

The recipe calls for skirt steak, a less expensive cut of beef often used in carne asada. Skirt steak is long, flat, and flavorful, similar to flank steak but less expensive, and tastes best when tenderized in a marinade. In this recipe you can substitute hanger steak, or if youre feeling money, splurge for flank steak.

The skirt steak is marinated Argentinian style in olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and fresh oregano. The longer you marinate, the more flavor is infused. Overnight marinating is optimal, but if youre in a pinch like I have been, even an hour will give it a substantial flavor hit.

I marinate the steak for at least 4 hours up to overnight before grilling.

Heres what youll need for the steak:

  • skirt steak
  • kosher salt

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Just A Little Prep Required

Due to its length, skirt steak is usually sold folded or rolled up. Because its so long, you may want to cut it into shorter, more manageable pieces. Otherwise, it needs just a little trimming of excess surface fat. Skirt steak has a very visible grain, and you will see channels of fat that run through the grain these should be left intact. As this fat melts during cooking, itll baste the meat, adding loads of flavor.

Because skirt steak tapers, it may not be an even thickness throughout. That can be OK if people like different levels of doneness as the thicker portions will be more rare than the thinner ones. However, you can also lightly pound its thicker areas to even it out.

Best Substitute For Skirt Steak

If you are having trouble finding skirt steak for your recipe and want something similar you might be able to substitute one of these and get a similar outcome.

  • Flank Steak – This is the closest you are going to get in cooking time and methods
  • Flap Steak – This one is a little chewier but has a good beefy flavor. It’s easy to confuse visually with skirt steak.
  • Hangar Steak – Hangar steak is similar to flank steak and resides just forward of the flank. It it typically more tender and also more expensive.

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Why Is Skirt Steak So Hard To Find And So Expensive

For starters there are only four skirt steaks on each cow, 2 inner skirts and 2 outer skirts. In recent years the skirt steak has become extremely popular for home cooks as well as restaurants. Since the supply is low and the demand is high, the once unpopular cut of meat has become desirable and harder to get.

How To Properly Slice Steak

How to grill a skirt steak

One last bit of info before I send you on your way with this delicious skirt steak recipe, and it might be one of the most important steps how to cut steak once its cooked!

You can visibly see the fibers running through the skirt steak , this is called the grain. Youre going to thinly slice the steak in a perpendicular cut, or against the grain to achieve the most tender bite.

Example: For this steak, Ive made one cut right in the middle of the steak, dividing it into two more manageable pieces. Then I turn the steak 90 degrees, so the grain is going in a perpendicular direction to my slicing.

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How Long To Cook Skirt Steak On The Grill

Skirt steak is optimally grilled to medium rare where it will continue to cook once it is pulled from the grill.

Because we like our meat medium rare so we pull it at 125° F, cover with foil, and allow to rest so the juices stay in the meat, not on the platter when cut.

Check the steaks internal temperature and pull from the grill about 10 degrees before your preferred doneness.The Thermoworks Thermopen is essential in our kitchen. Sure, its an investment, but its the best temperature gauge Ive yet to find.

How To Cook Skirt Steak On The Stove

A mouth-watering pan seared Skirt steak provides superb flavor and a rich golden-brown color. If you’re wondering how to cook Skirt steak on the stove, simply follow these instructions and you’ll have mastered one of the quickest, easiest ways to put delicious beef on the table, even on a weeknight. The two sets of directions below are options for your favorite Skirt steak recipe in a pan, depending on your chosen slice.

Choose a Skirt steak marinade or seasoning to get started. If you have a Skirt steak marinade for the stove top that you would like to use, it’s best to wait until your meat is thawed. Marinating while defrosting can make the surface texture of the meat mushy. We recommend thawing in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Once thawed, remove your steak from the refrigerator approximately 3040 minutes before cooking to allow the steak to come to room temperature.

If you choose to use a marinade, place your steak in a bowl or resealable plastic bag and add the marinade. Use enough marinade to cover the meat completely or and be sure to turn the steak a few times while marinating. Your marinade recipe should tell you how long to marinate your Skirt steak. For the sake of food safety, always refrigerate the meat while marinating. Before cooking, remove your Skirt steak from the marinade and allow excess marinade to drain away. If you do not want to marinate your Skirt steak, season it as desired we recommend using Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.

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What Is The Best Way To Cook Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is best seared in a hot pan. A cast iron skillet or a sizzling grill are my top picks. Here are some more tips for cooking the best skirt steak!

  • Dry the surface for better crust: I always dry the surface of my steak before seasoning or searing. Any excess moisture will create steam and reduce the likelihood of creating a nice crust on the steak.
  • Do not overcook: A quick hot sear will create a flavorful browned crust, and undercooking by just a minute will reduce the fear of going too far. The best texture comes with just a few minutes of contact on the heated surface, to medium-rare doneness. Skirt steak is thin and lean, so going past medium-rare or medium doneness will yield an extremely dry and chewy steak.
  • Cook it hot! Cook it fast with high heat, instead of low heat for slow cooking. There is not much connective tissue in skirt steak. Fattier cuts of meat with lots of connective tissue fare better when cooked over low heat for long periods of time, because the low-and-slow method helps to break down connective tissue. Thats not an issue with skirt steak.

Hot and fast is the best way to cook skirt steak to end up with a tender piece of meat. The brief flash time, just a few minutes on each side, ensures a juicy finish.

All About Skirt Steak

Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe

If youre not familiar with skirt steak, here is all you need to know. It is a luscious cut to work with and perfect for marinating.

  • What is Skirt Steak? It is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat, but also one of the toughest and must be cooked with care. Skirt steak contains the most muscle of all the cuts, giving it is distinctive look and flavor, but can also be over cooked easily. It is best to serve skirt steak rare to medium rare for the best flavor and tenderness.
  • What to Buy: There are two cuts of skirt steak, the inside and the outside. You want to purchase the outside cut if you can. It will be longer, more narrow and very tender. The inside cut tends to be thinner and a bit more on the chewy side. Both will work perfectly for this recipe and give heavenly results.
  • Perfect for Marinating: Because marinating meat really only penetrates the just barely under the surface of meat, the thinner the cut the better. Skirt steak is an ideal cut of meat for marinating because it is so thin and so long. More surface area to hold on to that exquisite flavor and allows the marinade to tenderize more of the meat.
  • What if I cant Find Skirt Steak: A beef cow only has two skirt steaks on it, meaning it is a more rare cut of meat. Often the outside will end up in a restaurant, meaning even fewer in the stores, so yes sometimes you wont be able to find one. You can use a flank, flat iron or flap steak instead.

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How To Cut Flank Steak

  • After grilling flank steak, let it rest!
  • Right before slicing it, notice the direction of the grain which usually runs along the length of the meat.
  • Using a carving fork, hold the steak down firmly. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the meat evenly and thinly across the grain at a slight diagonal angle .
  • Cutting on a diagonal makes the slices slightly wider while cutting against the grain makes the fibers short and so the steak will be more tender and easy to chew.
  • Grilled Brown Sugar Skirt Steak

    The steak pairs well with a crunchy slaw or a green salad.

    Make Ahead: The steak can be seasoned up to 24 hours in advance of grilling.

    Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

    Want to save this recipe? My Reading List in your washingtonpost.com user profile.

    • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pound skirt steak
    • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for brushing the grill
    • 1 bunch scallions or garlic scapes , trimmed and left whole

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    How To Grill Skirt Steak

    Cut from the plate section of a cow, skirt steak is long and thin compared to other steaks. You might hear it compared to a hanger steak or flank steak because their appearances are similar. Skirt steak can be tough if not cooked properly, but its strong beef flavor is what keeps people coming back to this unique cut.

    Grilling skirt steak can be especially tricky for first-timers, but our guide is designed to help you learn all the right techniques so that you can learn how to grill skirt steak at home.

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    How to grill skirt steak (and which kind to buy!)
    Maximum time 15 minutes

    Getting perfectly grilled skirt steak requires a lot of techniques. Mainly, the smaller skirt steaks are available in the market. There are two types of skirts and these are outside and inside skirt. The outside skirts are quite tough and small. The outside skirt steaks are not that expensive. Everyone should cook or grill the skirt steak with some grain.

    The grilling process should continue in high heat. If someone makes the steak in low heat, then it would not be rewarding. As the skirt steaks are extremely less, the person can easily know if the steaks are grilled properly or not. The steaks would turn brownish after they are perfectly grilled.

    Many people get confused between the skirt steak and flank steak. As both of these steaks look extremely similar and come from the lower part of the cow. These steaks are not the same type of primal cuts. The grilling process would not be the same for both flank steak and skirt steak.

    The skirt steaks would require fast cooking or grilling. The person should never overcook the skirt steak, as they would turn tough if overcooked. Hot cooking is another requirement for grilling the skirt steak. The skirt steak can be used for broiling, pan-searing, and grilling. The pan-searing can be easily done in a cast-iron skillet.

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    Two Types: Outside And Inside

    Skirt steak is a long belt of a muscle that comes from the belly of the cow, specifically the diaphragm. Outside skirt steak, as its name indicates, is found closer to the exterior of the animal, while inside skirt steak resides deeper, closer to the lungs. The outside is about two-thirds as wide as the inside, and its rippled with more fat.

    I vastly prefer the outside cut because it has more marbling, which gives it that iron-rich flavor that I love. Its the only type of skirt steak I sell and the only type I cook at home. But because the outside cut is also a favorite of restaurants, its not as easy for home cooks to find. Most supermarkets dont label their skirt steak as inside or outside, and you can bet that if its unlabeled, its inside. But dont hesitate to buy itthough less intensely beefy, itll still cook up deliciously, especially when paired with other flavorings.

    What Is The Best Way To Cook A Skirt Steak

    As I stated earlier a cast iron grill or skillet is the best way to cook a steak.

  • Begin by patting dry any moisture from the steak.
  • Season the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Allow it to rest on a counter for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • Heat oil in a cast iron grill/skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place the skirt steak onto the grill and sear for 6 minutes then flip to the other side and sear for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and loosely cover the steak with foil. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices of the steak to redistribute throughout the beef.
  • Thinly slice steak against the grain before serving.
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    Why To Grill Skirt Steak This Long

    There is no point in overcooking the grilled steak as it would make it very tough to eat. The grill steaks would rest for some time before serving it on the plate. Slicing the skirt steak before grilling it is very important as it would be a tough cut. The texture of the skirt steak is extremely loose and it can turn to get more flavourful by soaking up marinades.

    Everyone should put salt in the skirt steak at least before 15 minutes of the grilling. Marinate the skirt steak before 30 to 45 minutes of grilling. The marinating would help in increasing the skirt steaks capacity to absorb the flavors.

    Preparation of the skirt steak plays a vital role in making it more delicious. Always make sure the cooking surfaces temperature is as per requirement. A little up and down in the cooking temperature would affect the texture and taste of the steak. Let the skirt steak rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Greasing the grill is important to avoid the skirt steak from getting stuck.

    People should oil the grill before starting the grilling process. All these would help in grilling the steak correctly without making them overcooked.

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