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Inside Vs Outside Skirt Steak

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The Difference Between The Skirt Steak Flank Steak And Hanger Steak

What’s difference between INSIDE and OUTSIDE skirt steaks? | Jess Pryles

Weve explained what a skirt steak is. Now, lets mention a few steaks commonly used as substitutes and often mistaken with authentic skirt steak.

The flank steak comes from the flank primal in the steers abdominal area. Just as the skirt steak, this is a tough muscle with lots of connective tissue. The flank steak is leaner than the skirt steak. Its less tender than the inner skirt steak and equally tender to the outside skirt steak.

The hanger steak is also a budget cut, but its noticeably smaller than the skirt steak, often only 7 inches long. This muscle is suspended from the last rib to the loin, and literally hangs from the steers diaphragm. This steak has a tough membrane running through it that must be removed. Flavor and texture-wise, the hanger steak is a great substitute for skirt steak.

How To Buy Skirt Steak

The inside skirt steak, being more tough and chewy in texture, is much cheaper and more easily available than outside skirt steak. In supermarkets, the inside skirt steak is often labeled simply as skirt steak or fajita meat. The tough meat of inside skirt steak is usually marinated with fajita spices and cooked over a high flame to be used in tacos or with rice.

Some stores also sell the entire short plate as a whole, which can give you a variety of meat, including inside skirt steaks, hanger steak, short ribs, and beef pastrami.

Outside skirt steaks can be difficult to find in supermarkets, as this cut is mostly reserved for restaurants and eateries. You can get them directly from a butcher or a specialized meat shop.

The cost of skirt steak ranges from $18 per pound for outside skirt steak to $15 per pound for inside skirt steak. The higher price of outside skirt steak is due to its tender and flavorful meat.

Inside skirt steak is less expensive, but it is still very flavorful and can be cooked to retain its juiciness and soften its texture. Fresh skirt steak has a purplish-red hue and contains about 8 to 12 grams of fat per 100 grams of muscle.

The Inside Skirt Steak

The inside skirt steak is obtained from below the ribs of a cow. It is a fatty and chewy kind of meat that often the butcher removes its membrane before selling it. This explains why it is an easy cut to cook. In addition, the inside steak is tougher, thinner, and more irregular in shape when compared to the outside skirt steak.

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The Best Marinade For Skirt Steak

While we are pretty sure most steaks taste great right off the grill, skirt steaks were made for the job they got a wide shape that provides plenty of surface area for picking up the beautiful charred, grilled flavor.

Our marinade recipe starts off with half a cup of fresh orange juice and 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice. Next in line come six minced garlic cloves, and to flavor this, youll need a teaspoon of ground cumin, a teaspoon of dried oregano, and a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Finish off with two tablespoons of soy sauce and 2-quarters of rock salt. Quickly mix everything, layer the steaks, and flip them over on each side to make sure theyre coated evenly.

And thats it. This marinate is ideal for preparing around four skirt steak slices. The steaks should marinate on a 13×9 baking dish because a bowl will make the steaks flop over, and the inner bits may not get marinated evenly.

Skirt Steak Vs Flank Steak

Beef Skirt Steak, Outside Cut

Skirt steak and flank steak are very similar, lean and tough cuts and its often possible to use them interchangeably. However, they do differ in several key aspects.

Skirt steak is from chest, while Flank steak is a cut from the bottom abdominal. As a cut of meat, flank steak is usually thicker, wider, and heavier as compared to skirt steak. Also, skirt steak tends to have a more intense beefy flavor and higher fat content when compared to flank steak.

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Comparing Inside And Outside Skirt Steak Visually

In appearance, the outside skirt is both longer and wider than the inside skirt. It is also about 50% thicker. Knowing this fact helps you recognize inside vs. outside skirt steak, but theres more to understand.

Something else youll notice about the appearance of the inside skirt is that its generally sold with a bunch of hard fat and membrane that will need to be removed.

More often than notwhen you can find an outside skirtit will need less trimming. But youre likely to still need to run your boning knife over it and clean it up.

I say when you can find because the outside skirt is pretty sought after. It usually ends up in restaurants as opposed to the local market.

Making these cuts even more scarce is the fact that there are only two skirt steaks, one inside and one outside per side of beef.

Untrimmed skirt steaksTrimmed skirt steaks

While its rare to find outside skirt in many chain grocery stores, your local butcher may be able to get some for you. Sadly, many local butchers are shutting down, so I get outside skirt steak from online meat purveyors.

You can find both prime grade and choice grade outside skirt steak at Wild Fork. They even offer a grass-fed option if thats your jam.

While they dont call it outside skirt steak, Lobels of New York offers outside skirt steak thats labeled skirt steak. They come nicely trimmed from Lobels and everything Ive ever bought from there has been top shelf.

Is Skirt Steak The Same As Flank Steak

The inside skirt steak is often confused for the flank steak and has very similar cooking properties:

  • They take well to marinades
  • Typically seared over high heat on the grill
  • Served rare or medium-rare
  • Sliced across the grain

Skirt steak contains more fat than flank steak Typically a flank steak will contain minimal, if any fat.

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Outside Vs Inside Skirt Steak: Are They The Same

There are indeed many similarities between inside and outside skirt steak in terms of their location on the cow, the muscle density, and general flavor.

Where they differ is in the fat content and how much they will shrink when cooked. You can use these differences to your advantage by making sure you buy the most appropriate one for the particular meal you are cooking.

Do you like this recipe or these cooking tips?

Inside Skirt Steak Vs Outside Skirt Steak

FAJITAS Which is BEST? Inside or Outside Skirt Steak?

There are two types of skirt steak – the inside and outside. The inside skirt steak is from the transverse abdominal muscle. The outside skirt steak comes from the diaphragm – not to be confused with the adjacent hanger steak.

The inside and outside skirt steaks are relatively similar – they have lots of connective tissue and a loose grain structure These muscles support the steer’s diaphragm.

The outside skirt steak is typically sold to restaurants and the inside skirt steak can be found at retail.

This is rather unfortunate as the inside skirt steak is smaller than the outside skirt steak.

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What Are Some Recipes To Make Flank Steak

  • Skirt steak with mushrooms. As for BBQ Inc.
  • Grilled skirt steak with onion. Sabrina S.
  • Irish skirt steak.
  • Skirt steak marinated in soy sauce.
  • Skirt steak seasoned with jerky.
  • Grilled tenderloin with roasted red pepper.
  • Moroccan steak on the sides.
  • Grilled fajitas steak.
  • Skirt steak with port and onion.
  • Teriyaki steak.

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Where Does Skirt Steak Come From

The outside skirt steak is located on the outside of the chest wall of the steer and runs in sort of a diagonal orientation from the bottom of the 6th rib to the upper portion of the 12th rib.

Inside skirt steak is located inside the chest wall of the steer further back than the inside skirt. The inside skirt also runs parallel with the steers belly as opposed to the diagonal of the outside skirt.

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What Is The Most Tender Skirt Steak

The most tender skirt steak is the outside skirt steak. It has a good marbling, which gives a beautiful flavor and keeps the meat juicy while it cooks.

It is harder to find and buy outer skirt steak because it is often sold to restaurants, where it is used to prepare dishes like Carne Asada and fajitas.

Meaning, the skirt steak you are purchasing in the stores is inside skirt steak, which is less tender than the outside skirt steak. However, with proper methods, you can turn it into a nice and flavorful skirt steak.

The Real Difference Between Inside And Outside Skirt Steak

Grass Fed 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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Beef Skirt Steak Types Inside Vs Outside Skirt Steak

The two types of skirt steak look similar and can easily be confused with each other. However, once you understand what to look for it becomes easier to recognize which is which.

Below we have photographed the two butcher cuts side by side and have slightly folded on side of the outside cut in order to make it fit on the board it is a bit longer if fully stretched.

Outside skirt steak. A thin cut located on the periphery of the animals diaphragm. Also known as thin skirt or outer skirt. It is very tender and boasts a rich beefy taste. Longer and thinner in comparison with inside skirt:

  • it runs from two to just over four inches wide
  • its length can easily surpass two feet
  • on average about an inch to half an inch thick
  • it has an accordion like coarse surface, good marbling and is typically covered by a thick memberane on one side and a layer of fat on the other
  • average weight is twelve ounces but can easily reach twenty ounces

Inside skirt steak. A thicker cut contained partially within the plate and partially within the flank primal cuts. It is a flat, transverse abdominal muscle used to stabilize the rib cage and in result the meat is a bit tough.

Which Is Better For Fajitas Flank Steak Or Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is the traditional cut for fajitas, but flank can work in its place. Skirt steak is better because of how well it marinades. The fibers in skirt steak arent tightly-knit, which allows the marinade and seasoning to penetrate deeper into the cut.

The strong meaty taste of skirt steak is also good, as it holds up to the heavy spicing of fajitas. Fajitas are best cooked with a quick sear over a high heat, which is perfect for the lean meat of skirt steak.

However, flank steak can also be used for fajitas, even if it isnt as well suited. Flank steak is a more tender cut, but with a closer knit fiber. This means that while it will hold a marinade, the flavors wont reach as deep. Flank steak has a less intense flavor, which some prefer.

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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.

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Varieties Of Skirt Steak

Which Steak is better Inside or Outside 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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How Much Meat And Fat Each Steak Holds

If you are diet conscious and want skirt steak or flap steak without fat, its not possible. There is some quantity of fat in each one, and even if you have a thin meat cut, by no means will it be devoid of fat. So, dont get fooled by the appearance of a lean cut.

Also, fat makes it more juicy and flavored.

Here is the nutritional information for flap steak and skirt steak:

Beef Flap Steak

How To Cook Skirt Steak

Skirt steak can be cooked several different ways. The most popular is to simply season it and cook it hot and fast over some extremely hot coals.

If you have some extra time, Ive written a pretty comprehensive blog about the best way to cook skirt steak, where I discuss using sous vide before searing, while not cooking past medium rare.

This cut of beef is also great for marinating. The coarse grain and thin nature of the cut allows marinades to work well. It doesnt take long to impart flavor into this coarse cut of beef.

Be mindful if youre using citrus dont marinate more than a few hours or the acid will start breaking down the meat. That said, citrus-marinated skirt steak, seared on the grill and sliced thin for San Diego Style Street Tacos, is a real treat.

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Skirt Steak Vs Flank Steak: Which One Is Best

Flank steak and skirt steak are both great choices and can easily be substituted for each other. It isnt about which one is best, but which one is the best choice for the dish you are preparing. So, bring on that flank steak or skirt steak for a stir-fry, carne asada, stuffed steak, tacos and more!

Skirt Steak On The Inside Vs Outside

Wild Fork Foods

If you know what skirt steak is, you presumably know it comes in two varieties: inner skirt steak and outer skirt steak. This page will explain where they originate from, their flavor, how they are cooked, which is better for consumption, and why they are different. First, lets define skirt steak to distinguish between inside and outside skirt steaks. Skirt steak is a cow muscle situated between the chest and the abdomen. This diaphragm taken from a cow is lengthy and has a lot of marbling and connective tissue. Two types of skirt steak: inner skirt steak and outside skirt steak. They both have a delicious beef flavor. However, the outer skirt steak has a stronger flavor than the interior skirt steak. You may grill, broil, or cook them in a cast-iron skillet. The key is to cook the skirt steak quickly on a boiling surface, not overcook. The outside and inner skirt steaks are very similar. However, they do differ in several ways. So, lets discover more about these many kinds of skirt steak.

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One 8 Oz Wellborn 2r All Natural Inside Skirt Steak

Our all-natural Inside Skirt Steak is wider and thinner than the Outside Skirt, but also very tender. This cut is typically marinated and seasoned and slow-cooked over low heat on a grill. Often sliced and served as fajita or taco meat. Suggested to cut 1/4 to 1/2 thick against the grain.


No antibiotics. No added hormones. Nothing Artificial. Ever! Cattle eat a vegetarian diet of top-quality grains, forages and essential nutrients. Cattle receive treatment when needed to restore health, but they are no longer eligible to be in our Verified Natural Beef Program.


We are dedicated to our cattle and respect for the land. At Wellborn 2R we want every animal in our care to live its best life every day and make every effort in the proper care, treatment, and humane processing of our animals. Additionally, we implement conservation practices that help sustain or improve the environment for future generations. We have better beef, produced in a better way.

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