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Skirt Steak: Cooking With Bite

Skirt Steak: Cooking With Bite

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When you search “skirt steak” on Google, the second result that comes up is Skirt Steak: 5 Ways to Cook It | The Art Of Manliness, a restaurant review followed by a few recipes for way to prepare skirt steak. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this result — but if you’ve just read Charlotte Druckman’s food novel Skirt Steak, Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen, you may find the search results a bit ironic.

In an interview with the book’s author, Charlotte Druckman, she tells The Daily Meal, “I had no interest in writing my own book. And I never thought that if I did, it would be about women in the workplace or gender issues. But when I look back, I see this was probably bound to happen.”

After attending a well-known, New York-based all-girls school, Druckman found herself pursuing an Art History degree and was reading Linda Nochlin’s well-known essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? In her essay, Nochlin addresses that women artists act both as artists and models for their work, just as Druckman implies that it might be possible female chefs do, or rather be, the same. When asked why write the book about gender association in the culinary world, Druckman replied:

“I had this feeling that the perceived [notion that there is a] lack of women chefs wasn’t legit; that something else was at play and that…I might be responsible or accountable in some way for creating a bizarre self-fulfilling prophecy (or myth) of there being: a) no ‘great’ women chefs and b)no women chefs, period.”

This cleverly titled book, bound by a hard black shell and decorated with pink and white typeface, prefaces what’s on the inside — women in the culinary world who are nothing shy of a cleaver cutout. With women like Loretta Keller, who Druckman claims shoots robins from the sky every morning for breakfast, and the infamous Christina Tosi, from Momufoku Milk Bar, who the author also attributes as having the talent of making ice cream that tastes like ‘Mr. Softee dropped Acid’ (and if she ever releases a Wheat Thins flavor, we will know who to thank), it’s hard not to take solace in the rebel portrait that Druckman is painting for us in these brilliantly written twelve chapters.

Druckman’s punchy footnotes reflect how she feels about each of the seventy-three women she chose to interview for her book, whom she refers to as “so remarkably and literally awesome.” While the story certainly carries itself, Druckman inserts a footnote about Jay-Z every once in a while, which never hurts and teaches us about her obsession with the rapper. She also interviews women who have shaken the culinary world to its core: women like Gabrielle Hamilton, who many know from her successful recent novel, Blood, Bones, & Butter. In her interview with Hamilton, the two found ease in gossiping about Top Chef’s exploitation of ‘Chefs’ who couldn’t shuck oysters with the author.

Reading these interviews, it is as if you’ve known Druckman for your entire life, and perhaps that’s because she writes with the grace and conviction of a lifelong friend.

Through these intimate interviews, the author allows the reader to step behind the privatized lines of the culinary world and place themselves alongside the women who are constantly facing all kinds of heat that comes with working in the kitchen.

How to Cook Skirt Steak

Often times a hunky piece of ribeye or filet catches your attention at the market. However, there are other options for tender, flavorful, and more affordable cuts that are often overlooked. The next time a beef craving creeps up, try something new and exciting, and grab the unsung skirt steak.

Skirt steak can be simply seasoned or marinated for extra gusto -- it’s often used to make fajitas. It’s best cooked in high heat for a short time, to deliver juicy slices of meat quickly to the dinner table.

Skirt steak comes from either of two separate muscles inside the cow’s chest, below the ribs, from the section widely known as beef plate primal cut.

The section is separated into two muscles, the diaphragm muscle or outside skirt and the transversus abdominis muscle, or the inside skirt.

The outside skirt is located to the chest wall, diagonally from the ribs and is covered with a thick membrane.

It is plainly visible on the beef carcass in a long, diagonal shape attached to the chest wall and is called outside because of its location to the outside of the body wall.

The inside skirt is located below the outside skirt and within the body wall itself, that’s why it is called ‘inside’.

It lies flat across the lower part of the ribs and extending beyond them, with a portion of it going into the beef flank primal cut.

That’s why a lot of people mistake the skirt steak and flank steak with each other. They are both different cuts of steak and are both located next to each other in the bottom side of the cow’s belly.

How To Cook Skirt Steak 6 Ways

Rach explains how to cook skirt steak &mdash and her favorite ways to serve it &mdash in an answer to one viewer who asked for her advice for avoiding toughness.

Q: "I bought skirt steak because there wasn't much at my grocery. I read it can be really tough. Afraid to ruin it &mdash help please!"

A: "Skirt is steak is delicious. It's very forgiving, actually, I find," Rach says. "As with any meat, you bring it to room temperature, cut into portions, freeze some if you're not going to eat it all that day."

Here are six different ways Rach suggests for serving up a skirt steak lunch or dinner.

How To Cook Skirt Steak

In general, Rach says, if you're just going to cook a piece of steak you bring it to room temperature, pat it dry and season it well. Then, get a cast-iron skillet&mdashRach's preferred pan of choice, but any skillet will do&mdashnice and hot over medium-high heat. Drizzle a little bit of oil on the meat or in the pan, put the meat in and let it completely develop its sugars and "get that great reddish-brown, crispy, beautiful finish, then flip it," Rach says.

The second side will cook quicker than the first. "It's a very thin steak, it won't take long," Rach adds. Once it's done, take it out and let it rest on a cutting board, then slice it against the grain.

Reviews ( 56 )

I'm sorry but skirt steak is too chewy. We'll stick with a nice flank steak and marinate it longer than the recipe calls for. Perfect from our Traeger grill. The menu suggested along side is a great companion to the steak. Definitely need more spinach though. Very quick and easy recipe.

I agree! Skirt steak is all the rage & the price has sky rocketed. I never see it on sale but on a rare occasion it may be reduced for quick sale.

Thanks! It's like you read my mind. The picture looks far more appetizing than the suggested potatoes and salad.

Not sure where you're getting your Skirt Steak, but around here it's far from "budget-friendly". In the stores around me, it's $14.99/lb. I can get ribeye and strip steak for cheaper.

(for those who are looking for the rest of the dinner, pg 108 of May 2010 issue or online at WE subbed NY strip for the skirt steak because it was on sale, otherwise followed directions and cooked to medium-rare. Great flavor from the marinade. Served with a small salad, CL's creamed cauliflower and some pan-roasted tomatoes.

We make this every couple of weeks. It's great! Easy and quick to make, my kids LOVE it (we refer to it as my sons "favorite beef"), and even better, it is so nice I have served it to company. We grill it in the summer and use the grill pan in winter. Perfect, versatile, and delicious. The only thing I do differently is that I marinade the skirt steak for a day to make the flavors more bold.

Marinated longer than suggested, but still had little flavor. The meat was very tough, even though I pounded it first and marinated it in extra marinade. Would not make again.

Found this to be a disappointment. Too tough and chewy (and I buy high quality meats).

I found this recipe one day when I had no idea what to cook for dinner. I then typed "What's for dinner tonight" into Google and voila. This steak/tomato/spinach combination with the addition of rosemary roasted red potatoes has become a staple for my boyfriend and I. Great meal and so easy to cook! He prepares the steak and potatoes - my job is spinach and tomato salad. Perfect :-) OH! For those of you asking where you get the recipes for the side dishes they are right here:

Wonderful meal. Make the whole thing. wilted garlic spinach & blue cheese tomato salad. Do it. The sum of the parts is more than the whole- YUM! Sides are super easy too.

I liked the flavors of the marinade, but it didn't impart quite enough flavor to the steak. Next time I will reserve the marinade and baste it on when the steak is almost finished cooking. The tomato salad is a great counterpoint to the flavors of the steak, but I wished I had added some fresh herbs to add another dimension to the flavors.

Really a phenomenal recipe, especially when paired with the tomato/blue cheese side. Don't know why they don't also have a link to the sides. I did some digging and here it is - definitely AS GOOD as the main course itself! Don't miss it: Tomato-Vidalia-Blue Cheese Salad: Combine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1¼ teaspoons white wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Toss with 2½ cups halved grape tomatoes and ⅓ cup diced Vidalia onion. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese.

I also used a different cut of steak for this recipe. But the flavors were wonderful. I marinated it all day while I was at work. I served it with the spinach salad. Its a keeper.

I love this. I have made it several times with just the amount (4hours) of marinating. My boys even love it and its a way to get some spinach in them. Yes they even eat the spinach. So good and not a bad dinner for the family!

Thought this was okay. Marinated the steak for twice the amount of time recommended but expected more flavor. Will make again but may increase the amount of balsamic vinegar or add a little soy sauce and marinade overnight.

Great! Easy to make. Served it just like in the picture, over a salad with blue cheese crumbles on it.

The recipe is delicious!! I used Balsamic vinaigrette, Splenda blend sugar, garlic that comes in a jar preminced, (not the dry spice), I marinated for 50 mins, (flip over at 25 mins), & probably the most important thing I changed was the cut of meat!! I used top round extra thin cut, similar to sirloin tip.

Whoever created this recipe and said you could marinate the steak for 25 minutes was kidding themselves. I wish I had read reviews ahead of time because I would have used a tenderizer and then marinated overnight. As it was, it was inedible :( If you use common sense for marinating you might be fine.

Delicious. Let it marinate for a day (instead of 20 minutes) and you won't be sorry!

Very bland I don't know if the meat needed to marinate longer than the recipe specified or what.

For those looking for the spinach and tomato side dish recipes, look below the recipe and you'll find "This Recipe Featured In" with a link to the Grilled Balsamic Skirt Seak Menu. The side dish recipes can be found there.

This was very good. Used flank steak instead of skirt, and marinated it for 24 hrs before grilling it. Served with recommend tomato- Vidalia blue cheese salad, (awesome!) and sautéed fiddlehead ferns. I would make this again.

This was so delicious. Skirt steak is a real favorite in our home. I made the tomato salad and threw in half a cubed avocado because that enhances the absorption of lycopene from the tomatoes. I usually serve the spinach, but I had the first white corn of the season on hand, so served that instead.

Quick and easy! I marinated the meat all day. meat was so tender, could cut it with just a fork. I served it with a baked potato, fresh asparagus, a tossed green salad and homemade bread. Delisious!

For the spinach and tomato sides click on: Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak Menu, which is listed under: This Recipe Featured In, which is under the steak's recipe. Hope this helps!

Great recipe! Here's the side salad others are talking about: Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1.25 tsp white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with 2.5 c halved grape tomatoes, 1.3 c diced sweet onion (Vidalia if you can find it), 3 tbsp blue cheese (I used more).

I made this recipe as shown along with both sides. I loved the steak as well as the tomato salad. The spinach was too garlicly for my taste, and I love garlic. The steak and the tomato salad will go into rotation though.

Top shelf without question! Made it a few weeks ago after racking my brain and searching for something new, healthy and pleasing. I followed the instructions to the letter and had the left overs with eggs the next morning! A must try!

Fantastic! Much better than I thought it would be. Served it with CL's Creamed Spinach (fantastic as well), and roasted potatoes. Will definitely make this again.

I was skeptical at first and wasn't sure how my husband would like it but the flavor is great! I made the grape tomato salad from the meal recipe and it was fantastic and a great combination of flavors! Will definitely make again perhaps on an outdoor grill mmmmm

Another easy, quick weeknight meal:) I used a flat iron steak and cooked on the grill but I did not alter any of the other ingredients. I served this with oven roasted potatoes and carrots. I will make this again.

Great flavor. Can't wait to make it again! I accidentally used Balsamic Vinaigrette instead of vinegar and it was still awesome!

This was delish! I served it with the garlic spinach and the grape tomato vidalia onion salad featured in the magazine. It was a very well-balanced and flavorful meal!

The flavor was ok. If I made it again I would season it up a little more with some fresh herbs. What I didn't like about it was that the meat was a little tough/chewy.

I made the whole meal (including the spinach & tomato salad) for my fiance who is a pretty picky eater & a good cook himself. He raved & said this is the best meal I've ever made for him. This would definitely be something I would serve to guests & it was really easy!

here's the sides -

I made this whole dinner (sides included, from the magazine) and thought it was awesome! The marinade was a little sweet for my liking, but went well with the sides. I reviewed the whole meal on my blog,

made as is and it was wonderful! Only marinated a few minutes and cooked stovetop. Really good!

pls explain again how to find the sides that acconpany this recipe. couldn't find anywhere. thanx.

I used on venison steak and it gave it a great flavor. My kids liked that it had a sweet taste to it.

This is an amazing dish, love the flavors and ease of preparation, my kids even like it!

This recipe is fantastic. I had a couple of friends over for dinner and I had to give them a copy of the recipe when they left. I will definitely make this again. I served it with the tomato/onion/blue cheese salad and corn on the cob - the entire meal was a big hit.

Skirt Steak is great and the marinade is good. Someone let us know where to find the salad and spinach? Have searched with no luck.

I loved this recipe and did not think that I would, because I usually think that the skirt steak is too tough. I would so appreciate having the recipes that went with it-tomatoes with cheese or is that a salad?

My 14 year old was with me as I was flipping through my Cooking Light magazine and asked me to make this recipe. This was not one of our favorites. I think it was the combination of balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce and sugar that they didn't like.

This recipe looks like it would be a 5 star - outstanding recipe. However I, too, have not prepared it yet (must buy some skirt steak first!). As another person asked, how do I find the recipes for the remainder of the meal, i.e. the tomato/blue cheese/& ? salad? Love this site.

I have not made this recipe yet although it sounds wonderful. What I was wondering was how do you find the recipes for the entire meal? I would love to make the tomato salad and spinach as well. Thanks for the help.

I made this entire meal after seeing it in my Cooking Light magazine. It was a last minute meal. The steak was extremely flavorful. I cooked it in a grill pan on the stove. Perfect. The spinach was delicious and the blue cheese was a great touch to the salad. It is a quick meal to fix although it tastes like it would be much more trouble to make. I would make this again.

This steak was delicious! I used a grilled sirloin instead of the skirt steak, and cooked the whole thing (not cut up) on the outdoor grill. The true shining aspect of this recipe is the tomato, onion, and blue cheese salad---it is absolutely delightful! I just sauteed spinach in butter on the side, and all of the flavors went very well together. Yum!

Am going to try this..sounds great. For those wanting to know about the spinach & tomato salad, look under menu & ask for Grilled Balsamic Steak - they will come up under that.

Skirt steak recipes

Use lean skirt steak, a versatile and budget-friendly cut of beef, in our easy recipes. Try one of our stir-fries, one-pots or steak pies.

Pepper steak with noodles

Try our pepper steak with noodles for a simple, balanced, midweek meal that's full of flavour. Top with sesame seeds and crushed peppercorns to serve

Beef in red wine with melting onions

Learn how to make this hearty, meaty stew - perfect as a no-fuss family dinner

Steak & blue cheese pie

Bake a comforting steak pie with tender meat, a deeply savoury gravy and molten blue cheese for an extra hit of flavour. The ideal winter warmer

Philly cheesesteak

Pile steak, onion, peppers, cheese, ketchup and mustard into rolls to make these American-style Philly cheesesteaks. Just the food for a movie night in

Steak burrito bowl

Pack in the flavour with this spicy steak burrito bowl, which takes just 10 minutes from prep to plate. Ideal as a speedy supper on busy weeknights

Steak & Vietnamese noodle salad

Serve up this healthy steak and noodle salad for supper and nourish your body with nutrients as well as energy from complex carbs.

Cooking Times

Remember to fully thaw your steaks. Sear on high heat for 1 - 2 minutes each side, then move to indirect heat. Turn them 1 minute before the halfway point of the cooking time. For perfect doneness, we recommend you use a meat thermometer and use the Measuring Doneness chart below.

The Grill
Gas Grill Charcoal Grill
Rare 4-6 mins 4-6 mins
Medium-Rare 5-7 mins 5-7 mins
Medium 6-8 mins 6-8 mins
Medium-Well 8-10 mins 8-10 mins
The Stove Or Oven
Skillet Broil
Rare 5-8 mins 4-6 mins
Medium-Rare 7-10 mins 5-7 mins
Medium 8-11 mins 6-8 mins
Medium-Well 10-13 mins 8-10 mins

10 Ways to Marinate Skirt Steak

Add this versatile, inexpensive cut of meat to your arsenal. It takes on any flavor of marinade well and can typically be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2016, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Grilled Skirt Steak (Churrasco)

Chimichurri gets its flavor from red wine vinegar, parsley and plenty of garlic, and it’s the perfect match for charred skirt steak.

Skirt Steak Quesadillas

Lime, cumin, cayenne and chili powder deepen the flavor of skirt steak before it’s wrapped in toasty corn tortillas. Melty Monterey Jack cheese keeps everything together.

Pomegranate-Glazed Skirt Steak Fajitas

Sweet-tart pomegranate glaze lends another layer of flavor to skirt steak after it’s rubbed down with cumin, brown sugar and chili powder.

Skirt Steak Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Tender steak is imbued with warm notes of roasted tomatoes — as well as the creaminess of avocados — in these crowd-pleasing tacos.

Alton Brown's Skirt Steak

Alton's skirt steak marinade features pantry staples like dark brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce, but the steak's cooking method is anything but ordinary. Grab your blow dryer to perfect this showstopping dish.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

Lager-drenched steak gets a salty bite with soy sauce, and it gets a touch of sweetness from an orange. This steak is best washed down with a cold beer.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Rendang-Style Marinade

This skirt steak hosts a holy trinity of South Pacific flavor. Fruity sweetness from coconut milk contrasts the spiciness of Sriracha, and there is also citrusy depth from gingery-lemongrass rendang sauce.

Marinated Skirt Steak with Quick-Pickled Feta

Pickling isn’t just for cucumbers and onions — use the process to add extra zing to salty feta cheese. There’s even more zip in the dish from red wine vinaigrette, which also helps tenderize the meat.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Homemade Corn Tortillas, Grilled Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro

Once you make your own corn tortillas, you’ll never reach for store-bought ones again. Michael Symon takes steak tacos to the next level with his smoky grilled tomatillo salsa, spiked with chiles and refreshing cilantro.

Citrus-Marinated Beef Fajitas

Tiffani Thiessen uses bright citrus flavors and contrasting jalapeno heat to marinate steak, then tosses the meat with sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms for easy weeknight fajitas.

  • 1 7-oz. can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Calories (kcal) : 260
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 90
  • Sodium (mg): 390
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 26

Easy Beef Stir Fry with Skirt Steak and Veggies

This recipe is quickly becoming the go-to weeknight meal. It’s easy to scale up or down depending on how many servings you need. And I will personally vouch for the leftovers because they are just as delicious as the original meal. In this time of cooking and staying at home more, I also notice I’m less motivated to do more dishes than necessary. One-pan meals like this beef Skirt Steak stir fry are perfect for keeping the clutter to a minimum when it comes time to clean the kitchen!

If you’re looking for other ways to use Skirt Steak there is no shortage of options. I’ve used it in hearty, protein-packed salads, on top of sheet-pan nachos, and in tacos and burrito bowls.

Street Smart Nutrition Tip: If you spot a deal and want to stock up, Skirt Steak (and beef in general) does great in the freezer. Simply pull it out the night before and thaw in the fridge so it’s ready to go whenever you are.

I’ve really enjoyed cooking stir-fries during the last few months. It’s almost like a mindfulness exercise because chopping colorful veggies, inhaling all the aromas as it’s cooking, and enjoying each bite helps me take my mind off other stressful things in my day. No wonder it’s become such a favorite!


  1. Harel

    Before I thought otherwise, thanks for the help in this question.

  2. JoJor

    What words ... super, great phrase

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