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Butcher’s Guide: What is a Skirt Steak?


Skirt steak is gaining popularity in restaurants and your favorite dishes. It’s bold, versatile, and easy-to-prepare and reveled for its robust, beefy flavor. So, what exactly is a skirt steak and how do you prepare it? 

What is a skirt steak?

The skirt steak is a unique steak cut bursting with flavor. The rich, bold taste makes it a perfect choice for recipes, including fajitas, tacos, steak salads, and stir-fry. This beef cut is less tender than other popular steaks but makes up for it with big flavor. To ensure maximum tenderness, the skirt steak has unique preparation and is best with tenderizing marinades or a dry rub.

Cutting a skirt steak

The butcher trims the skirt steak from the short plate of the beef plate primal cut, located just below the ribs, between the brisket and the flank. This long, flat cut is the muscles from the diaphragm, attached by a membrane just below the ribs on the underside of the short plate. The location of this cut requires expert butcher knife work to cleanly remove a perfectly trimmed skirt steak.

There are two types of skirt steak cuts: outside and inside. The outside skirt is attached to the exterior of the chest wall running diagonally from the 6th to the 12th rib. The inside cut rests further back on the animal across the lower part of the ribs. We sell the outside skirt steak cut for its flavor, thickness, and greater uniformity.

Our master butchers hand-select the best cuts known for uniform shape and thickness, then wet age the beef for 28 days for maximum tenderness. Our skirt steaks are expertly trimmed resulting in a lean, perfectly portioned 14-ounce skirt steak.

Butcher’s Guide: What is a Skirt Steak?

How to cook a skirt steak

The skirt steak’s robust flavor makes it an ideal choice for recipes, including fajitas, tacos, salads, stir-fry, and more. A tenderizing marinade or dry rub will add unique flavors and tenderness to the skirt steak. Try our Tandoori spiced skirt steak recipe with Raita and pickled red onions

Preparing a skirt steak is a little different than most steaks, but incredibly important. It’s a thin steak, so it will cook quickly and evenly. Grill or broil a skirt steak over very heat for just 2 or 3 minutes per side. As a general rule, once both sides are browned, the interior is likely cooked to medium-rare. You can test doneness with a meat thermometer and use our steak doneness guide.

After cooking, let the steak rest 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute for a juicier, more tender steak bite.

How to slice a skirt steak

Slicing a skirt steak correctly is the secret to a tender and juicy steak. It’s served best cut against the grain (longways) at a 45-degree angle in thin slices. Watch our video to learn how to slice skirt steak for amazing results.

If you love big, bold, beefy flavor and easy to cook steak cuts, try a skirt steak in your next recipe. Your taste buds will thank you.

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Butcher’s Guide: What is a Skirt Steak?

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