Skirt steak is one of the beefiest-tasting cuts of meat and a quick and delicious option for any meal. While we tend to think of skirt steak just for fajitas, it’s also a terrific cut for stir fry recipes as well.
The best way to cook skirt steak is quickly, over high heat. This thin cut is perfect on the grill, but it’s also great seared in a skillet or broiled in the oven. Regardless of your preferred cooking method, be sure your skirt steak is completely thawed and seasoned as you desire before cooking.
Skirt steak is quite lean with a pronounced grain and should be cooked quickly—2 to 3 minutes per side—over high heat. It’s best when served medium-rare. An instant-read meat thermometer should show 125-130°F. The muscle fibers in skirt steak are strong and can be tough. Carving skirt steak against the grain transforms it into tender indulgence.
Skirt Steak on The Grill
Because skirt steak is thin, a couple of hours in a marinade is all you need. Dry the meat thoroughly before grilling to get the best caramelization on the exterior. A skirt steak is a very thin, long piece of meat. Cut the steak into three or four sections for individual portions to make it easier to slice after cooking.
Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat it to medium-high. Lightly oil the grate. Place skirt steak over the hottest part of the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare meat.
Remove from the grill and cover the skirt steak with foil and let it rest for five minutes before serving. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time. The resting period is important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
Skirt Steak in The Oven
Set your oven for broil and preheat 10 minutes. Place skirt steak on the rack of a broiler pan and position broiler pan in the oven so that the surface of the beef is 3 to 4 inches from the heat.
For the perfect medium-rare skirt steak, broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. Rest your skirt steak for 5 minutes before serving, covered lightly with foil.
Pan-Seared Skirt Steak
Heat a heavy skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear. Add a 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place skirt steak in the hot skillet.
For the perfect medium-rare skirt steak, sear in a skillet for 7-10 minutes, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. Rest your skirt steak for 5 minutes before serving, covered lightly with foil.
Note: Skirt steak is a versatile cut of beef; pre-sliced and pan-seared it is perfect atop pasta, a salad or in a stir fry. Just follow the cooking instructions for pan-searing. To pre-slice your skirt steak, place it in the freezer for just 15 minutes; this will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice. Slice into thin strips or cubes against the grain, before cooking.