Skirt steak is one of our favourite cuts of beef for no other reason than that it is used in fajitas. These tend to be thin cuts of beef that cook quickly, so they are great for quick meals. If you don’t have long to make your meal but you need some beef in it, then skirt steak is a great choice.
Filet and ribeye get plenty of recipes for them and prime spots on the menu at your favourite restaurant, but who is talking about skirt steak, much less using it? We think that’s unfortunate, because there is a lot to love about this piece of beef. It’s tasty, savoury, and really easy to work with.
Our favourite way to cook skirt steak is on high heat for just a short time. This brings out the juices and keeps the steak tender and succulent. It’s the kind of steak cut that is tasty just about any way you cook it- on the grill, in the oven or in the skillet. You don’t need much to season it with, since it is so flavourful already. We suggest just using a little marinade or steak sauce so that you can enjoy the natural flavour this meat has to offer.
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The Difference between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak
One kind of beef cut that skirt steak gets mistaken for often is flank steak. They are easy to get confused with one another, because they have a lot of similarities.
They are both thinner cuts of beef, meaning that they will cook through quickly. They both look a little odd as well, neither having that classic steak cut shape.
The flank steak tends to be thicker than the skirt steak, and its flavour is not as intense. You may need to flavour the flank steak more, and it may be notedly tougher as well. It’s considered a slightly less desirable cut of meat when comparing the two.
Both of them have to be cut against the grain in order for the cut to be reasonably tender. Otherwise, you are going to have to eat through tough tendon and connective tissue. Cutting them properly avoids that issue.
The Difference between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak
Often confused with each other, skirt steak and flank steak share similarities but also important differences. Both cuts are thin and cook quickly but flank steak is typically thicker and less intensely flavored than skirt steak. Flank steak may require additional seasoning and can be notably tougher. The key to a tender serving of either cut is to slice against the grain to avoid tough tendon and connective tissue.
Cooking Skirt Steak in the Oven: A Step-by-Step Guide
While grilling or pan-frying are common methods for cooking skirt steak, baking it in the oven can provide a consistently tender and juicy result. Here’s a simple guide to cooking skirt steak in the oven:
Perfect Oven-Baked Skirt Steak
- 1 Skirt Steak
- Cooking oil spray
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season your skirt steak with salt and pepper.
- Spray your pan with cooking oil to prevent the steak from sticking.
- Place the steak in the pan, making sure the pan is large enough for the steak to lie flat and even.
- Once your oven has properly heated, place the steak in the oven for 7 minutes.
- Flip the steak over and cook it on the other side for 3.5-4.5 minutes. For a well-done steak, you can cook it for up to 9 minutes. For a rarer steak, cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. It should be between 145-165°F to ensure it's cooked all the way through and safe to eat.
- Marinating the skirt steak for a couple of hours before baking can add additional flavor.
- Safety first: Always ensure your steak reaches an internal temperature between 145-165°F to avoid food-borne illnesses.
How to Serve Your Skirt Steak
Now that you know how to cook skirt steak in the oven, let’s talk about sides. The steak is the main course, so you want something to accompany it and fill out your meal some more. This is a juicy steak, so a dry salad with vinaigrette dressing works really well as accompaniment. I think the juicier the meat, the drier the sides should be. So, I opt for baked fries rather than fried ones with this kind of meat, but it is up to you.
Cooking skirt steak in the oven is quick and easy, and your sides should probably be pretty quick to make as well. You still want that steak to be warm when the sides are finished, after all. That’s why I would be hesitant to make a potato dish, since those can be very time consuming. Some roasted veggies are my preferred option, and grilled veggie kebabs go nicely too.
Once you have mastered how to make skirt steak in oven, you can use it in all sorts of dishes. Like I said earlier, it’s perfect for fajitas, and you can be prepping your fajita fixings while the steak is cooking. It works great in quesadillas and burritos or any kind of Mexican food that calls for steak. You’ll class up a simple taco or burrito this way, and you can even throw the steak into a salad thanks to how tender it is. This is definitely not a tough piece of steak that you will be gnawing all night on.
We have covered how to cook a skirt steak in the oven, and now you’re prepared to try it out. Get ready to enjoy this succulent steak that’s easy to cook and get on its own or well-seasoned and slathered in sauce.
Is skirt steak a good cut of steak?
Yes, skirt steak is a great cut of beef. It’s known for its rich, flavorful taste and tender texture, especially when cooked quickly at high heat and sliced against the grain. It’s perfect for quick, savory dishes.
What’s another name for skirt steak?
In the UK, skirt steak is often referred to as “Hanger Steak” or “Onglet.” In Spanish, it’s known as “Fajita” or “Arrachera,” especially in Mexican cuisine.
Is skirt steak and flat iron steak the same?
No, skirt steak and flat iron steak are not the same. While both are flavorful cuts of beef, they come from different parts of the cow. Skirt steak is cut from the diaphragm, while flat iron steak comes from the shoulder.
What is the best way to eat skirt steak?
The best way to eat skirt steak is to cook it quickly on high heat, either grilled, pan-fried or broiled, and then slice it thinly against the grain. It’s perfect for dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, and salads.