Skirt Steak Vs Flank Steak
The flank steak and skirt steak are both beef cuts from the lower chest area of the animal. They are two types of beefsteaks that are popular for their flavor and texture. Both steaks are flavorful and relatively economical, making them popular choices for home cooks.
In this article, we will compare the two steaks to help you decide which is the best fit for your next meal. First, let’s take a look at the flank steak.
A flank steak is cut from the diaphragm of a cow. It is a leaner cut of beef than the skirt steak, but it is still flavorful. The flank steak is best cooked by low and slow cooking methods such as roasting or braising.
Preparing a flank steak:
Remove any excess surface fat
Lay the flank steak flat on a cutting board. Trim away any excess surface fat.
Cut the meat against the grain into thin strips, about 1/4-inch thick. You will need to cut against the grain in order to shorten the tough muscle fibers in the meat.
Marinating – Flank steak benefits from a long marinade that helps tenderize and flavor the meat by allowing it to soak in the juices for at least 4 hours. A good flank steak marinade should have an acidic component such as vinegar or lemon juice to help tenderize the meat, oil for moisture, and spices or herbs for flavor. Optionally, you can add some sort of tomato product (tomato paste, ketchup) which also acts as an acid while adding more flavor to your steak.
Roasting – Preheat oven to 275F Place the flank steak in a roasting pan with 1/4-inch of oil in the bottom of it. Roast for 25 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 135F Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Braising – Place the flank steak in a braising pot or Dutch oven with aromatics (onions, carrots, celery, garlic). Add enough beef broth or stock to cover the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
A 3-ounce serving of flank steak is about 196 calories, 22 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, and 9 grams of fat. It also provides 67% of the Daily Value for Vitamin B6, 36% of the Daily Value for Niacin, and 31% of the Daily Value for zinc.
Choosing a flank steak:
When selecting a flank steak, look for one that is:
– Bright red in color
– Firm to the touch
– Thinly cut with little marbling
– Free of excess fat and silverskin
– Sold cryovacced (prepackaged in a plastic bag) or vacuum-sealed
Good flank steak recipes:
Some of our favorite recipes that include flank steak are:
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders with Grilled Flank Steak
– 1 flank steak (about 1 pound)
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– 6 slider buns or dinner rolls
– 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
– 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
– 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let cool slightly before slicing into thin strips against the grain.
In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce and sliced flank steak. Assemble sliders by placing a piece of grilled steak on each slider bun, followed by mozzarella cheese, bell pepper, and red onion. Serve immediately.
Grilled Flank Steak over Chimichurri Sauce
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– Flank steak (about 1 pound)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
– 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped finely
– 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely
– 3 tablespoons red onion or shallots, minced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– Dash of hot sauce (optional)
– 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Chimichurri Sauce: In a food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, garlic, red onion, cumin, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add olive oil until well combined.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Brush steak with half of the mixture and grill for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve immediately with reserved marinade and Chimichurri Sauce.
Slow Cooker Barbecue Flank Steak
– 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
– 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1 tablespoon olive oil or melted coconut oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
– 1 teaspoon brown sugar
– 1/2 to 1 teaspoon EACH chili powder, chipotle chile pepper, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl whisk together the first 7 ingredients. Pour half of the mixture over the steak in a large resealable bag or container. Add remaining marinade to slow cooker along with the steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Drain and discard marinade. Add steak and cook on low heat for 5-8 hours (or high heat for 3-4 hours), or until very tender. Remove meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks before returning to the slow cooker and mixing well with the remaining sauce. Serve immediately, spooned onto slider buns or dinner rolls, drizzled with extra barbecue sauce if desired (optional).
Good Side Dishes:
When serving flank steak, there are many different types of side dishes that you can choose from. Some of our favorites include:
Mashed Potatoes – The perfect comfort food side dish to serve with your grilled steak.
Roasted Vegetables – A great way to get your daily serving of vegetables, and they pair perfectly with the steak.
Rice Pilaf – Another great starch side dish to serve with your grilled meal.
Grilled Asparagus or Green Beans – These are both delicious and healthy side dishes that will perfectly complement your grilled steak.
Simple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – A classic and easy side salad that will add some freshness to your meal.
Like many other cuts of beef, flank steak pairs well with a variety of sauces. Some popular options include:
Blue Cheese Dressing
Spicy Sriracha Aioli or Chipotle Mayo
Fresh Tomato Salsa or Pineapple Salsa
Red Pepper Jelly
Wine and Steak Pairing:
A fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel, is a good option to serve with flank steak. It will pair well with the flavors of the meat and also help to cut through the richness. If you’re looking for a white wine option, Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice. It has a tartness that will contrast nicely with the beef.
A skirt steak is cut from the abdominal muscles of a cow. The cut has long flat muscles with many tough fibers running through it. For this reason, skirt steak requires marinating to tenderize it before cooking. Skirt steaks are best cooked by high-heat cooking methods such as stir-frying or grilling.
Preparing a skirt steak:
- Cut away the silver skin
- Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips, about 1/4-inch thick. If there is a tough membrane on top of the steak (known as the silver skin), you will need to slice it away before marinating or cooking.
- A good skirt steak marinade should have an acidic component such as vinegar or citrus juice to help tenderize the meat. The marinade can also include oil, herbs, and spices to enhance the flavor of the steak.
Skirt steak is best cooked by high-heat cooking methods such as stir-frying or grilling. Be careful not to overcook the steak, as it can become tough and dry.
Grilling – Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the steak for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked to your liking.
Stir-frying – Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over high heat. Add the steak strips and cook quickly, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes per side.
Skirt steak has less fat and more protein than a flank steak, making it slightly healthier. It is also lower in calories for the same serving size.
A 3-ounce serving of skirt steak provides around 130 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat. It also contains 5% of your daily iron needs and 8% of your daily zinc needs.
Choosing a skirt steak:
Skirt steak is an excellent meat option if you are looking for a healthy, high-protein cut of beef. It is also very versatile in recipes and can be substituted for flank steaks or stir-fry strips. You can find skirt steak fresh, frozen, pre-marinated, or pre-cut at most grocery stores.
When buying a skirt steak, look for a piece that is relatively even in thickness. The steak should also have a good amount of marbling (fat) running through it, as this will add flavor and juiciness to the finished product.
A good quality skirt steak will only require minimal preparation before cooking and can be cooked using high-heat methods such as grilling, stir-frying, and broiling.
Avoid steaks that are thick or have a lot of visible fat.
Good skirt steak recipes:
Here are a few of our favorite recipes for skirt steak:
Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1-pound) skirt steak, trimmed
In a food processor, combine the parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
Place the skirt steak in a large zip-top bag and pour in the herb mixture. Seal the bag and massage the steak to coat evenly with the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to high heat. Grill the skirt steak 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked to your liking. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.
Serve with chimichurri sauce.
Skirt Steak Fajitas
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1-pound) skirt steak, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 onion, sliced into thin strips
In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the skirt steak and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove the steak from the pan and set it aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Add the bell peppers, onion, and spice mixture to the skillet. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Return the skirt steak to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook 1-2 minutes more until steak is heated through. Slice against the grain into thin strips before serving on tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.
Stir-Fried Skirt Steak with Vegetables
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1-pound) skirt steak, trimmed and cut into thin strips
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 bell peppers, seeded and julienned
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove the steak from the pan and set it aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, bell peppers, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil before returning the skirt steak back to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook 1-2 minutes more until meat is heated through.
Good Side Dishes
Some good side dishes to serve with skirt steak include grilled vegetables like peppers and onions, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, or steamed broccoli. You could also try a simple Caesar salad or green salad. If you’re looking for something a bit more decadent, try roasted garlic mashed potatoes or creamy black beans and rice. For dessert, why not try a classic chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream? Whatever you choose, be sure to pair it up with a delicious and juicy skirt steak!
Sauces can add a lot of flavor to your skirt steak dish, and there are endless possibilities. A few of our favorites include:
Honey Mustard Sauce: mix together 1/4 cup yellow mustard, 1/4 cup honey, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Barbecue Sauce: combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Steak Sauce: mix together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Whichever sauce you choose, it will be sure to add delicious flavor to your skirt steak!
Wine and Steak Pairing
There are many different types of wines that will pair wonderfully with a juicy and tender skirt steak. A few good choices include Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chianti, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Champagne/Sparkling White Wine.
If you’re looking for something red to serve with your steak dinner, choose a classic Cabernet or hearty Zinfandel to go along with that delicious skirt steak!
If you prefer white wine or sparkling white wine instead, consider pairing your beef dish with Champagne or even Pinot Grigio! Whatever wine you choose to sip on during this flavorful meal is sure to be the perfect accompaniment.
So which cut of beef is better? The skirt steak or the flank steak?
They are both great options, so it really depends on your personal preference. Flank steak is slightly more tender but also slightly fatter than a skirt steak. If you are looking for an option that’s leaner with less fat, go with the skirt steak. The difference in flavor between the two is subtle, so they can be used interchangeably in many dishes.
How much do they cost?
Skirt steak is a bit less expensive than flank steak, so if the price is a concern, that may be the better option for you. However, both cuts are reasonably priced and can often be found on sale.
What are the differences between a flank and a skirt steak?
The main difference between a skirt steak and a flank steak is the cut. A skirt steak is from the diaphragm of a cow, while a flank steak is from the cow’s lower back. They are both thin, long cuts of meat that are best grilled or broiled. Flank steak is more marbled with fat, which helps to keep it tender when grilled. It’s also slightly tougher than a skirt steak.
Are they healthy?
Both skirt steak and flank steak are considered to be healthy cuts of beef. They are low in fat and calories, and they are a good source of protein. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and magnesium. So, whether you choose a skirt steak or flank steak, you can feel confident that you’re making a healthy choice.
Can I freeze steak?
Yes, you can freeze steak. However, it’s important to note that freezing will make the meat less tender. So, if you’re planning to freeze steak, be sure to either cook it all the way through or thaw it completely before cooking.
How do you cut the steak against the grain?
To cut the steak against the grain, you need to turn the steak so that it’s facing in a different direction. Then, cut the meat into thin slices at a 45-degree angle.
How do I tenderize steak?
There are a few different ways to tenderize steak. One is to use a marinade or sauce. Another is to pound the meat with a mallet or kitchen hammer. You can also freeze the steak for about 24 hours before cooking. This will make the meat more tender when it’s cooked.
What makes steak expensive?
The main reason steak is expensive is because it is a high-quality cut of meat. It’s considered a “luxury” item, so the price is reflective of that. However, there are many different types of steak to choose from, and you can often find them on sale. So, if you’re looking for an affordable option, there are plenty to choose from.
Why should you rest the steak?
Although it’s not necessary, resting the steak after cooking will help keep the juices inside. Resting allows the meat to cook slightly more, so you get a juicier finished product. This is important for skirt steak since it has very little fat and can tend to dry out when cooked.
How should you season the steak?
To season steak, you can use salt and pepper, as well as herbs such as thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Be sure to rub the seasoning into both sides of the meat before adding your favorite oil to prevent sticking. If you’re pressed for time, you can just brush on some extra virgin olive oil after grilling or broiling instead of mixing together a mixture beforehand.
Do you need to oil the steak?
It’s not necessary to oil the steak before cooking it. However, you can use a small amount to help prevent sticking. If your skillet is hot enough, the meat shouldn’t stick when cooking.
How do you know when the steak is done?
One way to tell if a steak is done cooking is by using a meat thermometer. You can also test the doneness of a steak by pressing it with your finger. A rare steak will be soft, and a well-done steak will be firm. If you’re not sure about how long to cook the steak for, err on the longer side, as you can always put it back on the grill or in the oven if needed.
What causes the steak to be tough?
A tough steak is often a result of poor cooking techniques. If you’re using a leaner cut of meat, such as skirt steak, it’s important to not overcook it. Skirt steak will become dry and tough if overcooked, so err on the side of less time when grilling or broiling. You can also use a marinade or sauce to tenderize the meat.
How do I get a recipe for steak?
You can find a recipe for steak by doing a simple online search, or you can check out one of your cookbooks at home. You might also be able to find the recipe in an app on your phone. Ask other members if they have any tips or tricks to share about cooking steak.
What are some common problems when cooking steaks?
There are a few common problems when cooking steak: overcooking, undercooking and uneven cooking. The best way to avoid these issues is not by guessing but rather using a meat thermometer to make sure you know when it’s done exactly. By following the proper steps, you’ll be able to grill a perfectly cooked steak every time.
How do you broil a steak?
To broil a steak, put it on the top rack of your oven and place it 4 inches away from the heat source. Turn your oven on broil and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned. Then, rotate the pan 90 degrees and continue cooking until the correct temperature is reached (see question above). You can also use an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to cook the steak if you’d like.
How do you make a perfect medium-rare steak?
For a perfect medium-rare steak, you’ll want to aim for an internal temperature of 130°F. To cook the steak perfectly, use a meat thermometer and remove it from the grill or oven when it’s 125°F. Then cover it with aluminum foil to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. This will allow the steak to continue cooking and reach the perfect temperature.
What are some tips for grilling a steak?
If you’re grilling a steak, there are a few things to keep in mind: start with a clean grill, heat it to medium-high heat, use tongs to flip the steak, and only add salt and pepper after flipping. You can also use a marinade or sauce to add flavor to your steak. If you’re using a leaner cut of meat, such as skirt steak, it’s important not to overcook it.
Does flank steak have to be fully cooked?
Flank steak doesn’t have to be fully cooked, as it can be served rare or medium-rare. However, it’s important to cook it long enough so that it is not pink in the center. You can check the doneness of the steak by using a meat thermometer or pressing it with your finger.
How do you keep a flank steak from being chewy?
One way to prevent a flank steak from being chewy is by using a marinade or sauce and cooking it quickly. You can also cut the meat across the grain, which makes it more tender.
Why is my flank steak curling up?
One reason your flank steak might be curling up is that it’s not cooked evenly. This can often happen when the steak is cooked on a grill. Make sure to flip the steak frequently, and use a meat thermometer to test the doneness.
Is flank steak better grilled or broiled?
Although flank steak tastes great when grilled, it can also be broiled. To broil the steak, place it on the top rack of your oven and set the oven to broil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until browned. Then, rotate the pan 90 degrees and continue cooking until the correct internal temperature is reached.
I overcooked my flank steak, what can I do?
If you overcook your flank steak, there are a few things you can do to save it. One option is to cut the steak into thin strips and use them in a salad or stir-fry. You could also make a beef chili or beef stew with the overcooked steak. Finally, you could freeze the steak for later use.
How long do you cook a skirt steak on a gas grill?
To cook a skirt steak on a gas grill, turn the grill to medium-high heat and place the meat 4 inches away from the flame. Grill for 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. You can also use an oven broiler or pan fry the steak in a skillet with oil.
What is a good marinade for skirt steak?
A good marinade for skirt steak can include olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and herbs like rosemary or thyme. You can either combine the ingredients in a bowl and pour it over the meat, or you can put the steak and marinade in a resealable bag and refrigerate for several hours.
What can I do with leftover skirt steak?
There are a few things you can do with leftover skirt steak: you can chop it up and add it to a salad, make a sandwich with some cheese and tomatoes, or put it in a burrito. You could also freeze the steak for later use.
Both skirt steak and flank steak are excellent choices for a delicious, juicy steak. However, skirt steak is slightly more tender than flank steak, making it a good option for those who do not enjoy a chewy texture. Skirt steak also tastes great when marinated or grilled. So if you’re looking for an amazing piece of meat to cook up on the grill, go with skirt steak!