The Differences Between Skirt Steak And Flank Steak
As you can sort of see above, there aren’t major differences between skirt steak and flank steak. This is another reason recipes that call for either steak can be substituted for one another quite easily.
With that said, the major difference between flank steak and skirt steak is the fat content. Skirt steak has more fat/marbling than flank steak, and as the saying goes, fat is flavor.
Truth be told, flank steak has very little fat, if any.
Another difference is in the size of the meat. Skirt steak is a long , thin cut of meat . Flank steak is a roughly 10-12 inches long and 5-6 inches wide. However both are only at most 1/2 to 1 inch thick.
While both cuts of meat consist of tough muscle fibers, flank steak has a tighter grain where-as skirt steak is loser yet more fibrous. Meaning, Skirt steak will take better to marinades than flank steak.
The Inside Skirt Steak
The inside skirt steak is obtained from below the ribs of a cow. It is a fatty and chewy kind of meat that often the butcher removes its membrane before selling it. This explains why it is an easy cut to cook. In addition, the inside steak is tougher, thinner, and more irregular in shape when compared to the outside skirt steak.
What Is Outside Skirt Steak
As you might have already guessed, the outside steak gets its name because it sits further towards the outside of the cow than the inside cut does. In fact, it lays across the outside of the chest wall passing from the 6th down to the 12th rib.
Because of its position and orientation, the outside skirt steak tends to be both longer and wider than the inside portion of the skirt steak. But the actual volume of meat is roughly the same as its also a much thinner cut.
In addition, it also tends to have much less fat and also doesnt have that hard membrane that needs removing .
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Flank Steak Vs Skirt Steak: Which One Is Best
Flank and skirt steak are two amazing tasting meats. But which one is best? Find out the differences so you know which one to use for your next BBQ cook-off.
Both are tough, beefy strips of meat that are great straight off the grill. Also, both are criminally overlooked by a lot of chefs.
But what are the differences between flank steak and skirt steak?
Both are long, strange-looking cuts of meat, and a lot of the time the two are often used interchangeably. So is there actually a difference?
The main difference between the two comes down to how tough they are. Skirt steak is tougher thank flank, and carries a more intense flavor. This means that it can only be cooked as rare or medium-rare, and is usually best seared. If you prefer your steak well done or tender then I advise going for flank.
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Which Is Usually Bigger
They are entirely different shapes, so its a bit hard to tell which is generally larger. While skirt steaks are much longer than flank steaks, the extra thickness of the flank usually means it will weigh more.
Remember, though, youre almost always going to serve both sliced, allowing you total control over portion sizes.
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On Flavoring And Pricing Of The Skirt Steaks
Theres excellent marbling and fat on the outside skirt steak, making it rather suitable for grilling. This meat is tender, juicy, and has a strong beefy taste. On the other hand, the inside skirt steak is a bit more chewy and lacks the juiciness that outside skirt steak presents.
As you can well imagine, the above characteristics make the outside skirt steak a more attractive pick for most people. As such, it is more expensive.
Interestingly, when cooking, the inside skirt steak shrinks significantly while the outside skirt steak sees less shrinkage. This is largely due to the higher fat content on the inside steak. Its also a reason why commercial kitchens give a higher preference to outside skirt steak.
How Do You Know If Youre Slicing Skirt Steak Correctly
Cut off a few slices in the direction that you think is correct. Now pick up a slice and look at the cut edge. Is your slice made up of long shreds of meat that run the length of your slice? That is incorrect. You want to be cutting THROUGH those shreds of meat, not along them.
When you look at the cut edge, you should not see any defined shreds. Instead, it should look like a bunch of dots of meat pushed together. That tells you that you have cut through the shreds.
If youre having trouble visualizing this, dont worry. Take a look at the comparison photo below. You want it to look like the pieces on the left, not the ones on the right where I cut with the grain.
The final slicing tip for juicy and tender skirt steak is to let it rest. You dont want all the juices to come out when you cut into it. Instead, let the steak rest for 5 minutes before you cut into it. That way, the juices have a chance to stop moving around and to reabsorb into the meat. Dont cover it with anything while it is resting.
Tip:This electric knife is my favorite tool for perfect, even slices.
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Which Skirt Steak Is The Most Tender
There are two varieties of skirt steak: the outer skirt steak and the interior skirt steak. Important to understand since the texture and softness of the meat will vary depending on the cut, especially since this cut tends to be lean and has some strong muscle fibers. The outside skirt is more attractive since it is softer and less harsh than the inside skirt.
What Is A Skirt Steak
A skirt steak is a cut of meat from a cows short plate. They are located below the rib. A cow has 4 skirt steaks, 2 inside skirt steaks, and 2 outside skirt steaks. Skirt steaks are one of the most underrated cuts of meat. They are usually quite cheap compared to other cuts of meat, but I dont think any less of them. They are wonderful and have quite a robust taste. Some of your favorite snacks, like tacos, fajitas, etc., are made from this cut of beef.
Skirt steaks are long and narrow cuts of meat. They have a large surface area compared to their weight. They have lots of folds, nooks, and crannies throughout the entire length of the steak. It makes them perfect candidates for marinading. And hence most skirt steaks are marinated before cooking. It can hold marinades easily in those gaps and crevices. Also, due to their small width, marinades can penetrate them and make them more flavorful.
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Skirt Steak Nutrition Facts
Skirt steak contains vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, iron, and choline. The list of exact nutritional values varies depending on the type of skirt steak. As a reminder, there are two types of skirt steak, the inside, and the outside skirt.
A serving of cooked inside skirt steak contains:
- 20 g of proteins.
What Are The Difference Between Outside And Inside Skirt Steak
Skirt steak comes in two cuts: outside and inside. While I am sure the difference in cut affects how the meat should be prepared and cooked I am not sure in what ways. A few things I’ve read about the outside skirt reference the need to trim the membrane, but I’m not sure what the posts are referring to. Leading to my questions about the cuts:
- What are the differences between the inside and outside skirt steak cuts?
- How do these differences affect preparation and cooking?
- When should one cut be chosen over the other? Are the two cuts interchangeable in most recipes?
here are really two distinct cuts from the diaphragm of the steer.
The outside skirt steak is from the plate section, below the rib and between the brisket and flank, and usually comes with the membrane still attached, which needs to be trimmed before cooking.
Inside skirt comes from the flankit’s narrower and thinner than the outside skirt, and comes with the membrane removed.
According to the Houston Press, outside skirt stake is extremely rare in the US, as much of it gets exported to Japan due to a quick in the tariffs. The outside cut is tougher, but extremely flavorful. Both are used in similar applications, if you can get them.
A couple of pictures:
The inside or inner skirts are much tougher, cheaper & wider than outside or outer skirts!!Whoever says the opposite is true is confused. You can drive a truck over inside skirts and they’ll still be tough.
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Is Flank & Skirt Steak The Same
No. The two cuts of meat come from different areas and have different structure. They are often interchanged in many recipes but they are unique cuts. If you happen to find one or the other for a good price, you can use them in recipes interchangeably. Both have lots of beefy flavor and are best when cut thin.
What Is Outside Skirt Steak Good For
This cut, which is the polar opposite of the Inside Skirt Steak, is renowned for its powerful taste profile. Fajitas are made by marinating and grilling hot, but you may also use it in stir-fries. When it comes to beef, cutting against the grain is always crucial, but it is much more critical when it comes to thin, gritty cuts like the Skirt Steak.
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Which Is Better For Fajitas Flank Steak Or Skirt Steak
Skirt steak is the traditional cut for fajitas, but flank can work in its place. Skirt steak is better because of how well it marinades. The fibers in skirt steak arent tightly-knit, which allows the marinade and seasoning to penetrate deeper into the cut.
The strong meaty taste of skirt steak is also good, as it holds up to the heavy spicing of fajitas. Fajitas are best cooked with a quick sear over a high heat, which is perfect for the lean meat of skirt steak.
However, flank steak can also be used for fajitas, even if it isnt as well suited. Flank steak is a more tender cut, but with a closer knit fiber. This means that while it will hold a marinade, the flavors wont reach as deep. Flank steak has a less intense flavor, which some prefer.
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The Difference In Meat Structure
The main difference between flank steak and skirt steak is their muscle fibers. Flank steak will typically have grain running along the longest direction of the cut, giving you shorter pieces of meat when cut against the grain. Strip steak tends to have grain running the short direction, giving you longer, thinner cuts.
One thing you’re going to hear a lot is that you have to cut both of these steaks against the grain. What that means is that the long strings of muscle will run in one direction and you’ll cut the steaks perpendicular to the direction the threads of muscle run.
When Would You Pick One Over the Other
Though these two cuts of meat are often used interchangeably, there are times when one is superior to the other. The key thing to remember is that skirt steak gets marinaded while flank steak does not. This is due to the structure of the muscle fibers which allow marinades to penetrate the tough fibers of the skirt steaks. Flank steak is denser and doesn’t take on much flavor from a marinade.
If you have a recipe calling for a marinade, choose skirt steak. A marinade that includes an acid like orange juice or lime juice will help to break down the tough muscle fibers and result in a more tender cut.
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What Is Outside Skirt Steak Used For
The thick grain of skirt steaks and the large, hearty flavor of them makes them an excellent choice. The marinades themselves are able to tenderize quickly if theres a marinade nearby. When you cook carne asada and fajita meat on the grill, this cut is the best is best cooked hot and fast on a grill and is commonly used for carne asada and fajitas.
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Which Part Of Skirt Steak Is Best
There are two sorts of skirt steak: those that are cooked inside and those that are cooked outside. The inner skirt is derived from the transverse abdominal muscle and is very tough, whereas the more ideal outside skirt is derived from the diaphragm and is rather delicate. The inside skirt is derived from the transverse abdominal muscle.
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How To Cut The Meat
Despite all of their differences, skirts and flanks have a few things in common. This includes how you should cut and serve each piece of meat. Each one has a well-defined grain structure. This makes it easy to see which way the muscle fibers run. Top tip: you should always cut against the grain to reduce toughness and make it easier to chew.
What Is The Difference Between Inside And Outside Skirt Steak
They are easily confused with one another due to their similar appearance, location on the cow, and the fact we refer to them both as skirt steaks.
To the trained eye, however, they are easy to tell apart. Heres a quick rundown of how they differ so you can ensure youre getting the most appropriate one for your desired cooking application.
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Is Skirt Steak The Same As Flank Steak
The inside skirt steak is often confused for the flank steak and has very similar cooking properties:
- They take well to marinades
- Typically seared over high heat on the grill
- Served rare or medium-rare
- Sliced across the grain
Skirt steak contains more fat than flank steak Typically a flank steak will contain minimal, if any fat.
How Do You Serve Skirt Steak
Skirt steak can be served as a main dish with roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables.
My sauce of choice is a tangy avocado chimichurri. Slice it up for fajitas with sautÃ©ed peppers and onions. Put it on a salad, with greens like romaine, spring mix, or arugula with a tangy vinaigrette. Chop it up to make quesadillas or nachos.
If I ever have leftovers, I always look forward to the next morningâs breakfast, so I can enjoy it with over-easy eggs, sliced avocados, and sautÃ©ed spinach.
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How To Cook Skirt Steak
Skirt steak can be cooked several different ways. The most popular is to simply season it and cook it hot and fast over some extremely hot coals.
If you have some extra time, Ive written a pretty comprehensive blog about the best way to cook skirt steak, where I discuss using sous vide before searing, while not cooking past medium rare.
This cut of beef is also great for marinating. The coarse grain and thin nature of the cut allows marinades to work well. It doesnt take long to impart flavor into this coarse cut of beef.
Be mindful if youre using citrus dont marinate more than a few hours or the acid will start breaking down the meat. That said, citrus-marinated skirt steak, seared on the grill and sliced thin for San Diego Style Street Tacos, is a real treat.
Is Inside Skirt Steak Good For Grilling
Alternatively, a fresh jalapeo and a splash of pickle juice can be used to provide a similar fiery and vinegary flavor. Last but not least, be careful not to overcook the meat. Tender meat is guaranteed when cooked rare to medium rare. Skirt Steak Works has been featured in several publications. Excellent for grilling.
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What To Serve With Skirt Steaks
Here are some of the best sides for skirt steaks:
- Chimichurri Sauce
It is the best side for skirt steaks, hands down! Not just skirt steaks but any grilled meat or steak. It is an herb-based sauce. It is of two kinds, Green Chimichurri and Red Chimichurri. Usually, when people say chimichurri sauce, they refer to the green variant, as it is the most popular among the two.
It is made by blending herbs like parsley and oregano with aromatics like garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Green chili can also be added for those who can handle hot food. It has a wonderful chunky consistency that is sour with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It will make you salivate, and it complements meat very well.
Corn salad, potato salad, caesar salad, coleslaw, etc.
- Grilled Vegetables:
Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.
French fries, wedges, mashed potatoes, curly fries, baked potatoes, etc.
Creamed spinach, mashed peas, pasta salads, kimchi, fried rice, nachos, poutine, etc.
What Is Skirt Steak Exactly
Skirt steak is a long, thin, lean cut of meat with an intense flavor that features prominently in many cultures cuisines. The cut comes from a primal plate, the section right under the rib primal. An important fact, there are two types of skirt steak the inside and the outside skirt steak.
In the United States, skirt steak is often referred to as flank steak, which is a mistake, as they are two cuts coming from a completely different section of the cow.
Since it is a tough piece of meat, it works best when cooked rare or medium rare and should be cut against the grain for the best texture. Also, for this reason, most recipes mention marinating the meat before cooking it.
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