Why Is Skirt Steak So Expensive
The main reason why skirt steak is so expensive is its popularity and limited supply. It used to be a relatively cheap cut of beef however, this changed when famous chefs started recommending it. Naturally, more and more people started talking about skirt steak, which increased the demand for this cut.
The limited demand is also because there are only two skirts per cow , and the average weight of one is about 2 pounds.
Be sure to read the fascinating discussion about the current prices of cheap cuts of beef, where plenty of people share interesting insights on this topic. Here is a link to that thread.
What is extremely interesting is that the big increase in the price of skirt steak already took place many years ago . It was mainly caused by a significant increase in the popularity of fajitas.
Skirt steak is now the second most expensive cut of beef, wholesale, with only the tenderloin costing more.
By Florence Fabricant, April 26, 1989. Link to full article.
How Are Flank Steak And Skirt Steak Prepared And Cooked
Skirt Steak Seared on Charcoal Grill
Both flank steak and skirt steak take well to marinades. The marinade will typically include fruit that can tenderize meat.
For example, pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that can degrade the collagen fibers that make flank steak tough.
Other fruits that contain digestive enzymes include papaya , kiwifruit , and figs .
Common marinades for flank steak will also feature ingredients like oil, garlic, black pepper, chili flakes, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, etc. A number of these ingredients I use in my Beef on a stick recipe.
Once marinated for 4-24 hours, the meat should be seared over high on either on a grill or in a hot pan/cast iron skillet. Skirt steak is typically seared for 2-3 minutes per side where-as flank steak can take 4-5 minutes per side.
Skirt steak and flank steak should not be cooked past medium-rare Doing so will make them tough and dry.
What To Serve With Skirt Steaks
Here are some of the best sides for skirt steaks:
- Chimichurri Sauce
It is the best side for skirt steaks, hands down! Not just skirt steaks but any grilled meat or steak. It is an herb-based sauce. It is of two kinds, Green Chimichurri and Red Chimichurri. Usually, when people say chimichurri sauce, they refer to the green variant, as it is the most popular among the two.
It is made by blending herbs like parsley and oregano with aromatics like garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Green chili can also be added for those who can handle hot food. It has a wonderful chunky consistency that is sour with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It will make you salivate, and it complements meat very well.
Corn salad, potato salad, caesar salad, coleslaw, etc.
- Grilled Vegetables:
Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.
French fries, wedges, mashed potatoes, curly fries, baked potatoes, etc.
Creamed spinach, mashed peas, pasta salads, kimchi, fried rice, nachos, poutine, etc.
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Science: A Steak Tailor
We dont typically marinate steak since we have found that marinades dont penetrate more than a few millimeters beyond its surface. For a thick-cut steak, that means minimal flavor impact. But skirt steak is different: It has much more surface area than other cuts. And because its so thin, the ratio of surface area to volume is quite large. That means there is a lot of exterior space for a marinade to flavor. If you look carefully, the grain of a skirt steak forms peaks and valleys like, well, a pleated skirt: The amount of fabric required to make a pleated skirt is much greater than the amount required to make a straight skirt. To illustrate this, we placed a measuring tape on a skirt steak and carefully pressed it into the valleys. When we removed the measuring tape, we found that the surface area for a skirt steak was three times that of a strip steak of the same weight.
I knew exactly what I wanted to bathe my steaks in: a garlicky, citrusy, Cuban-style mojo that would really stand up to the rich, buttery beef. Once I’d perfected the marinade and the steak cookery, I planned on whipping up a complementary sauce to drizzle onto the meat.
Which Part Of Skirt Steak Is Best
There are two sorts of skirt steak: those that are cooked inside and those that are cooked outside. The inner skirt is derived from the transverse abdominal muscle and is very tough, whereas the more ideal outside skirt is derived from the diaphragm and is rather delicate. The inside skirt is derived from the transverse abdominal muscle.
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Is Skirt Steak Tough Or Tender
Skirt steak is a lean, long, and thin piece of meat containing many connective tissues. Incorrectly cooked, it will be tough and chewy, so it is important to know how to prepare it correctly.
To make the skirt steak more tender, marinate the meat before cooking. Also, it is crucial to choose a suitable cooking method depending on the recipe. Before serving, dont forget to slice against the grain to get even better results in terms of tenderness.
Is A Skirt Steak The Same As A Flank Steak
When it comes to the cut, the most significant distinction between skirt steak and flank steak is where on the cow they are placed. The dimensions are as follows: Compared to skirt steak, which is a lighter, but longer piece of meat, flank steak has more fat, is broader, and is a thicker, heavier cut of beef.
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What Is Outside Skirt Steak Good For
This cut, which is the polar opposite of the Inside Skirt Steak, is renowned for its powerful taste profile. Fajitas are made by marinating and grilling hot, but you may also use it in stir-fries. When it comes to beef, cutting against the grain is always crucial, but it is much more critical when it comes to thin, gritty cuts like the Skirt Steak.
The Real Difference Between Inside And Outside Skirt Steak
Skirt steak is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef. You can choose between two kinds of skirt steak as one might be better, so what is the difference between inside and outside skirt steak?
This goes with almost any cut of meat, you need to consider different factors before buying a cut of meat. You have to look for many things in a cut to see if it is the one for you.
The skirt steak has two major cuts called the inside and the outside skirt steaks. While they appear very similar to each other, there are some differences that you might want to look into.
It is great to have other choices as you can switch from one recipe to another. The skirt steak can be a little tricky to find or cook as they have complicated muscle structures.
The skirt steak is a muscle that never stops working, this is the cows part responsible for keeping the breathing in order by moving the animals diaphragm.
So the different areas where you find the skirt steak have some major differences in terms of texture and other things. So here, we will take a look at how you can differentiate them.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Inside And Outside Skirt Steak
There are few differences between inside and outside skirt steak. The first one is the place where they are located in the cows body.
Outside skirt steak is placed diagonally between the 6th and the 12th rib, and it is covered with a membrane that should be trimmed before cooking.
The inside skirt steak, on the other hand, is placed in the body wall, across the lower part of the ribs, and beyond them. It is usually sold with a removed membrane so it is easier to trim it.
Another difference between the outside and inside skirt steaks is in their appearance. Outside skirt steak is thinner and longer, while inside skirt steak is thicker and wider.
They are flat muscles 20-24 inches long and 3-7 inches wide if the membrane is trimmed. Inside skirt steak is tougher than the outside skirt steak which is tender and more expensive.
They are expensive because one cow has only four skirt steaks . Outside skirt steak is available in restaurants because it is more tender than inside skirt steak. You can find inside skirt steak in the butchers shops and stores.
How Is Skirt Steak Cooked
Almost all skirt steak recipes will call for marinating the meat before grilling it. Due to it’s looser grain structure, skirt steak will readily take to marinades and absorb flavors well.
Searing Skirt Steak on My Weber Kettle
You’ll find skirt steak is used for dishes like:
I’ve also grilled skirt steak several times as I would any steak – using kosher salt, pepper, and Lawry’s seasoned salt. When seared to a rare or medium-rare it makes for a tasty cut of meat.
Apart from grilling, you can also broil skirt steak or sear it in a cast iron skillet on high heat.
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What Is A Skirt Steak
A skirt steak is a cut of meat from a cows short plate. They are located below the rib. A cow has 4 skirt steaks, 2 inside skirt steaks, and 2 outside skirt steaks. Skirt steaks are one of the most underrated cuts of meat. They are usually quite cheap compared to other cuts of meat, but I dont think any less of them. They are wonderful and have quite a robust taste. Some of your favorite snacks, like tacos, fajitas, etc., are made from this cut of beef.
Skirt steaks are long and narrow cuts of meat. They have a large surface area compared to their weight. They have lots of folds, nooks, and crannies throughout the entire length of the steak. It makes them perfect candidates for marinading. And hence most skirt steaks are marinated before cooking. It can hold marinades easily in those gaps and crevices. Also, due to their small width, marinades can penetrate them and make them more flavorful.
What Is Skirt Steak Good For
You can prepare skirt steak in various ways. Skirt steak is thin and easy to cook if you follow the basic guidelines. Its best for grilling but is also well suited for roasting, broiling, and sautéing. Skirt steak is very often used in many recipes. For example, it is the most commonly used meat for fajitas.
We remind you that this is a tough cut of meat, so skirt steak requires careful preparation.
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Flank Steak Vs Skirt Steak: Which One Is Best
Flank and skirt steak are two amazing tasting meats. But which one is best? Find out the differences so you know which one to use for your next BBQ cook-off.
Both are tough, beefy strips of meat that are great straight off the grill. Also, both are criminally overlooked by a lot of chefs.
But what are the differences between flank steak and skirt steak?
Both are long, strange-looking cuts of meat, and a lot of the time the two are often used interchangeably. So is there actually a difference?
The main difference between the two comes down to how tough they are. Skirt steak is tougher thank flank, and carries a more intense flavor. This means that it can only be cooked as rare or medium-rare, and is usually best seared. If you prefer your steak well done or tender then I advise going for flank.
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Is Skirt Steak A Good Cut Of Meat
While it was once considered offal, Skirt steak is an awesome cut of meat. Truth be told, back when I was a kid you could actually find it for quite cheap in the grocery store.
These days, most folks are aware of cuts like skirt steak and as demand increases, so do prices. Granted, it’s still not as popular as other types of steak like a ribeye or sirloin.
Since the 1980s, skirt steak has only increased in price. It’s not unrealistic to see USDA choice grade skirt steak be an upwards of $15+/lb.
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Other Names For Skirt Steak
At a grocery store in the United States, you’re apt to just see it labeled as “Skirt steak” as apposed to any other name.
In other parts of the world you might see it called “Arrachera.”
However, in places like New York City, older generations of Jewish Immigrants from Eastern Europe served skirt steak by rolling it and slicing it called Rumanian tenderloin.
Where-as, in Chicago, you might also see it called Romanian tenderloin or Romanian steak.
Making Spicy Smoked Skirt Steak
The Mexican-inspired spicy marinade and the fiery flavor from the mesquite give this skirt steak the perfect combination of flavors for taco Tuesday or any day of the week.
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Which Is More Flavorful
Skirt steak is slightly more flavorful than flank steak, but not by much. Both cuts are hearty and beefy. Skirt steak takes to a marinade better than flank steak does, so you will be able to get even more flavor from that cut. Both cuts have a rich beef flavor that goes great with bold flavors like cracked black pepper.
What Is Inside Skirt Steak Good For
This cut, which is served opposite the Outside Skirt Steak, is renowned for its powerful taste profile. Fajitas are made by marinating and grilling hot, but you may also use it in stir-fries. When it comes to beef, cutting against the grain is always crucial, but it is much more critical when it comes to thin, gritty cuts like the Skirt Steak.
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What Is Outside Skirt Steak
As you might have already guessed, the outside steak gets its name because it sits further towards the outside of the cow than the inside cut does. In fact, it lays across the outside of the chest wall passing from the 6th down to the 12th rib.
Because of its position and orientation, the outside skirt steak tends to be both longer and wider than the inside portion of the skirt steak. But the actual volume of meat is roughly the same as its also a much thinner cut.
In addition, it also tends to have much less fat and also doesnt have that hard membrane that needs removing .
What Part Of The Cow It Comes From
Both cuts come from the side of the cow. Throughout the cows life, these areas work very hard. This results in both cuts being relatively tough and fibrous. The skirt steak comes from the plate primal. The outside variety is from the diaphragm while the inside variety is an abdominal muscle. The flank steak, as you mightve guessed, comes from the flank primal.
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Varieties Of Skirt Steak
The skirt steak you purchase or eat will either be outside skirt or inside skirt. Outside skirt is attached to the outside of the chest wall , running diagonally from the 6th to the 12th rib. Its covered with a thick membrane which is the diaphragm itself .
Inside skirt is situated below and a little bit further back from the outside skirt. It is located within the body wall itself, which is why its called inside. The inside skirt muscle lies flat across the lower part of the ribs and extends even beyond the ribs, into the beef flank primal cut, which is part of the hindquarter of the animal. As a result, a wide flap of meat at the rear of the transversus abdominis muscle is usually excluded and ends up part of the flank instead.
Outside skirt is a bit thicker than the inside skirt and its more uniform in shape. Inside skirt is thinner, with a slightly more irregular shape. A whole inside skirt might weigh two pounds an outside skirt may be a bit less. But inside skirt will shrink a bit more when you cook it as the muscle fibers tighten up.
Because of its thickness and regular shape, the outside skirt is what restaurants and other foodservice operations prefer to use for making fajitas and other grilled skirt steak dishes.
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Seasoning And Using Skirt Steak
This steak has so much flavor, I usually like it with just salt and pepper. But you could add whatever additional herbs and spices you like. Garlic powder and onion powder, for example. Or chili powder and cumin. Its also nice with rosemary and thyme.
And while you could enjoy your sliced skirt steak as-is, perhaps with some potatoes or a salad on the side, its also great for tacos, burritos, and fajitas. Try it in a sandwicha cheesesteak, for example. Or as part of a steak and eggs breakfast.
Try to avoid reheating it, though, because that can lead to the meat becoming more than medium-rarein other words, overcooked and dry.
Skirt steak is versatile, quick, easy, inexpensive , and really, really good. Use these tips to cook and slice it right, and it just might become your new favorite steak too.
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