Grilled Skirt Steak
Updated April 28, 2023
Are you tired of the same old grilled steak recipes? Looking for a new cut of meat to add to your repertoire? Enter skirt steak. This versatile cut of beef is perfect for grilling, and can be seasoned in a variety of ways to create a range of different flavor profiles. Whether you're a fan of spicy, smoky, or sweet, there's a grilled skirt steak recipe out there for you.
History of Skirt Steak
Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow, located between the rib and the flank. It was once considered a less desirable cut of meat and was often used for ground beef or stew meat. However, in recent years, it has gained popularity as a flavorful and affordable cut that's perfect for grilling. In the United States, skirt steak is often associated with Tex-Mex cuisine and is used in dishes like fajitas and carne asada. However, it's a versatile cut that can be used in a variety of cuisines and dishes.
Skirt steak is a thin cut of meat that cooks quickly and can easily become tough if overcooked. Knowing the temperature of beef in general can help you get the perfect cook. Here’s a table to help you out:
Level of Doneness
125°F - 130°F (51.7°C - 54.4°C)
130°F - 135°F (54.4°C - 57.2°C)
135°F - 145°F (57.2°C - 62.8°C)
150°F - 160°F (65.6°C - 71.1°C)
It's important to note that the temperature of the beef can continue to rise by a few degrees after it's removed from the heat source, so it's a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure the beef has reached the desired level of doneness.
Here are a few more tips:
Marinade the steak for at least an hour before cooking
An alternative to a marinade is simply olive oil and whatever seasonings you prefer
Cook the steak on the lowest setting possible. You may also sear it, but we explain our reasonings against it in this blog post HERE.
Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.
Slice the steak against the grain to ensure tenderness.
Ingredients and Tools
To make this grilled skirt steak recipe, you will need the following ingredients and tools:
4.0 lbs FFF Skirt Steak
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - Butter adds a creamy and rich flavor to the steak. The unsalted variety allows you to control the salt content of the dish.
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced - Garlic adds a pungent and savory flavor to the butter sauce.
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika - Paprika adds a smoky and slightly sweet flavor to the dish.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - Lemon juice adds a bright and acidic flavor to balance out the richness of the butter and steak.
Salt - Salt enhances the natural flavors of the steak and other ingredients.
Freshly ground pepper - Pepper adds a subtle spicy flavor to the dish.
Vegetable oil, for rubbing - Oil helps to prevent the steak from sticking to the grill or pan.
- Grill or cast-iron pan
- Instant-read thermometer
- Cutting board
When it comes to the tools, using a seasoned cast iron skillet can add even more flavor to your steak. Cast iron skillets are known for their ability to retain heat and distribute it evenly, which makes them great for searing and grilling meats. Plus, when a cast iron skillet is properly seasoned, it can create a natural non-stick surface that prevents the meat from sticking and enhances the flavor of the dish.
To season your cast iron skillet, first wash it with warm water and mild soap. Dry it thoroughly and then apply a thin layer of coconut oil, tallow, or lard to the entire surface, including the handle. Place the skillet in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for one hour, then turn off the oven and let the skillet cool inside. Repeat this process a few times until the skillet develops a shiny and smooth surface.
Once your cast iron skillet is seasoned, you can use it to grill your skirt steak with confidence. Follow the instructions for grilling the steak in section 3, flipping it once halfway through cooking. The result will be a perfectly cooked and flavorful steak with a crispy crust.
Using a seasoned cast iron skillet can take your grilled skirt steak to the next level by adding a unique depth of flavor and texture. So don't be afraid to try this cooking method and see for yourself the difference it can make.
How to Make Grilled Skirt Steak
Grilled skirt steak is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be made easily with just a few simple steps. Here's a recipe for making juicy and tender grilled skirt steak using a low and slow cooking technique:
Melt butter in a cast-iron pan on low heat.
Add sliced garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Be careful not to burn it.
Add paprika to the pan and stir for about a minute until fragrant.
Remove the pan from the heat and add lemon juice. Season the mixture with salt to taste. Set it aside to cool.
Rub the skirt steak with oil and season it with salt and pepper on both sides.
Let the steak rest for about 20 minutes to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat.
Preheat your grill to low heat.
When the grill is ready, place the steak on the grill and cook it low and slow for about 15-20 minutes on each side (or until internal temperature reaches your desired raw-cooked level).
Once the steak is cooked to your liking, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with your favorite side dish. Enjoy!
How to Store Grilled Skirt Steak
Once you've grilled your skirt steak, you may be wondering how to store it properly to keep it fresh and safe to eat. Here's what you need to know:
- Let the steak cool down to room temperature before storing it.
- Wrap the steak tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out and to protect it from other flavors in the fridge.
- Label the package with the date and type of meat so you can easily identify it later.
- Store the steak in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
If you want to keep the steak for longer than 3-4 days, you can freeze it. To do this, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Label the package with the date and type of meat, then place it in the freezer. The steak can be frozen for up to 6 months.
When you're ready to use the frozen steak, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw it on the counter but don't let it sit out for more than 5 hours.
Variations on the Recipe
If you want to switch up the flavors in this grilled skirt steak recipe, there are a few variations you can try:
- Instead of paprika, use a spice rub that includes cumin, chili powder, and coriander for a more southwestern flavor.
- Substitute the lemon juice for lime juice and add some cilantro for a bright and fresh twist.
- Add a bit of honey or brown sugar to the butter mixture to create a sweet and savory glaze for the steak.
- Serve the steak with chimichurri sauce, a tangy and herbaceous Argentinean condiment.
By making a few simple changes, you can create a variety of different flavor profiles with this grilled skirt steak recipe.
Overall, grilled skirt steak is a delicious and easy dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you're using a cast iron skillet or a grill, seasoning the steak with paprika or a spice rub, or serving it with vegetables or chimichurri sauce, this recipe is sure to please. And with proper storage and a few variations on the recipe, you can enjoy grilled skirt steak for days to come.
Questions and Answers
Here are some common questions and answers about grilled skirt steak:
Q: What is the best way to slice skirt steak?
A: To ensure tenderness, it's important to slice the steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers.
Q: Can I cook skirt steak in the oven?
A: Yes, you can cook skirt steak in the oven by broiling it on high heat for 4-5 minutes per side. However, grilling or pan-searing is the preferred method to achieve a smoky and charred flavor.
Q: How can I tell if the steak is cooked to my desired level of doneness?
A: The best way to check the doneness of the steak is to use an instant-read thermometer. For medium-rare steak, the internal temperature should be 130-135°F (54-57°C).
Q: Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe?
A: While skirt steak is the traditional cut of meat for this recipe, you can use other thin cuts of beef, such as flank steak or hanger steak, as a substitute.
Full Recipe for Grilled Skirt Steak
- 4.0 lbs FFF Skirt Steak
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
- In a cast-iron pan, melt the butter on low heat. Add in the sliced garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it can turn bitter.
- Add the paprika to the pan and stir for about a minute until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the lemon juice. Season the mixture with salt to taste. Set the mixture aside to cool while you prepare the steak.
- Rub the skirt steak with oil and season it with salt and pepper on both sides, making sure to coat it evenly. Let it rest for about 20 minutes to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat.
- Preheat your grill to low heat. When the grill is ready, place the steak on the grill and cook it low and slow for about 15-20 minutes on each side. This cooking technique helps to tenderize the meat and allows the flavors to develop slowly. Keep the grill lid closed while cooking to maintain a consistent low heat.
- Once the steak is cooked to your liking, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then, thinly slice the steak across the grain to ensure it is tender.
- Serve the grilled skirt steak with your favorite side of veggies or other side dish. The rich, beefy flavor of the steak pairs well with a variety of different flavors. Enjoy!