Once You Marinate Skirt Steak You Can Never Handle Dry Rubs Again
If there are three things that every good chef should be able to do, its use a sous vide, marinate skirt steak , and chop things up correctly. A steak thats marinated well doesnt just have better flavor it becomes more tender and also retains that juiciness that makes everyone drool. Though almost every cut of beef can work well with a marinade, theres something to be said about the way marinating skirt steaks changes the flavor so beautifully.
To a point, I dont think Id be wrong in saying that knowing how to marinate a skirt steak is an art. If done correctly, it will change the way you think about this traditionally tough cut of meat. Want to learn how to work it? My guide will have you loving the way your steak tastes next time you prep it.
The Perfect Steak Temperatures For Your Taste Pro Tips
The most sure-fire way to gauge when your steak is done is by using a digital thermometer. This way, you will know for sure that your steak is cooked to your fancy, and if you are entertaining guests, it means you wont mess things up. You insert your thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to check its level of doneness. Our first pro tip dont cook our steaks over 150 degrees F, or your cut may come out feeling dry and tough. Also, please remember to let your steaks rest! This is so important for keeping flavor and maintaining tenderness. Let your steaks rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into them. Here are a few tips to ensure your steak is done at the right temperature:
- Rare: Should have an internal temp of 130 degrees F
- Medium Rare: Should have an internal temp of 135 degrees F
- Medium: Should have an internal temp of 145 degrees F
- Medium Well: Should have an internal temp of 150 degrees F
- Well Done: Should have an internal temp of 160 degrees F
Remember, not all steaks are created equal. At Steak University, we suggest that you keep your steaks below medium well in order to have the most tender and juicy cuts of meat.
The Ins And Outs Of Marinading
This marinade ticks all the boxes for a perfectly balanced marinade that will create the perfect flavor. Here are some know hows for the perfect marinade everytime.
- Keep it in the Fridge: When you marinate raw meat, it should be kept in the fridge to prevent bacteria from growing. Keep it tightly sealed in the fridge for the entire time. Remove when ready to cook.
- Do Not Reuse Marinade: Because the marinade has been sitting in raw meat it should be discarded immediately and not reused. If you want to baste your meat with more marinade while cooking, make a fresh batch that has not come in contact with raw meat. Never serve marinade that has come in contact with raw meat on the side.
- How Long to Marinate: Meat can be marinaded anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Be careful to not over-marinate as it can entirely break down your meat or make it tough.
- What cuts work best for Marinating: Thinner, flatter pieces of meat work better for marinating than large ones like a roast. You can slice up larger cuts into serving size or even bite-size to get better flavor and tenderization.
- What to use: I like to use a large enough zip-lock plastic bag to put the marinade and meat together. Remove as much air as possible from the bag. You want as much of the marinade to touch the meat as possible. Then place the bag in a shallow pan so that the meat can lie flat and place it in the fridge. Flip the bag over halfway through marinating to make sure all the meat is equally flavored.
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Why Do Chefs Spoon Butter Over Steak
Basting your steak with butter is a pro chef tip that will forever change the way you cook! Using butter adds richness to the steak and is the perfect final touch. It bathes the meat and helps the heat distribute into every nook crevice on the surface.
Wait to bathe the steak with the butter until the end of the cooking process to prevent the butter from burning. It is ok to slightly brown the butter because that will add a rich and nutty sauce to your steak.
What To Serve With Steak
Nothing pairs more perfectly with steak than potatoes and vegetables. Try this marinated steak recipe with any of these side dishes for a winning meal!
- Flank Steak
- Skirt Steak
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What Should I Drink After Eating Steak
Soft drinks like Lemonade or Coca-Cola work very well as a pallet cleanser. Soda water mixed with lemon or lime as well is another non-alcoholic drink that can be paired quite nicely with steak as carbonisation can cut through the fat but also act as a plate cleanser.
Storing Your New York Steak
Steak is great for leftovers, its the warming up that can be tricky.
- Store: Keep the steak in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- Reheat: The best way to warm up your steak without drying it out is to heat it low and slow. Use the oven and warm it up at 200 to 250 degrees till heated through. Or use the microwave at half power, full power will be too hot.
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Salt For Even More Tenderness & Extra Flavor
Salt further aids in tenderizing the meat, while also adding an important flavor aspect. Interestingly, the salt also plays an important role by drawing existing moisture out of the steak. This might seem like the opposite of what a marinade is supposed to do, but it actually helps to make the meat more flavorful. When the moisture thats already present is removed, the meat responds by soaking up more of the liquid from the marinade. This is one reason to make sure that the meat is completely submerged while marinating. We always recommend using a high quality salt like sea salt, kosher salt or Himalayan pink salt. You can also use a salty liquid like soy sauce or tamari.
What To Serve With The Ultimate Ribeye Steak
With a steak this good, you have to serve it up alongside other hearty, tasty sides! Steak and potatoes is always a classic- whether you want mashed, roasted, or hasselback potatoes, the flavor of each will pair perfectly with a tender, flavorful steak. I also like serving steaks up with some fresh grilled veggies and a casserole for a complete, satisfying meal.
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When Steak Marinade Is A Good Idea
The most common reason people use steak marinades is to tenderize tougher pieces of beef. Generally, cheaper cuts are the ones that can benefit from a good steak marinade. Skirt steak, hanger steak, flank steak, and chuck are a few options that work well with a marinade.
As these steaks soak in the marinade, the acids in the marinade go to work breaking down fibers and tenderizing the meat. The longer the steaks stay in the marinade, the more time they have to tenderize and get more flavor.
Another reason to use marinades is to add extra flavor to steaks that arent as full of beef flavor as others. Again, these are usually the cheaper cuts.
Grilled steak is another excellent option for marinades. The grill tends to leave a char on steak, and some people dont find the char very appetizing. But the flavor of a marinade can create a more pleasant taste that some will find more palatable.
Tips For Steak Marinade
- This marinade can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, so its great to make in advance if youre entertaining. You can even freeze your marinade for up to 2 months if need be!
- Feel free to use a low sodium soy sauce if youre watching your salt intake.
- Italian seasoning is a blend of dried herbs that can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. This seasoning is typically a blend of dried basil, parsley, garlic and oregano. If you cant find Italian seasoning, you can blend together your own dried herbs in equal amounts.
- The steak in these photos is topped with an herb butter which is super easy to make. Simply combine 1/4 cup softened butter with 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, salt and pepper. Add a dollop of butter on top of each steak as it comes off the grill.
- This marinade works well with most cuts of beef, I recommend using it on flank steak, New York strip, ribeye, sirloin or filet mignon.
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How To Cook The Steaks In A Skillet
If you dont have a grill handy, you can also cook these steaks in a hot skillet on the stove. I recommend a cast iron skillet, if you have one, but if not, any heavy-bottomed skillet will work.
How To Marinate Steak
I always marinate my steak in ziplock bags which I acknowledge is not environmentally friendly, but it is the most effective way to marinade steak because it keeps the steak evenly coated with a relatively small amount of marinade.
If you want to use a container instead, use a glass or other non reactive container and I would recommend doubling the marinade.
How long to marinate steak?
12 to 24 hours is best. You can also freeze it immediately then it will marinate as it thaws!
Pan fry or grill it, and marvel at how JUICY and FLAVOURFUL your steak is!!
The steak marinade injects enough flavour into the steak such that you dont need to serve this with a sauce. But I couldnt resist adding a smidge of garlic butter on top!
As for sides, its pictured with buttered baby potatoes and a classic Rocket/Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan. Here are some more suggestions for great sides!
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Another Option: Dry Rub
A dry rub is sometimes the better option for steaks that need some extra oomph in terms of flavor. A dry rub is a mix of herbs and spices that you rub into the outer part of the meat. Dry rubs add a lot of flavor to a steak.
More importantly, they create a crust on the outer part of the steak that a marinade simply cant do. A marinade can leave steaks watery and unseared, but a dry rubs protective crust crisps up during cooking to create a nice sear. Plus, the browned crust helps hold the steaks natural juices in, allowing the steak to stay as tender as possible during the cooking process.
While rubs are usually saved for large pieces of meat going on the grill or in a smoker, they absolutely can work with steaks. Mix the ingredients together and, after patting the steaks dry, press the rub into the steak on all sides with your fingers.
What Ingredients Go Into Steak Marinade
- Balsamic vinegar I dont recommend substitutes here. Balsamic vinegar will add the best flavor. And use dark balsamic, white isnt as strong.
- Worcestershire sauce another key ingredient. This is one of the best ingredients for steak marinade.
- Soy sauce keep in mind the longer the steak marinades the more sodium it will absorb from the soy sauce, so if you only marinate 1 hour you may still need a little salt added to the steaks.
- Olive oil dont use extra virgin olive oil because it has a low smoke point, just regular refined olive oil.
- Dijon mustard this adds a little extra flavor. Dont use regular mustard.
- Honey just a light amount helps tone down acidity of the vinegar it also helps the exterior of steaks brown better.
- Garlic as always only use fresh. It makes a big difference.
- Freshly ground black pepper if you havent made the jump to fresh ground pepper now is the time! It really is a lot better.
- Dried rosemary of course fresh will work great too, use 1 Tbsp chopped if using fresh.
- Steak this makes enough marinade for about 2 pounds of steak.
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How Do You Make A Steak Marinade
Although the key to a great steak is the marinade, dont worry, you wont have to plan for hours in advance to reap its benefits. Thats because today Im sharing with you my secret for a 20-minute marinade that will transform even cheaper cuts into delicious and tender steak with enough flavor to make you forget to pull out the A-1.
This steak marinade starts with a base of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, which makes a perfect combination for tenderizing the meat. I whisk the soy and vinegar together with the oil, worcestershire sauce, honey, herbs, dry mustard, and garlic powder. All of these ingredients will infuse into the steak for big flavor. Add the steak and the marinade into a sealable bag, and chill for 15-20 minutes in the fridge before throwing your steak on the grill.
How To Make It
Making this marinade is SO simple! Its simply a matter of whisking together the marinade ingredients and adding the steak. Lets take a quick look:
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Why Marinade Steak With Beer
The main reason to marinate steak is to flavor the surface of the meat. Adding beer to the list of ingredients for a steak marinade takes this up a notch because of the very nature of beer. This is how.
A typical marinade relies on a ratio of 3 parts fat to 1 part acid plus other ingredients to taste. Besides being very flavorful beer is also a very mild acid. It can be added in a larger quantity vis-a-vis the oil in the marinade, therefore beer marinades tend to have a thinner consistency and higher water content.
The presence of beer allows the marinade to penetrate a bit deeper into the meat, acting somewhat similarly to a brine in that it both:
NOTE: What a beer marinade does not do is tenderize the meat. Not unless an ingredient is added which contains protein breaking enzymes .
For more on this topic read When to Brine, When to Marinate and Can You Do Both?
How Do You Make Steak Soft And Tender
4 Techniques for Tenderizing Steak
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What’s Happening As My Meat Marinates
When meat is exposed to an acidic marinade, the bonds break between protein bundles, and the proteins unwind, forming a loose mesh. Initially, water is trapped within this protein “net” and tissue remains moist and juicy. But after a while, the protein bonds tighten, water squeezes out, and the tissue toughens. Acid bases include vinegar, wine, citrus juice, and tomatoes.
Acidic marinades might actually toughen chicken. So when using a highly acidic marinade for chicken, add a little olive oil and/or minimize marinating time. Two hours is usually more than enough time to marinate chicken.
On the other hand, enzymatic marinades work by breaking down the muscle fiber and connective tissue . Kiwi, papaya, raw pineapple, honeydew melon, and figs all contain protein enzymes . Again, they might work too well if the marinating goes on too long. Chicken might turn to mush without passing though an intermediate stage of tenderness. Two hours is usually enough time to marinate chicken.
Dairy-based marinades, such buttermilk or yogurt, are probably the only marinades that truly tenderize. Only mildly acidic, they don’t toughen meat the way strongly acidic marinades do. It seems that the calcium in dairy products activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins this process is similar to the way that aging tenderizes meat.