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 To Buy It And Trim It
Alternative Names: Fajita meat or Roumanian Strip .
Where it’s Cut From: The outside skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow, cut from the plate. It is the traditional cut for fajitas, and is generally sold to restaurants. It comes with a tough membrane attached to it, which needs to be trimmed before it can be cooked.
Inside skirt is part of the flank, and is the more widely available form of skirt steak. Luckily for consumers, it generally comes with the membrane removed, making trimming an easy job at home. All you’ve got to do is remove some of the excess fat from the exterior, and you’re good to go.
Use a sharp knife, and try and take off the fat without digging into the meat. It’s totally fine to end up strips of fat still striated throughout the meat. This’ll render as the meat grills, basting it as it cooks, giving the steak that much more richness and adding to its intense, beefy, buttery flavor. The photo above shows just about how much you want to trim.
Heres Why Skirt Steak Is The Best Cut For Grilling
Are you looking for a new steak to grill? Try the outside skirt steak. Besides being among the most flavorful cuts, this long, thin piece of beef is quick-cooking, making it perfect for backyard BBQs and entertaining. Read on to learn more about this steak and get our favorite recipes.
The outside skirt steak is a special cut just ask anyone in Texas. This cornerstone of Tex-Mex cooking its the original and most authentic cut for fajitas is a chef favorite and should be on your grill, too. Since there are only 2 per cattle, the outside skirt steak is something of a hot cut.
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How Long Can Skirt Steak Be Marinated
Skirt steak and flank steak are ideally marinated for 4 to 12 hours. Skirt steak can be marinated overnight, or for up to 24 hours. Although you can marinate skirt steak for longer, it wont improve the flavoring, and may break down the meat too much.
As steak marinades, the flavoring penetrates through the fibers of the meat. For tougher cuts, such as flank and skirt, this helps to break down these fibers and tenderize the meat. The loose knit fibers of the skirt steak makes it the ideal meat for marinating, and the strong beef flavor works well with a range of spices.
Acid is a vital ingredient in a marinade, as this is what breaks the fibers. When the meat is left to marinate for too long, it breaks these fibers too much. Rather than becoming tender, the meat turns mushy.
Can You Substitute Skirt Steak For Flank Steak
Yes, you can substitute skirt steak for flank steak. There are many similarities between skirt and flank, so in most cases it acts as a suitable replacement. Both cuts are long and thin, and heavily muscled for a leaner texture. They both benefit from being cut against the grain, and they both take well to a marinade.
Flank steaks tend to be cooked quickly over a high heat, and this is also the best way to cook skirt steak. If youre struggling to get hold of flank steak, then skirt steak is the best substitute.
However, be aware that skirt steak is a tougher meat. This means it shouldnt be cooked for very long. If you enjoy flank steak well done, then skirt steak isnt a good substitute. Skirt steak also has a more intense meat flavor, which isnt preferred by everyone.
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How To Trim Skirt Steaks
Whole skirt steaks are about two feet long and usually come rolled up from the butcher. You’ll want to unroll them on a large cutting board, your sharp boning or chef’s knife at the ready.
Unless I’m going for a big, juicy, dry-aged ribeye, the skirt steak is my favorite cut for grilling. It’s got a loose texture with a distinct grain and big, buttery swaths of fat that run through it, keeping it nice and moist as it cooks. And while it’s no longer necessarily dirt cheap at the supermarket, it’s also a cut that comes out juicy and flavorful even when you don’t spring for the extra-fatty prime-graded stuff, which can help keep a few bucks in your wallet. At my local supermarket, it runs around half the price-per-pound of a prime ribeye steaka bargain in my book.
As with any inexpensive steak , the key to success starts in trimming it properly to maximize flavor and tenderness. Here’s how to do it.
Need Some Flavor Ideas
The robust flavors of skirt steak can handle some hearty dry rubs or marinades.
Try creating a customized blend using coarse salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, thyme, oregano, mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or coriander, or use this recipe for Steak Dry Rub!
Get creative with marinades like citrus juice, chopped fresh herbs, garlic, red wine vinegar, or soy sauce for an Asian twist.
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Oven Cooked Flank Steak
If youre wondering whats the best way to cook flank steak in the oven, youll be happy to know that theres one tried and true method that literally takes only a few minutes of your time to churn out great-tasting meat. Before you place the steaks in the oven, coat them with a mixture of olive oil and your desired spices to keep them from drying out in the oven. Then, its as simple as placing the steaks on a pan, cooking them on high heat on one side for about five minutes, and then on the other side for three to four minutes or until medium rare. Allow resting for about 10 minutes before serving.
How To Cook Skirt Steak:
Ive written a pretty comprehensive blog about the best way to cook skirt steak here, where I discuss using a very high heat to sear while not cooking past medium rare. This cut of beef is also great for marinating the course grain and thin nature of the cut allows marinade to work well for thin slices used for tacos and quesadillas.
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Tips For Cooking The Best Skirt Steak
Slice up the skirt steak into pieces. Marinate the skirt steak for about 30 minutes, or if you want to enjoy the real flavor of the skirt steak just sprinkle some salt and black pepper over it.
After you remove the skirt steak from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel. This will remove any excess moisture, so the meat can make a crust easily.
Make sure to heat the grill properly before you put the steak on. For a medium rear cooked steak, you need to cook each side of the steak for 2-5 minutes depending on its thickness.
Remove the steak from the grill and leave it on a warm plate to rest for a few minutes, so the juices can redistribute inside the steak.
Slice the skirt steak against the grain, and enjoy the perfectly tender piece of steak.
You can serve the skirt steak with grilled vegetables or grilled potatoes. You can also slice it and put it in a salad, or fajitas with some sauteed onions and peppers.
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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Types Of Steak And How To Cook Them
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclosure policy.
Theres nothing better than a steak dinner, but understanding the many different types of steak can be confusing! Knowing how to choose the best steak cuts by tenderness, flavor and price is all part of preparation. From porterhouse to flank steak, this guide covers the most common types of steak and how to cook each cut to perfection!
You can read from start to finish for a complete guide, or use the links below to jump to the sections you are interested in:
Where To Buy Entraa Steak
The outside skirt cut is popular on steakhouse menus but tricky to purchase at your local grocery store meat department. Most of it is sold to commercial food service outlets because is it not widely known or understood. However, you can find it at Argentinian or Brazilian meat markets, butcher shops specializing in beef cuts and a growing number of online meat purveyors.
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Grass Fed Beef Preparation & Cooking Tips
- Sear on High heat. Then, use lower heat to finish cooking .
- Use less cooking time when grilling or frying grass fed steaks .
- We recommend using a food thermometer to monitor temperature.
- Keep temperature to medium do not overcook!
- See our Recipes Page for more info on preparation and cooking techniques.
- Visit our Beef Guide for photos and descriptions of specific grass-fed beef cuts .
- Have a question about grass-fed beef? Check out our FAQ .
How To Cook It
There’s a single rule when it comes to cooking skirt steak: intense, unrelenting, high heat. Forget cooking sous-vide or starting low and slow. Skirt steak should be cooked over the highest possible heat from start to finish, and here’s why.
With a normal steak, you have enough thickness that if you were to try and cook it over intense heat the entire time, you’d end up with a steak that’s burnt to a crisp on the outside before the center reaches the appropriate medium rare. Skirt steak has the opposite problem. It’s so thin that unless you cook it over maximum heat, it’ll be overcooked before you get a chance to develop a good sear on the exterior.
I like to light up an entire chimney of coals, pile them all under one side of the grill, then add a few more coals on top just for good measure. As soon as those coals on top are hot, throw the suckers on, cooking them with a single flip.*
*I know I’ve said to flip your steaks multiple times in the past, but the hastened cooking this produces ends up overcooking your skirt.
If you have hardwood coals, now’s the time to break’em out. They burn faster and hotter than briquettes, making them the ideal choice for grilling skirt steak.
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Usda Prime Skirt Steaks
All Second City Prime Steak & Seafood Company products come individually vacuum sealed and frozen – guaranteed in your freezer for 6-12 months.
Cut: Beef Plate Primal
Preferred Cooking Method: Second City Prime’s preferred cooking method for the 8oz Skirt Steak is grilling it on high heat. The optimal grill temperature is 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Preferred Cooking Time: The 8oz Outside Skirt Steak is a very thin and lean meat therefore we suggest only cooking it for 2-4 minutes on each side for the perfect medium rare. For medium you should cook it for 4-5 minutes and for well done you should cook for 7-9 minutes. Once it’s off the grill, let it rest for five minutes before cutting into it.
Inside Skirt Steak Vs Flank Steak
Because inside skirt steak sits near flank steak from the primal cut of the same name, the two are often mixed up.
Flank steak is easy to tell apart here are the main differences between flank and inside skirt:
- flank steak is much wider and visibly tapered on one end
- the muscle fibers of the flank cut run lengthwise, not across
- flank has less connective tissue which makes it a bit more tender in comparison with its counterpart
- while flank is a flavorful cut, it lacks the robust beefy taste of inside skirt
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Which Is Cheaper Skirt Steak Or Flank Steak
Skirt steak tends to be the cheaper cut of meat. Due to the tougher texture, its less adaptable for different dishes when compared to the flank steak. Often, people prefer flank steak because of the tender structure. This allows you to cook flank steak for longer, without it becoming too chewy.
Although skirt steak is cheaper, both cuts are considered to be reasonable in price. There often wont be much of a difference, especially when compared to the really expensive cuts.
As the cuts come from the working parts of the cow, they tend to be heavily muscled, rather than rich with fat. This is what gives them that tough texture. However, these cuts are also loaded with flavor. Despite being cheaper, there are some recipes that work much better with flank or skirt, instead of a pricey cut such as sirloin.
Cooking Different Types Of Steak
Tender cuts: these types of steaks are excellent for cooking at high temperatures using dry heat such as grilling, broiling, pan-frying and baking. Examples include Porterhouse, T-bone, Ribeye and New York Strip. You can cook thin cuts using direct heat only. However, if your steak is thicker you may want to use a reverse sear to combine direct high heat with lower indirect heat.
Cuts with a medium level of tenderness and marbling: these cuts of steaks should be before cooking at high temperature and limited to medium doneness. Examples include Flank Steak and Skirt Steak.
Lean and tough cuts: use low-and-slow cooking for these cuts such as Round Steak.
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The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part : Skirt Steak
Of all the inexpensive cuts on the cow, the skirt is probably the greatest dollar-to-flavor value out there. Riddled with plenty of buttery, beefy fat with a deep, rich flavor and a tender, juicy texture, it’s a tough cut not to like. Indeed, I’d say that its flavor is even better than the ribeye and far superior to a relatively bland tenderloin or New York strip.
That is, it’s a tough cut not to like if you’ve had it cooked and sliced properly. All too often you’ll head out to a mid-rate taqueria where the skirt steak sits around in a piles on the edge of the griddle, slowly overcooking and turning from tender, juicy, steak-fit-for-a-king into your typical tough, leathery, livery-flavored taco stuffing.
Equally bad is the uncle who throws it onto a too-cool grill, forgets to rest it, then slices it improperly, reducing it to inedibly tough rubber bands.
Do NOT be this uncle. Your family may still love you, but they certainly won’t like you.
Here’s how to treat skirt steak right.
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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Whats The Difference Between Skirt Steak And Flank Steak
Both skirt steak and flank steak are lean cuts of beef that are often grilled, pan-seared on the stovetop, or stir-fried.
Flank steak comes from the flank primal, the abdominal area right next to the short plate, where the skirt is located. It has a less intense beefy flavor compared to the skirt, and it is noticeably thicker.
A good visual cue is that skirt steak has its grain running across the width of the meat, whereas flank runs lengthwise. With both steaks, you want to cut them across the grain to end up with a tender slice.